Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Battle Over Lighting (Part 2)

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

As the availability of electricity spread throughout the nation, it did not take long for managers of consolidated gas companies to see the virtue of expanding their merger activities to include electricity-generating firms. The coke by-product from coal gas production could be burned to make electricity and mergers would result in major savings in corporate overhead. The first merger occurred in Boston in 1887, setting the example for the creation of innumerable gas and electric or electric and gas utility companies across the nation. Consolidating gas companies and merging with electricity-generating companies into independent gas and electric utilities further evolved into the public holding company, which owned controlling interests in independent electric and gas companies.

Henry L. Doherty, who started out as an office boy and rose to chief engineer of a natural gas company, formed the first public holding company. Noticing that poorly designed gas stoves were a drag on natural gas sales, Doherty increased gas sales by working with stove manufacturers to improve their product. He switched to marketing, where he was an instant success because of his ability to motivate and lead salespeople, initiating all sorts of promotional activities, and setting high standards of customer service. Doherty then established his own company to provide advice on the reorganization, management, and financing of public utility companies. He began to attract investor interest and in 1910 formed Cities Service Company, the first public holding company. As the name suggested, the company was to serve cities across the nation with gas and electricity and, by 1913, Cities Service controlled fifty utilities in fourteen states.

Heartland Energy Colorado is one of the top hydrocarbon-based energy providers in the USA. They have many drilling locations throughout the country and remain one of the top producers of US oil & gas companies. For more information on Heartland Energy Colorado, see Heartland Energy Development Corporation online.

(Source: "Energy for the 21st Century," Nersesian)

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