Fortnightly Magazine - March 2020

A NARUC Winter

Characterizing the Commissioners Now Serving

State commissioners are a dedicated bunch, as is certainly the case of the thousands of commission staff. Dedicated to the public interest, including [when] in the arctic climes of Washington D.C. in mid-February.

Having a Choice is Preferable, Right?

Heeding Albus Dumbledore’s Wisdom

Each month, here, in this very spot, the History Repeats column takes a look back on the large moments in the history of utility regulation and policy. And in doing so, we seek the lessons of history that might be applicable to the practice of pursuing the public interest in the present and the years ahead.

This month we choose to consider the past, present, and future of choice. Or rather, to be more precise, we mean to consider herein the past, present, and future of policymakers' choice — in about a quarter of the states — to allow choice. 

A Day at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

New Jersey BPU

Conversations with New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president Joseph Fiordaliso, and commissioners Upendra Chivukula, Bob Gordon, Mary-Anna Holden and Dianne Solomon. And, conversations with chief of staff Grace Power and deputy chief of staff Christine Sadovy, executive director Paul Flanagan, director of government affairs Chance Lykins and director of special projects Kevin Nedza, director of federal and regional policy Cynthia Holland, director of energy Stacy Peterson and director of state energy services Tom Walker, director of customer assistance Julie Ford-Williams, director of clean energy Sara Bluhm Gibson, program administrator for clean energy Ariane Benrey and bureau chief of new technology for clean energy Jim Ferris, bureau chief of policy for clean energy Hannah Thonet, senior policy advisor Mike Winka.

New Jersey BPU: Upendra Chivukula


“We don’t look at utilities as our adversaries. We look at them as partners because we have the physical threats of all the natural disasters, and we also have cyber threats.”

New Jersey BPU: Bob Gordon


“The big challenge is balancing our desire to address climate change through our clean energy policies and achieving the goals Governor Murphy has set out, against our obligation to protect the ratepayer.”

New Jersey BPU: Mary-Anna Holden


“My goal is to create an incentive for water utilities enabling them to put acoustical testing on hydrants and mains, to be able to find leaks, stop them, and prevent them from becoming main breaks and sinkholes taking out other valuable infrastructure.”

New Jersey BPU: Dianne Solomon


“We need people who are able to install, repair, and keep the infrastructure operating. When kids are young, is when you have to start getting them interested. It’s important and should be one of our charges as Commissioners.”

New Jersey BPU: Grace Power and Christine Sadovy

Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff

“This office oversees external facing facets of the BPU, including Communications and Legislation, as well as internal operations, such as Fiscal, IT, and HR. The technical divisions, such as Clean Energy, Water, and Reliability and Security, report to the Executive Director’s office.”

New Jersey BPU: Paul Flanagan

Executive Director

“In a litigated matter, this office works between the Commissioners and the Staff to make sure information flows both ways, and is correct and complete, so that the policymakers can make decisions, and the divisions know what those policy calls are and how they should be implemented.”