In this Greentech Media article (reposted from AEE's blog), AEE's Coley Girouard, Associate, Public Utility Commission Program, looks at the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2017. Link to the full article here. Excerpts below:
In July, Advanced Energy Economy published a list of the top utility regulation trends of 2018 -- so far. With 2018 almost in the rear-view mirror, we check in on the top public utility commission actions of the year.
Not surprisingly, the challenges public utilities commissions are grappling with are wide-ranging and diverse: utility business model reforms, distribution system planning, grid modernization, rate-design changes, large investments in renewables, transportation electrification, energy storage, wholesale market changes, and data access, to name a few. Here is a roundup of the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018.
1. Rewarding utilities for performance against policy objectives
In 2017, we have seen an uptick in conversations about the suitability of the traditional cost-of-service regulatory model as the energy landscape changes. Many states have already begun to move toward a system that better reflects new market conditions, allows utilities to take advantage of the growing service economy, and rewards for performance against established goals. At AEE, we have been a part of the conversation (see our 21st century electricity system issue briefs on performance-based regulation and optimizing capital and service expenditures for more information) to develop new utility business models that better meet the changing expectations of consumers and society...(#2 through 9)...
10. Unlocking access to customer and system data
The rapid deployment of smart meters -- and the granular customer and electricity system data they provide -- has led many states to revisit their data access rules in the past year. Timely and convenient access to energy data can help customers track and manage their energy use, empower third-party companies to animate the market for DERs, and enable utilities to transition to a more customer-focused culture and business model.