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New NARUC-NASEO Mini Guide on State Commission and State Energy Office Engagement Released by NCEP

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For Immediate Release:

Contact: Scott R. Bolden, sbolden@naruc.org; Kirsten Verclas, kverclas@naseo.org

WASHINGTON (October 5, 2020) — The National Council on Electricity Policy today announced the release of a new mini guide, Engagement between Public Utility Commissions and State Energy Offices, the fourth 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 Association of State Energy Officials, suggests that in response to the changing energy sector, the relationship between public utility commissions and state energy offices has evolved — and the benefits of collaboration have risen, too. Increased communication between these two state agencies is an important strategy for understanding and managing the quickly changing energy sector in their states, whether the transition is due to new legislation, executive action, utility goals, new technologies or changing economic factors and customer preferences.

The mini guide details ways in which public utility commissions and state energy offices interact, how these relationships can be strengthened and how governors’ state energy office directors and commissioners, as well as staff, can look to further engage with their counterparts. This mini guide features condensed excerpts from interviews with state energy office directors or staff and commissioners or commission staff from four states: Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and North Carolina.

Public utility commissioners and state energy directors are both essential decision makers who shape the electricity system across the states. They are also quite diverse in their roles and  responsibilities, analytical capabilities, engagement approaches and historical levels of collaboration. As the electricity system is evolving, ensuring that each agency has an understanding of its peers can contribute to a more informed and equitable transition.

“This mini guide offers valuable insights into how and why public utility commissions and state energy offices operate in the ways that they do, while also offering numerous valuable examples and suggestions for how to enhance collaboration within those constructs,” said Danielle Sass Byrnett, NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation director.

“State energy offices and public utility commissions have a long tradition of strong cooperation and coordination within the states as well as through task forces and working groups led by NASEO and NARUC,” said Cassie Powers, managing director for Programs at NASEO. “This mini guide will provide our respective members with the tools to strengthen their relationships further and is another example of robust NASEO-NARUC coordination on the national level.”

Find all four mini guides at: electricitypolicy.org/resources/.

NARUC and NASEO thank the U.S. Department of Energy for its support, which enabled the development of this material.

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About NCEP

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).

About NARUC

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. www.naruc.org

About NASEO

NASEO is the only national non-profit association for the governor-designated State Energy Directors and the over 3,000 staff of their offices from each of the 56 states and territories. Formed by the states in 1986, NASEO facilitates peer learning among state energy officials, serves as a resource for and about state energy policy, and advocates the interests of the state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies. www.naseo.org