Detroit Edison Co. (DE) has received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission for
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Ratemaking Special Report: Survey respondents weigh in with needed actions.
The building of trust between the utility and the regulator greatly can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory process. With this premise, we asked survey respondents about the strength of their opinions as to the actions a utility and regulator each could take to build the greatest amount of trust between them. Table 4 shows how each group weighted these actions, with some carrying equal weight within each respondent group.
While ranking the effectiveness of these actions, survey respondents remained cognizant of the nature and the prospect for success in implementing such actions, commenting, "You can never 'fully disclose' to another party's complete satisfaction"; "[Parties should] not be bound by traditional thinking, or by an 'us/them' mentality"; "Better dialogue consistent with rigorous and ethical standards"; "Focus on goals, performance rather than micro-managing the process."
Based on recent rate-case experience, survey respondents identified actions that would make the rate-case process less adversarial and controversial, but more predictable and effective. Comments from utilities and regulators reflect a mutual awareness, and in some cases, agreement as to the positive steps that each party can bring to the regulatory process. A sampling follows.