To the Editor:
In “Rate-Base Cleansings: Rolling Over Ratepayers” (November 2005, p.58), Michael Majoros urges state public utility commissions to recognize a refundable regulatory...
I was disappointed to see that two different articles in the October 2005 issue (“A Welcome Truce in the Electricity Wars ” by Peter Fox-Penner and “ A Low-Voltage Energy Bill ” by Peter Van Doren and Jerry Taylor) erroneously stated that the Electricity Modernization Act (EMACT) requires net metering. It is true that the language in Sections 1251, 1252, and 1254 of the EMACT appear on their face to mandate certain new federal standards, including net metering, smart metering, and distributed generation interconnection. To understand these provisions, however, one must read them together with the sections of provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 that they amend. In context, these provisions require only that state regulatory authorities (for the utilities whose rates they regulate) and nonregulated electric utilities consider whether to adopt the new federal standards. PURPA sec. 111(a) expressly states that “nothing in this subsection prohibits any state regulatory authority or nonregulated electric utility from making any determination that it is not appropriate to adopt any such standard, pursuant to its authority under otherwise applicable state law.”
While Congress expressed support for these new federal standards, Congress recognized that state and local regulators are in a better position to make these important policy decisions in light of local circumstances and interests. I hope you will be able to correct this misunderstanding.
Thank you for your consideration.
Jay Morrison, Senior Regulatory Counsel, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, email@example.com