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NCEP Releases Third Mini Guide in Series
WASHINGTON (October 17, 2019) — The National Council on Electricity Policy today announced the release of a new mini guide, Engagement between Public Utility Commissions and State Legislatures, the third in its series promoting dialogue among state-level electricity decision makers by highlighting examples of successful engagement. Each mini guide features collaborative approaches, lessons learned and interviews with leading state and local decision makers.
The most recent mini guide, authored by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Conference of State Legislatures, suggests that a strong and collaborative relationship between state legislatures and commissions is instrumental to establishing coherent, comprehensive and cost-effective energy policies at the state level. This mini guide contains condensed excerpts from interviews with legislators and commissioners from three states: Minnesota, Vermont and Washington.
“It’s clear that regular and effective communication between state legislators and public utility commissioners is important to advancing cohesive state energy policies,” said Kristy Hartman, energy program director at NCSL. “This mini guide offers valuable insights into how officials in several states have worked to develop informed and thoughtful energy policies—not in isolation, but through collaborative relationships that reflect the strengths of each state entity.”
State Senator Eric Koch said, “Even after serving as a legislator for more than 15 years, I found several helpful takeaways in the new NCEP Mini Guide on Engagement between Public Utility Commissioners and State Legislators, which tells me it will be a valuable resource for many.”
NCEP released the first two mini guides in July 2019. NCEP President and Idaho Public Utility Commission President Paul Kjellander noted that, “As the nation’s energy system becomes ever more complex, it is essential for government leaders to fully explore the multitude of perspectives that impact energy issues. With this in mind, the National Council on Electricity Policy offers its mini guide series as a set of resources to help public utility regulators, state energy officials, state legislative leaders, and local government officials identify examples of collaboration within the energy sector.”
Local Government Engagement with Public Utility Commissions, authored by the Institute for Market Transformation, identifies key areas in which local governments may engage with PUCs, the potential impacts of local government engagement at PUCs and opportunities that exist to make regulatory processes more accessible for city and county staff. Questions and answers from interviews with local government staff and commissioners or commission staff from California, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota are included.
“Local governments are increasingly engaging at the state level to shape energy policies that impact local clean energy, resilience and energy equity initiatives,” said Jon Crowe, renewable energy programs director for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. “This invaluable guide showcases the benefits and shared interest in bringing local government perspectives to public utility commission processes and offers practical steps for overcoming barriers to local government participation.”
State Agency Coordination During Energy-Related Emergencies aims to identify organizational models that enable effective coordination, describe their benefits and highlight how some states have overcome challenges that may inhibit successful coordination. To gain insights into how collaborative relationships work in practice, NARUC interviewed state agency partners in Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia. Interview questions were designed to elicit best practice insights from public utility commissions, state energy offices and state offices of emergency management—all of whom play key roles in emergency support functions related to energy (ESF-12).
“As an association, the first question we hear on any new topic is ‘Who else has experience with this?’ Given the value of learning from peers, NARUC, as NCEP’s administrator, thought that writing about state decision makers’ direct experiences based on interviews would highlight the value of collaboration and engagement between PUCs and other key state and local leaders in a meaningful way,” said NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation Director Danielle Sass Byrnett.
Find all three mini guides at: www.electricitypolicy.org. NCEP will release additional mini guides in 2020.
The National Council on Electricity Policy (NCEP) is a platform for all state level electricity decision makers to share and learn from diverse perspectives on the evolving electricity sector. Our community includes over 200 representatives from public utility commissions, air and environmental regulatory agencies, governors’ staffs and state energy offices, legislatures, and consumer advocates. We are an affiliate of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Center for Partnerships and Innovation (CPI).
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.