UTILITIES: A Dim Bulb Brightens

The tongue of Harvard Business School Professor Andrew Brimmer was firmly in cheek last week as he greeted leaders of the nation's power companies gathered in Denver for the annual meeting of the Edison Electric Institute. "So nice to see you," said he, "now that you are feeling better." The salutation drew grim laughter. Utilities are indeed in better financial shape than they were a year or so ago, but their situation is still not exactly healthy.

In 1973 and 1974 a doubling of fuel costs and a slowdown in power demand caused by energy conservation and recession hit the industry...

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