Regulate First, Innovate Second
Commissioner Rick Morgan of the Public Service Commission for the District of Columbia based his article, “Rethinking ‘Dumb’ Rates” (March 2009), on the faulty premise that there is a consensus, either in the regulatory community or electric industry, or both, trending toward the immediate adoption of smart meters and dynamic rates and, worse yet, that such change should be embraced now just ’cause it is today’s pretty amazing new stuff [Editor’s note: the writer refers to a telecom industry term, PANS, “pretty amazing new stuff,” vs. POTS, “plain old telephone service.”]
As People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia and the advocate for the interests of utility consumers, the very interests Commissioner Morgan is statutorily mandated to balance, I say, “SLOW YOUR ROLL!”
Yes, change happens. And as the election of President Obama attests, change can be a good thing. But, when not predicated on the immediate needs or requirements of ratepayers, who must ultimately pay for such change, then change may not be such a good thing.