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NARUC Honors Excellence in Regulatory Innovation at Annual Meeting

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For Immediate Release: November 16, 2017
Contact: Regina Davis, 202-898-9382,

NARUC Honors Excellence in Regulatory Innovation at Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON—Regulatory and industry innovators were honored at the Annual Meeting and Education Conference of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, held November 12-15 in Baltimore, Md.  The recognition program, “Innovation Awards: Promoting Innovation among Utility Regulatory Policy and Utilities,” promotes and recognizes the work of NARUC members and utility innovators for innovative solutions to regulatory issues.

The awards program was facilitated by NARUC’s Task Force on Innovation, chaired by Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Brien Sheahan. The task force was established to assist the Association track, adapt and be resilient to new trends and opportunities to bring diverse technologies to utility regulation.

“The regulatory landscape is continuously evolving and as such, regulators need to understand how the industries we regulate are using these technologies and the customer impacts,” said NARUC President John Betkoski III of Connecticut. “The task force has been instrumental in bringing the thought-leaders in technology and regulatory innovation to NARUC and serves as a gateway for members to embrace innovation.”

“These deserving recipients represent the types of cutting-edge technologies that benefit regulators, industry and consumers,” said Sheahan. “The task force received many entries and we appreciate the efforts of all the nominators and nominees. We also appreciate the support and guidance from NARUC leadership and staff.”

The winners were presented during an awards ceremony on November 14 at NARUC’s installation luncheon and were presided over by Sheahan, with assistance from former NARUC President and FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson, who established the task force.

The winners of the 2017 NARUC Innovation Awards are:

  • State-level Innovation in Regulatory Policy: The  New  York  State  Department  of  Public  Service  for  creating  a  new methodology to value  and  compensate  distributed  energy  resources, Value of Distributed Energy Resources.
  • Municipal-level Innovation in Regulatory Policy: The Sacramento Municipal Utility District for testing a new cooling technology that significantly reduces summer peak loads.
  • Individual Innovator in Regulatory Policy: Danny Kermode of the Washington Utilities  and  Transportation  Commission for exceptional work in adapting an international business reporting standard, eXtensible Business Reporting Language, to data from public  utilities.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Customer Care, Engagement, and Empowerment: Puget Sound Energy for its energy upgrades campaign.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Reliability, Resilience, or Security: Demand Energy and its Partners for their cutting-edge microgrid.
  • Utility Industry Innovative Pilots or Demonstration Projects: First Solar, California ISO and NREL for technical breakthroughs in solar plants.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Water and Sewer: SUEZ Smart Water Network for state-of-the-art technology deployment and management in all parts of its water value chain.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Electricity: AEP for its breakthrough overhead line design (BOLD) transmission system.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Gas: National Grid for bringing demand response to gas.
  • Utility Industry Innovation in Telecommunication: OneWeb for proposed constellation of satellites that will provide broadband Internet access to hard-to-reach areas across the globe.

Visit to learn more about the Innovation Awards. See photos at


NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.