Core Sector: Education and Research

Education and Research

The Subcommittee on Education and Research has responsibility for the oversight of NARUC’s educational and research programs. Members are appointed from each region across the United States to accurately represent and effectively support states across the nation. As one of its tasks, the Subcommittee establishes appropriate standards and policies to govern the operation of any educational, training or research programs supported by NARUC. Within its duties, SER promotes and endorses a variety of training opportunities, connects new members with peer ambassadors, and distributes information about educational forums for members.

  • Center for Partnerships and Innovation - The NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation (CPI) builds relationships, develops resources, and delivers training to assist state commissioners and commission staff contending with complex current and emerging issues. All CPI training and resources are free to members. NARUC CPI conducts work across five key energy areas and many topics within each: generation; transmission; distribution; customers; and critical infrastructure preparedness, response, and resilience.
  • Regulatory Training Initiative - NARUC's Regulatory Training Initiative (RTI) provides live online and pre-recorded training courses to regulators, commission staff, and stakeholders to increase their knowledge of regulatory issues and processes. The courses focus on the principles of regulation, as well as the key skills required to participate in regulatory proceedings, including regulatory accounting and finance, cost-benefit analysis, and the fundamentals of utility law. The curriculum also includes emerging issues and policies in utility regulation, and introductions to new and emerging requirements affecting electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications. Courses range in length from 6 hours to 18 hours and are accessed remotely via Zoom. Registration fees are discounted for NARUC members.
  • NARUC Rate School, Bi-Annually Held in May and October - The NARUC Rate School evolved from the theory that many individuals learn better by performing tasks rather than listening to lectures. By actually working on a mock rate case, after detailed learning and discussions on a host of issues, the founders believed a more efficient learning environment would result. From the beginning, the philosophy of the schools has been that participants in the rate/regulatory process would get more benefit from differing perspectives on accounting, engineering, legal, and governmental actions, as well as from consumer advocates, commission staffs, and utility company employees. There are otherwise limited opportunities to obtain these diverse perspectives.
  • University Training Programs Endorsed by NARUC in 2022

Helpful NARUC Resource Databases and Quick Links

NARUC provides resources to support commissioners as they transition into their new positions.

  • Ambassador Program
    The NARUC Ambassador Program was established to help NARUC members feel welcome, enhance their knowledge about NARUC, help navigate opportunities to be involved in NARUC, and provide a resource for questions as they begin their terms as commissioners. Learn more and find next steps on the Ambassador Program page.
  • New Commissioner Handbook
    The NARUC New Commissioner Handbook provides commissioners with an outline of all the different ways NARUC is available to assist and support them in their work. These opportunities include networking with other Commissioners, state advocacy before the federal government, research and education on important regulatory topics, resources to help enhance Commissioner understanding of emerging issues, and the different NARUC communications outlets available to keep Commissioners well informed and up to date on NARUC industry happenings.
  • New Commissioner Regulatory Orientation
    Under the auspices of the Subcommittee on Education and Research, NARUC offers a 2-day training seminar for new commissioners each spring. The seminar offers a short introduction to regulation, examining key concepts in the electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications sectors. Current commissioners from NARUC’s leadership are instructors. The program also provides tips for regulators on commission management, state vs. federal jurisdictions and responsibilities, and NARUC resources (e.g., meetings, committee membership, and technical training). An invitation to register will be sent in advance of each orientation.
  • Newcomers Forum
    At each of the three NARUC conferences per year, there is an opportunity for new commissioners to learn more about this unique 134-year-old Association, how it is structured, how it works, how to get involved, and meet NARUC leaders. Watch for an invitation after registering for the conference and check the agenda for time and location details.
  • Commission Staff Scholarships
    The Subcommittee on Education and Research is pleased to administer scholarship opportunities to support member attendance at NARUC-endorsed training courses. These opportunities are available for U.S. state-level commission staff. Each opportunity specifies their eligibility criteria and courses covered. In addition, eligibility for all scholarships is limited to Commission staff who have been employed for five (5) years or less in their current position and whose job duties are related to the content of the course to be attended. Individuals who have previously received a scholarship from any of these programs are not eligible for future scholarships.

    • NAWC Sharon Gascon Scholarship for the NARUC Utility Rate School
    • NARUC Utility Rate School Scholarship
    • Edison Electric Institute David K. Owens Scholarship
    • Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University Scholarship
  • Internships
    • Summer Internship Program
      Since 2011, the Subcommittee on Education and Research has facilitated summer internship programs for graduate students interested in the energy sector. Applications for state commissions to host interns are accepted and reviewed months prior to the start of internship sessions. The Subcommittee makes the final selection of commission hosts based on the level of interest and commitment to creating worthwhile internships. Selected host commissions then advertise and hire interns directly.
    • Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship
      The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy and Renewable Energy (EERE) is partnering with the Grid Deployment Office (GDO) to fund recent graduates and energy professionals, for up to two years, to support critical energy organizations to advance clean energy solutions, including focusing on grid resilience and innovative grid services within states, territories, and Tribal institutions. Public Utility Commissions are eligible as host institutions, and are highly encouraged to apply.

Apply to Become a NARUC Educational Partner

If your organization offers training relevant to utility commissions and would like to be a NARUC educational partner, please review and complete the Guidelines and Application. The Subcommittee on Education and Research will consider applications for support at its meetings during the NARUC Winter Policy Summit, Summer Policy Summit, and Annual Meeting or monthly virtual meetings.

Committee on Education and Research

Sarah Freeman

Sarah Freeman
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

Learn More