Volatile economic conditions push regulators in new directions.
Phillip S. Cross
(November 2009)Regulators are in the unenviable position of determining an allowance for ROE that’s fair to consumers and investors in a volatile economy. The cases that stand out this year are those in which regulators explored the limits of their discretion.
Legal and regulatory changes are transforming the industry.
Michael T. Burr
This year has marked a sea change in energy policy, from environmental compliance to transmission pricing. Fortnightly interviews top lawyers to better understand how regulatory developments are affecting the power and gas industries.
To fulfill the promise of the smart grid, utilities need to give consumers a greater range of options as well as the education to make sustainable, energy-saving decisions. That includes integrating demand management into the utility back-office.
Dramatic changes are coming to the electric industry, sparked by a surge of renewable energy and related transmission. Growth in demand-side resources, conservation and smart technologies will add integration dilemmas to an already complex power system.
A land rush in the burgeoning home energy management market.
The Prius Effect—a term that’s gained currency in sustainability circles—is shorthand for the strong link between information and behavior demonstrated by the popular Toyota hybrid. The car was among the first to provide a real-time fuel consumption gage on the dash; step hard on the gas, watch the MPG gage go down. Coast gently along and see the savings. Drivers with the gage become aware of—even obsessive about—the way their driving habits affect consumption, and by extension, cost.
1. High Court Reconsiders ‘Just and Reasonable’ Standard; 2. EPA Endangerment Finding: Implementing; 3. Paying the Postage for Grid Expansion; 4. Weighing the Certainty of Climate Change; 5. Lawful Emissions Deemed Public Nuisance; 6. Not Quite a Leak-proof Backstop; 7. FERC Bends Rules to Boost Renewables; 8. An ‘Anchor’ for Merchant Transmission; 9. Texas Throws a Curve at Small Wind Developers; 10. Resource Adequacy.
Lawyers say what they really think about changing policies.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
Lawyers get a bad rap in this country, and in some cases it’s well earned. However, during the month of October I enjoyed the distinct privilege of interviewing nearly a dozen of the industry’s most insightful, informed and hard-working people—all of them law-firm lawyers serving energy companies, regulatory agencies and customer groups.
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