center for partnerships & innovation

NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, and Resilience

Critical Infrastructure

CPI supports state commissions as they work to ensure the energy system is safe, secure, and resilient. Commissions are charged with overseeing public utilities who routinely deal with threats to ongoing system operations, such as physical or cybersecurity activities, routine or extreme weather events, and limitations in supply chains or workforce capacity. NARUC’s efforts generally focus on partnering with subject matter experts across the federal, state, local, and private sectors to explore topical issues, develop valuable decision-support resources, and deliver training to inform regulatory decision making. Targeted NARUC resources are available related to critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, energy emergency management, electric grid resilience, and microgrids.

These activities are coordinated with the Committee on Critical Infrastructure and Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability and Resilience.

The Nation's critical energy infrastructure is diverse and complex, providing essential services that underpin American society. CPI supports state commissions’ efforts to assess risks to the reliability and resilience of critical infrastructure and drive effective action across the planning, preparedness, response, and recovery lifecycle. Learn more.


Highlighted Resources

  • Mini-Guide on State Agency Coordination During Energy-Related Emergencies

    This mini-guide outlines organizational models that enable effective coordination, describe their benefits, and highlight how some states have overcome challenges that may inhibit successful coordination. State agencies interviewed for this guide include PUCs, SEOs, and state OEMs.

  • Critical Infrastructure Resource Repository (Access Restricted to Members Only) - Coming Soon
Cyber attacks targeting the energy sector are on the rise, and pose an ever-growing risk to reliability and safety. CPI provides resources, training, and technical assistance to help commissions evaluate cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities and explore regulatory approaches to drive prudent risk reduction efforts. Learn more.


Highlighted Resources


The reliability and resilience of the energy system is drawing increasing levels of attention from state regulators. While reliability is a broadly accepted term with well-defined metrics, resilience—the ability of the system to anticipate, absorb, recover from, and adapt to disruptive events, particularly high-impact, low-frequency events—is not yet incorporated into regulatory processes. NARUC is undertaking efforts to support state regulators’ approaches to defining and quantifying the benefits of resilience investments that reduce the likelihood, duration, and impacts of interruptions to electricity service. Learn More.


Highlighted Resources

  • Resilience for Regulators Webinar Series #1

    NARUC hosts a webinar series entitled ‘Resilience for Regulators’ that dives into various topics within the umbrella of energy resilience policy. The first webinar in the series highlights how climate resilience frameworks have impacted state agency decision making and how the state of North Carolina has implemented a climate resilience framework to enhance emergency response preparedness.

  • Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies, April 2020

    Utility regulators and other stakeholders need to improve their understanding of resilience and how distributed energy resources can facilitate recovery from disruptions and threats. This report addresses the role of state regulators in electricity system resilience, the relationship of distributed energy resources to resilience, and how states can implement policies to expand DER deployment to improve resilience.

  • Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: Key Questions and Resources, April 2020

    As a companion piece to Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies, this publication provides a foundation for state public utility commissions to frame how they review proposed utility investments that could offer resilience benefits and includes a list of relevant resources to improve regulators' ability to oversee resilience investments and obtain better outcomes for customers.

  • The Value of Resilience for Distributed Energy Resources: An Overview of Current Analytical Practices, April 2019

    Planning for long-duration power interruptions caused by high-impact, low-probability events requires new approaches to power system resilience above and beyond previous hardening efforts. This report examines both regulatory decision-making and non-regulatory cost-benefit analyses to determine if, and how, a value of energy resilience was calculated and applied to proposed investments. Four criteria were used to evaluate the methodologies, including the method’s ease of use, scope of outputs, geographic scalability, and power interruption duration analysis capability. Some of the valuation methodologies examined in the report may be useful in regulatory decision-making; however, none of the methods reviewed met all four criteria for regulator usefulness and usability, and no single method is capable of capturing all regulatory concerns regarding the resilience value of DERs.

As threats to reliable electricity continue to grow, customers, utilities, and governments are looking to distributed energy resources and microgrids as a potential solution. However, microgrids are highly specialized and complex, and lead to questions around ownership and operation, cost allocation, distribution of benefits, siting and configuration, and more. NARUC, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) established a Microgrids State Working Group to improve the ability of states to plan for and develop microgrid projects, regulations, and policies. Learn more

Highlighted Resources

The Presidential Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resiliency is a response to recent extreme weather events, natural disasters and the national emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic. These events have heightened the nation’s collective awareness of the need for access to energy and the importance of ensuring the continued delivery of essential energy services. The intensified focus on protecting the reliability of our vulnerable energy systems and creating a more resilient infrastructure will enable the nation to better respond to future large-scale and catastrophic events. The task force is comprised of a balanced, diverse group of NARUC members, stakeholders and experts who will consider policy issues facing the regulatory community related to emergency preparedness, recovery and resiliency. Learn More.