2008 ROE Survey - Rates, Risks & Regulators

Economic uncertainties raise doubts about utility returns.

(November 2008) Economic uncertainties are raising doubts over utility returns. Will regulators feel the need to consider broader economic effects when engaging in ratemaking? While reporting on this year’s rate cases, the author provides insight on what to expect as stock prices fall.

Global Regulation: Exporting 'America' to the World

Why U.S. public utility commission-style ratemaking has becomes a hit overseas.

What are some approaches to regulation adopted in recent decades by national governments, and the implications for management making international investment decisions?

Rate-Case Mania: Lessons for a New Generation

This overview of ratemaking and rate-design principles should ease the myriad tasks awaiting new rate analysts and attorneys, while provoking nostalgia among industry veterans still manning the ratemaking stations.

Return on Equity: Gen Sector Issues

Ratemaking Special: A survey of recent retail rate cases for electric and gas utilities.

(November 2005) The results of annual survey of rates of return on equity authorized for major electric and natural-gas utilities—based on a sample of the retail rate cases conducted by state public utility commissions—show a vibrant and perhaps growing interest in traditional rate-of-return regulation.

Utilities and Regulators: A Search for Harmony

Ratemaking Special Report: Survey respondents weigh in with needed actions.

The utility regulatory process is prone to controversy, given the inherently adversarial roles and varied viewpoints among the utilities, regulators, and other stakeholders. Oft-heard pleas of "why can't you just see this issue my way" or "can't we all just get along" underscore the deep-seated frustrations of utility leaders and regulators in trying to find a common ground for addressing crucial issues surrounding the formulation of business strategies, establishment of responsible financial goals, and setting of operational performance standards for the regulated gas and electric distribution utility segments of the energy industry.

Grid Investment & Restructuring: Two Challenges, One Solution

FERC must align the immediate self-interest of profit-maximizing entities with its own view of what is in the public interest.

Two obstacles must be overcome to achieve true competitive markets: reversal of the long-term underinvestment in transmission, and greater clarity in the legal and regulatory environments. How can the industry make the most of a somewhat defensive regulatory posture?

Return on Equity: A Survey of Recent Rate Cases From State PUCs

Ratemaking Special Report

(November 2004) Fixing an appropriate rate of return on equity (ROE) for electric utility investors marks a fundamental component of the typical cost-of-service rate case conducted across the nation by state public utility commissions (PUCs). The following survey demonstrates the results of such cases, as observed over the past year.

Regulatory Uncertainty: The Ratemaking Challenge Continues

Ratemaking Special Report

Ratemaking Special Report

Regulatory Uncertainty:

In a joint survey conducted by Navigant Consulting and , utility executives identify the biggest challenge to their business.

No matter what position you subscribe to when characterizing the degree of competition in today's energy industry, it is clear that regulation continues to serve as a major influence on the business strategies and operations of the gas and electric distribution utilities in North America.


It is hard tyo foresee abandoning the discounted cash flow method relied upon so heavily for the past couple of decades.

It is hard tyo foresee abandoning the discounted cash flow method relied upon so heavily for the past couple of decades.

In the Feb. 15, 2003, edition of , Jonathan Lesser says that regulators need to rethink the traditional discounted cash flow (DCF) method for finding the cost of capital, or "at the very least, regulators should no longer rely solely on the DCF to set allowed returns."

Return on Equity: Interest Rates Push Down Allowances

Results of the annual survey of energy utility rate proceedings.

(November 15, 2002) With interest rates at record lows, it is not surprising to find downward pressure on allowances for return on equity (ROE) set by state public utility commissions in retail rate cases. (The table presented herein shows the results of our annual survey of authorized rates of return on common equity for state-regulated energy utilities.)