The transition to distributed generation calls for a new regulatory model.
With the best of intentions, policymakers have encouraged the proliferation of distributed generation (DG) in various forms. Now, however, the trend toward DG is accelerating more rapidly than traditional utility ratemaking and business models are capable of managing. Failure to rationalize the regulatory framework will bring serious and costly disruption.
The state regulator’s perspective on gas infrastructure inspections and investments.
Philip B. Jones and Paul J. Roberti
As aging pipelines bring safety concerns, regulators and utilities must cooperate to ensure investments deliver the greatest value for customers.
Will Boulder be the last city to go muni? Don’t bet on it.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
When the goals of a utility and its host community aren’t in sync, breakups happen.
ConEd, public safety, and the regulatory response.
Scott Strauss and Peter Hopkins
Last summer’s union lockout at Consolidated Edison raised novel legal and regulatory questions that remain unresolved. Organized labor can strike, and management can respond, but do state utility commissions have authority to end a lockout that threatens service?
The jurisdictional battle rages on, with FERC and EPA squaring off against the states.
Bruce W. Radford and Michael T. Burr
When Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led an attack on the federal Springfield Armory in January 1787—the spark that ignited the federalist movement—he scarcely could’ve guessed that now, 225 years later, his spiritual descendants would still be fighting that very same battle.
Utilities sound the alarm as PV nears grid parity.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
A growing wave of rooftop PV projects is starting to look ominous to some utilities. Will lawmakers accept utilities’ warnings at face value—or will they suspect they’re crying wolf?
Two Eastern governors make war against markets.
The governors of New Jersey and Maryland have embarked on a crusade that could topple competitive energy markets in their states—and perhaps beyond. Glen R. Thomas, former chairman of the Pennsylvania PUC, challenges policy makers in the two states to stand up for free markets and stop a destructive race to the bottom.
A deliberate approach to infrastructure advancement.
The electric power system has been getting smarter for decades, as new technologies allow better analysis and greater control. But most utilities have implemented these technologies in a piecemeal way, rather than as part of a long-term, enterprise-scale strategy. What are the consequences of this fragmented and incidental approach, and what would happen if we developed the smart grid in a deliberate way instead?
The consumer-centric smart grid and its challenge for regulators.
Charles J. Cicchetti and Philip Mause
Federal and state regulators play a critical role in the evolution of the smart grid. Lawmakers face a host of questions, from deciding who owns consumer data and how it can be used, to defining a new range of regulated and unregulated utility services and applications. How much regulation will be needed to manage the transformation to a smart grid? And how much regulation will be too much?
‘We can’t have it both ways: costly mandates without full consumer understanding and support.’