center for partnerships & innovation

NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

Search through the selection of publications developed by the Center for Partnerships & Innovation.

CPI Publications

November 5, 2021
Black Sky Subcommittee Use Cases
The intent of the Use Cases document is to amplify themes, challenges, and needs identified in the group’s Needs Assessment deliverable. Each identified scenario examines particular shortcomings identified in the Needs Assessment.
October 27, 2021
Lessons Learned from the Ongoing Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
A final lessons learned report from the Emergency Preparedness, Recovery, and Resiliency Task Force's Subcommittee on COVID-19. The report details key lessons learned for state commissions from the ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis. The scope of the analysis includes workforce issues, changing business practices, low- to moderate-income customer impact, regulatory responses, utility financial approaches to pandemic response, and other key challenges.
October 27, 2021
Regulators' Energy Transition Primer: Economic Impacts of the Energy Transition on Energy Communities, Environmental Justice Considerations, and the Implications on Clean Energy Jobs
The primer offers a background for NARUC members to understand how the transition from coal to low-carbon energy resources is affecting communities and workers. It also provides further discussion into the environmental, climate and energy justice considerations of the transition, as well as an overview of current federal programs and funding available to support affected communities.
October 27, 2021
Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investment in Defense Energy Resilience
A white paper detailing the regulatory considerations for utility investment in defense critical electric infrastructure, shares the Department of Defense energy resilience policy landscape, and describes processes by which state utility regulators can engage with defense community partners to enhance defense systems resiliency.
October 27, 2021
The Role of State Utility Regulators in a Just and Reasonable Energy Transition: Examining Regulatory Approaches to the Economic Impacts of Coal Retirements
The ongoing trend of coal retirements has disproportionately affected the socioeconomic health of communities where power plants are located. For many public utility commissions, these impacts have led to important questions around the scope of PUCs’ statutory authority to analyze, consider and mitigate losses to host communities within their role as utility regulators. Due largely to variations in state legislative charges, commissions have taken different approaches to articulating what lies within the public interest. This report examines the authority of PUCs across the country to consider non-energy economic impacts beyond direct ratepayer effects, and summarizes approaches that PUCs, utilities and other stakeholders have used to mitigate the economic fallout of coal retirements, specifically.
October 21, 2021
Coal and Carbon Management Guidebook: Coal-to-Hydrogen Opportunities and Challenges
This guidebook provides a detailed outlook of the opportunities and challenges for coal and biomass resources and infrastructure to participate in the growing low-carbon hydrogen economy. It also outlines the present and forecasted market demand for hydrogen, addresses how state utility regulators can analyze and manage risks associated with low-carbon hydrogen technologies and summarizes DOE’s investments in research and development for hydrogen production from coal and biomass.
February 22, 2021
A Guide for Public Utility Commissions: Recruiting and Retaining a Cybersecurity Workforce
This publication provides insight on cybersecurity roles within public utility commissions and highlights recruitment and retention tactics for public utility commissions to develop or expand a cybersecurity division, including alternative strategies. Appendices include a compendium of example cybersecurity job descriptions, pipelines to recruit qualified cybersecurity staff, and a list of cybersecurity training opportunities.
February 8, 2021
Opportunities to Improve Analytical Capabilities towards Comprehensive Electricity System Planning
This document provides a summary and synthesis of Task Force outputs related to tools and methods needed to support greater alignment between resource, transmission and distribution planning processes.
February 8, 2021
Task Force Blueprint for State Action
The Task Force Blueprint for State Action supports states seeking to further align electricity system planning processes in ways that meet their own goals and objectives. The Blueprint provides a step-by-step approach for states to develop and implement a plan or series of actions to better align planning processes, based on the experience of Task Force member states.
February 8, 2021
Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning Fact Sheet
Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning Fact Sheet
January 21, 2021
Public Utility Commission Stakeholder Engagement: A Decision-Making Framework
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. The whitepaper also offers commissions a framework to evaluate decision points as they design stakeholder processes by providing key questions, emerging best practices, and related resources informed by other commissions’ experiences.
January 13, 2021
Executive Summary: Private, State, and Federal Funding and Financing Options to Enable Resilient, Affordable, and Clean Microgrids
NARUC-NASEO Microgrids State Working Group
January 13, 2021
Executive Summary: User Objectives and Design Approaches for Microgrids: Options for Delivering Reliability and Resilience, Clean Energy, Energy Savings, and Other Priorities
NARUC-NASEO Microgrids State Working Group
January 13, 2021
Private, State, and Federal Funding and Financing Options to Enable Resilient, Affordable, and Clean Microgrids
NARUC-NASEO Microgrids State Working Group
January 13, 2021
User Objectives and Design Approaches for Microgrids: Options for Delivering Reliability and Resilience, Clean Energy, Energy Savings, and Other Priorities
NARUC-NASEO Microgrids State Working Group
January 6, 2021
Understanding Cybersecurity for the Smart Grid: Questions for Utilities
Understanding Cybersecurity for the Smart Grid: Questions for Utilities
October 26, 2020
Artificial Intelligence for Natural Gas Utilities: A Primer
Artificial Intelligence for Natural Gas Utilities: A Primer
October 23, 2020
Appendix B - Template Cyber TTX Checklist (Cybersecurity TTX Guide)
Appendix B of NARUC's Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Guide
October 23, 2020
Appendix C - Template SitMan (Cybersecurity TTX Guide)
Appendix C of NARUC's Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Guide
October 23, 2020
Appendix D - Template Exercise Evaluation Guide (Cybersecurity TTX Guide)
Appendix D of NARUC's Cybersecurity TTX Guide.
October 23, 2020
Appendix E - Template AAR-IP (Cybersecurity TTX Guide)
Appendix E of NARUC's Cybersecurity TTX Guide.
October 23, 2020
Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Guide
This guide details the steps that PUCs can take to design, execute, and evaluate a cybersecurity-focused tabletop exercise (TTX). An exercise could examine utilities’ and other stakeholders’ readiness to respond to and recover from a cybersecurity incident or analyze the PUC's internal capabilities. This guide includes example scenarios and customizable templates.
October 23, 2020
Public Utility Commission Participation in GridEx V: A Case Study
This case study examines the experiences of six public utility commissions who participated in GridEx V. It highlights the benefits they perceived as well as the challenges they encountered. The intent of this case study is to pave the way for more PUCs to actively engage in the planning, preparation, and play for GridEx VI, slated to take place in November 2021. Through GridEx, PUCs have the opportunity to build relationships, clarify roles, and strengthen their response capabilities in coordination with key partners.
October 15, 2020
Battery Energy Storage Technology Adoption & Electric Utility Structure
Battery Energy Storage Technology Adoption & Electric Utility Structure: Analyzing factors driving storage deployment across utility ownership structures
October 5, 2020
NCEP Mini Guide: Engagement between Public Utility Commissions and State Energy Offices
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.
April 21, 2020
NARUC Smart Grid Interoperability
NARUC Smart Grid Interoperability
April 10, 2020
Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies
Resilience is an important focus for state energy regulators, particularly as novel and more severe threats have emerged and caused substantial damage to the energy system and broader society in recent years. Traditional definitions and measures of reliability do not fully account for the array of system threats and impacts. As NARUC observed in 2013, “Resilience fits within the existing structure of reliability that public utility commissions already oversee, but is particularly valuable for dealing with severe and non-traditional hazards” (Keogh & Cody, 2013). This paper aims to provide an overview of the potential resilience benefits of distributed energy resources (DERs) and how commissions can incorporate DERs into resilience planning. The conversation around defining and quantifying resilience is complex and decentralized among numerous stakeholders (Rickerson et al., 2019). Commissions, however, are well positioned to apply a resilience lens to DER deployment strategies given their role in deciding who pays for DERs, what revenue streams DERs cans pursue, who owns DERs, and how DERs are treated in resource planning. This paper does not attempt to draw conclusions from that ongoing conversation but instead focuses on the following questions: • How are state commissions approaching electricity system resilience? What is the commission’s role? • What is the relationship of DERs to system resilience? • How can states implement policies to expand DER deployment in a manner that improves resilience?
April 10, 2020
Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: Key Questions and Resources
State energy regulators have a clear interest in improving the resilience of the electricity distribution system. System disruptions are costly, inconvenient, and can be devastating, depending on the duration. The vast majority of service interruptions are located in the distribution system; unfortunately, these interruptions are increasing in frequency and pose severe threats to the provision of reliable electricity service. While regulators are familiar with monitoring and regulating system reliability – defined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as the electric system’s ability to (a) supply adequate power to meet demand and (b) withstand sudden disturbances or unanticipated loss of components – resilience is a newer term that lacks a universally accepted definition and metrics. FERC defines resilience as the ability of the system to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and/or rapidly recover from disruptions, while NARUC defined resilience in a 2013 paper as “robustness and recovery characteristics of utility infrastructure and operations, which avoid or minimize interruptions of service during an extraordinary and hazardous event.” While state energy regulators have generally not yet arrived at state-specific definitions of resilience, they are paying increasing attention to how resilience can be incorporated into the regulatory process by exploring how to ensure utility and customer investments achieve resilience benefits when possible. This resource has two complementary parts: I: A list of questions that offers an initial starting point for state public utility commissions (commissions) to frame how they review proposed utility investments and considerations that could offer resilience benefits The questions are divided into three categories: (a) initiating a public utility commission conversation about system resilience, (b) considering particular projects or investments, and (c) understanding the broader resilience landscape. II: A list of relevant resources to improve a regulator’s ability to oversee resilience investments and obtain the best possible solutions for customers. The list of resources includes a synopsis of relevant topics covered in each resource.
February 25, 2020
Black Sea Cybersecurity Strategy Development Guide (English)
With the support of the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has developed this document, the Black Sea Cybersecurity Strategy Development Guide, in order to provide information and lessons learned that will support Black Sea regulators in developing their own commissions’ cybersecurity strategies.
February 7, 2020
Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Replacement and Modernization: A Review of State Programs
Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Replacement and Modernization: A Review of State Programs
January 24, 2020
Recent Changes to U.S. Coal Plant Operations and Current Compensation Practices
This report explores the ongoing shift from coal generation towards natural gas and renewables. With 30 gigawatts of coal capacity having retired in the past two years, the report details how remaining coal plants are managing increasing pressure to act as load-following — or cycling—resources, particularly in states with high reliance on intermittent renewable generation.
December 19, 2019
Electric Vehicles: Key Trends, Issues, and Considerations for State Regulators
Electric Vehicles: Key Trends, Issues, and Considerations for State Regulators examines trends in EV adoption, provides a synopsis of the types of decisions commissions are facing, and offers examples of recent state regulatory approaches to EV questions. The issue brief outlines the key issues and perspectives that commissions are likely to hear from stakeholders. Topics include who may own charging infrastructure, how to encourage charging during off-peak hours through rate design and managed charging, and emerging issues.
November 14, 2019
Aligning Integrated Resource Planning and Distribution Planning: Standard Building Blocks of Electricity System Planning Processes
Standard Building Blocks of Electricity System Planning Processes
October 17, 2019
NCEP Mini Guide: Engagement between Public Utility Commissions and State Legislatures
The mini guide suggests that a strong and collaborative relationship between state legislatures and commissions is instrumental to establishing coherent, comprehensive and cost-effective energy policies at the state level. This mini guide contains condensed excerpts from interviews with legislators and commissioners from three states: Minnesota, Vermont and Washington.
July 18, 2019
NCEP Mini Guide: Local Government Engagement with Public Utility Commissions
The mini guide identifies key areas in which local governments may engage with PUCs, the potential impacts of local government engagement at PUCs and opportunities that exist to make regulatory processes more accessible for city and county staff. Questions and answers from interviews with local government staff and commissioners or commission staff from California, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota are included.
July 18, 2019
NCEP Mini Guide: State Agency Coordination During Energy-Related Emergencies
The mini guide aims to identify organizational models that enable effective coordination, describe their benefits and highlight how some states have overcome challenges that may inhibit successful coordination. To gain insights into how collaborative relationships work in practice, NARUC interviewed state agency partners in Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia. Interview questions were designed to elicit best practice insights from public utility commissions, state energy offices and state offices of emergency management—all of whom play key roles in emergency support functions related to energy (ESF-12).
July 17, 2019
Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure
A product of the DOE-NARUC Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership Administered by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Center for Partnerships & Innovation
July 3, 2019
Cybersecurity Preparedness Evaluation Tool
Cybersecurity Preparedness Evaluation Tool
July 3, 2019
Understanding Cybersecurity Preparedness: Questions for Utilities
Understanding Cybersecurity Preparedness: Questions for Utilities
November 5, 2018
The Interface between Utility Regulation and Financial Markets
The Interface between Utility Regulation and Financial Markets
January 1, 2018
Evolution of the Distribution System and the Potential for Distribution-Level Markets: A Primer for State Utility Regulators
Evolution of the Distribution System and the Potential for Distribution-Level Markets: A Primer for State Utility Regulators
October 1, 2017
Regulating in the Public Interest: An Analysis of the Impacts of Electricity Price Shocks on Public Utility Commissions
The dual trends of utilities' increasing investments in the electric system and decreasing load growth have the potential to put upward pressure on electricity rates. This paper examines whether historic rate changes could illustrate an upper bound for rate changes, and whether those changes resulted in shortened tenures for public utility commissioners. This resulting analysis seeks to obtain insights through analysis of historical data. First, the analysis quantified the magnitudes of rate and bill changes that have occurred since 1990. Second, the analysis identified, both quantitatively and qualitatively, how utility commissioners have responded to or been affected by rate increases. Qualitatively, NARUC staff conducted interviews with staffers from six commissions that had experienced a period of "crisis" that was not necessarily related to rates. In conclusion, the statistics did not identify an obvious relationship between large rate increases and effects on utility commissioners. The interviews did identify a range of effective, ratepayer-centric strategies that have been useful to past commissioners weathering crises.
January 30, 2017
Cybersecurity-A Primer for State Utility Regulators Version 3.0
Produced by NARUC’s Research Lab, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the third edition of Cybersecurity-A Primer for State Utility Regulators is a manual for state public utility commissions for ensuring that utility systems are prepared and resilient against cyberattacks. Although intended primarily for state commissions, the manual is also readable and useful to a range of policymakers. The new edition is updated to include the most recent guidelines and tools for regulators and the companies they regulate to improve security, with more than double the sample questions and guidance on how to use them.
October 27, 2016
IT Investments NARUC Surge Summary September 2016
On September 9th, 2016 the NARUC Research Lab convened state public utility commission staffers on a "surge" technical assistance call to learn from one another about utility information technology (IT) expenditures. As a group, we sought to explore how much spending on IT by utility companies is prudent. During the call we sought to explore the categories of IT investments made by utilities; IT cost recovery requests embedded in utility rate cases; IT solutions by state; how much commissions are approving for cost recovery on IT investments by utilities; as well as questions regulators can ask utilities in an effort to understand utility IT expenditures (including cybersecurity IT costs).
September 30, 2016
Risk Management in Critical Infrastructure Protection: An Introduction for State Regulators
This is a paper about risk management: what it is, how regulators can use it, and how they can ask questions to explore its use by the regulated utilities and other stakeholders they interact with. Risk management is a complex discipline that leverages statistics and other quantitative methods, as well as psychology and other qualitative methods, and this paper lays out an introduction to what risk management is and gives a few starting points for regulators interested in augmenting their processes with it. In particular, it focuses on ways that regulators can employ risk-informed thinking to make choices around the areas of critical infrastructure protection.
September 30, 2016
State Surge Brief: Enhanced Oil Recovery
On September 23, 2016, State staff came together for a technical assistance "surge"to explore enhanced oil recovery (EOR), and the implications for state regulators. We summarized the information-sharing that happened in this summary, and it's well-worth a read if you want a starting point for understanding how state agencies understand and address this policy topic.
September 30, 2016
Surface Transportation Interdependencies & Convergence with the Power Sector
State commissions may not realize that they regulate areas of the transportation sector, or how interdependent transportation and power are. This paper lays out what state authorities exist in transportation, and explores the ways power and transport are converging. This paper is written to help state regulators enhance their understanding of these connections.
August 5, 2016
State Technical Assistance Surge Brief: Smart Inverters
NARUC’s Lab hosted a call on Monday, June 27 2016 as part of our new "surge" effort to help link state staffers to learn from each other. The first call focused on smart inverters, and was for state PUC staffers to share experiences and grow their understanding of power sector technologies, markets, and the associated regulatory policies. This document summarizes the discussion.
November 5, 2015
Constructing State Plans for the Clean Power Plan: The First Questions to Ask
CPP Governance draft 11_5_15 MK.docx
November 1, 2015
Regional Mutual Assistance Groups: A Primer
NARUC RMAG Paper 11_2_2015.pdf