Table: Payback Time
Here's how FERC's new price-cap regulations could hit the industry:
Independent power generators such as Calpine (CPN ), Dynegy (DYN ), and AES (AES ) now have most of their capacity locked up in long-term contracts, so the new regs won't do them any damage.
Other producers such as Reliant haven't nailed down as many long-term deals. They trade most of their capacity on the price-capped spot market, so earnings could be hit.
With trading likely to slow sharply in the Western market, power marketers and traders such as Enron (ENE ) and Aquila could see trading volumes and profits decline in the region.