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New NARUC Whitepaper Offers Decision Support for Creating Effective Stakeholder Engagement Processes

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For Immediate Release:

Contact: Regina Davis,

WASHINGTON (January 25, 2021) – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Center for Partnerships & Innovation today released a new report, Public Utility Commission Stakeholder Engagement: A Decision-Making Framework. The whitepaper summarizes emerging stakeholder engagement strategies used by public utility commissions, as traditional utility and regulatory practices change with evolving customer needs, new technologies and shifting policy goals.

Emerging stakeholder engagement processes can enable informed decision-making in the public interest by gathering input from diverse perspectives. To ensure that stakeholder engagement processes deliver on these benefits, commissions can consider an array of options for how to proceed at key decision points, such as the facilitation approach and meeting format. This framework offers commissions a roadmap to evaluate these decision points by providing key questions, emerging best practices and related resources informed by other commissions’ experiences.

“When Ohio began its grid modernization endeavor, the focus was on a comprehensive educational approach. Many groups were willing to share what they know, and we were glad to provide the forum for these groups to come together to help educate us, our staff, and other stakeholders so we could make informed decisions when creating our state roadmap,” said Public Utility Commission of Ohio Chairman Beth Trombold. “I was eager to share Ohio’s process and outcomes in NARUC’s report and to learn from the approaches taken by other states.”

Through commission staff peer sharing calls and one-on-one interviews, NARUC staff gathered feedback from the Public Utility Commission of Ohio and 10 other commissions on topics such as grid modernization, distribution system planning and distributed energy resources. 

“For Oregon’s Senate Bill 978 process to explore the regulatory paradigm, we found that offering briefing papers to participants, setting a calendar and conducting individual interviews were highly effective strategies to generate robust and diverse input,” said Chairman Megan Decker of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. “The experiences of Oregon and other states included in this report demonstrate that a well-designed engagement process is central to informed decision making.”

“This framework will support NARUC’s members across the country as they are increasingly faced with complex decision-making on novel issues like transportation electrification and integrated system planning,” said Danielle Sass Byrnett, director of NARUC’s Center for Partnerships & Innovation. “NARUC is pleased to elevate and share successful state strategies and lessons learned for stakeholder engagement.”

Public Utility Commission Stakeholder Engagement: A Decision-Making Framework is available on NARUC’s website 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.