Americans are using more electronic gadgets, but electricity use is barely growing, posing a...

Americans are using more electronic gadgets, but electricity use is barely growing, posing a challenge for utility companies. PEG, NU and others are pouring money into high-voltage transmission lines, while others are slashing spending. EXC is cutting investment in nuclear plant expansions by $1B and in renewable energy projects by $1.3B as it tries to avoid a credit downgrade.

Comments (9)
  • rambler1
    , contributor
    Comments (1070) | Send Message
    I don't get it usage not growing, but all over the place utilities make suggestions for how to save, use less, buy energy efficient gadgets. Does the gov't force these guys to do this? Great for biz!
    3 Jan 2013, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1348) | Send Message
    I just bought 2 oil lamps. For nostalgic reason.


    LED lights, less folks using TV's and just my family.


    I personally can't wait to get off the grid.. Spanish company Iberdrola owns my utility and customer service is a disgrace.


    Give me 3 more years and I'll be off.. going solar.
    3 Jan 2013, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • crjasonkonas
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    The article continues to make a good case for Utility equities as only a part of the whole for income and dividend revenue.
    All investing must be based on the premise to "Protect Principle" and come away with no less than where investment decisions start.
    EXC - is not meeting this objective. Let common sense prevail.
    3 Jan 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • aleach1
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Glad to see EXC cutting expenditures. Maybe this will preserve the dividend and their credit rating. Why expand capability if usage is not growing?
    3 Jan 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • tr4head
    , contributor
    Comments (316) | Send Message
    This story simply follows the financial news byline that wants to kill utilities as an investment and get you into ever more risky US equities. Not a wise move IMO.


    Safe haven utilities are the place to be in 2013 for US equities, tho they got slammed last year relative to other US sectors. I think the best returns in 2013 is where the growth is (not here or Europe): China, Emerging Markets and EM Bonds.


    The notion that US is "safe haven" for all things global has run its course I am afraid.
    3 Jan 2013, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • MWinMD
    , contributor
    Comments (3907) | Send Message
    A huge portion of the decline in energy use the past few years has been simply the down economy. I'd love to think people were going whole-hog into efficiency upgrades, and certainly that is part of it, but let's not kid ourselves. Energy use will be on an upward trend going forward.
    3 Jan 2013, 05:18 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (1149) | Send Message
    Several issues go into the lower electricity use issue.


    Economy is using a LOT less power due to lower manufacturing needs. (Simply less needs w less companies on full time running.)


    Those companies still open have mostly implemented a lot of cost cutting measures High efficiency changes in most operations such as auto on/off timed lighting & florescent/LED lighting.


    Consumers have traded in old energy wasters (Big tube TVs) for LEDs Flat screens & old dest top computers for laptops. 100 Watt bulbs replaced with florescents & LEDs too. The days of leaving lights on all night is also changing.cities doing the same thing changing street lights to LEDs & gov building going enegy effecient. Utilitites ar the only companies putting ads on TV on how to reduce the use of their products...
    3 Jan 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • mix
    , contributor
    Comments (104) | Send Message
    I thought EXC was cutting nuclear and clean energy expansion because nat gas was so cheap.
    3 Jan 2013, 08:17 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (1149) | Send Message
    MIX: yes they have stopped their expansion plans for nuclear projects other than completing and service. those plants that are due to come off-line for major maintenance may only come off-line and put into mothballs until decommission by the reports I've read recently. The backlash the stock took when a mention of a possible cut in the div has gotten them gun shy I believe and they are pushing in other ways to keep div intact as well as cut capex while maintaining the debt rating @ or above investment grade.


    It also has started the CEG integration and retired some of the board members and will be continuing to see cost savings with the integration. This I think will get them a lot better value for the $ and help keep the stock price better than a Div cut which I dont think will materialize near term.


    4 Jan 2013, 05:02 PM Reply Like
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