Powering Up in Pennsylvania

Keystone State utility PPL is gaining a reputation as the how-to model for prospering after deregulation -- and investors are taking notice

"Provider of last resort obligation." That eerie phrase sounds like something out of a funeral parlor brochure, but it actually refers to utilities' responsibility to deliver electricity to every last customer who demands it, no matter the cost to the power company. Known as the PLR obligation, it holds true even as deregulation is opening up the market to strong competition from many new rivals.

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