For Immediate Release: March 17, 2015
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, email@example.com
WASHINGTON—States are driving new and innovative regulatory policies that are spurring technological advances within the regulated utility industry, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Lisa Edgar of Florida said.
In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, President Edgar touted these efforts and said States are best situated to make decisions about advancements on the electricity distribution system.
“As States have encountered and embraced these challenges, experience has demonstrated that individual States pursuing these initiatives at their own pace works,” President Edgar said. “More understanding and buy-in, consumer protections, and public education occur.”
President Edgar highlighted the ongoing work at the State level to encourage distributed generation, smart meter deployment, and other new technologies. Nearly all States have adopted net-metering policies which credit consumers for excess electricity generated and exported to the electric grid. She also pointed to smart-meter deployment in Florida.
Not every State is moving at the same pace, she noted, and this is a good thing. “Change is here in the electric utility industry,” she said. “With this comes innovation and enthusiasm, but also challenges at both the State and federal levels. States are working to determine which technologies work best for their ratepayers and the specifics of their respective systems.”
State regulators, she said, are first and foremost responsible for assuring that safe and reliable utility services are provided at fair, just, and reasonable rates. Even as the industry and technologies change, this part of the job doesn’t, she said.
“Our unique reality is that we have to regulate, in the public interest, for consumers, short term and long term, while our systems are in transformation,” she said. “Given our statutory responsibilities over the various components of the electric system, many of these decisions may best be made at the State level.”
Moreover, “State commissions and legislatures need to be able to determine the best way to proceed to ensure that the core responsibilities of reliability and affordability are maintained while taking into account State and regional differences.”
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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.
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