"Surge" calls are forums for state public utility commission staff to share how different commissions are approaching new issues in electricity regulation. These peer exchange opportunities enable staff to learn from each other in an open setting. NARUC staff compile non-attributable summaries of staff comments and discussion after each call.
The next surge call will take place on Monday, August 27 at 3 pm Eastern. Speakers from Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Washington, and Georgia will discuss energy efficiency measurement and verification. Contact Kiera Zitelman for details or to request a discussion topic for a future call.
July 30, 2018
Rooftop solar panels can be inaccessible to low-income residents, apartment dwellers, renters, or other constituencies. Community solar programs have emerged as a way to make solar accessible to everyone by allowing ratepayers to share in an offsite solar facility and receive credit on their electricity bills for their proportion of exported electricity. This call will feature state staff from Illinois, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia to share how community solar programs are structured to increase participation, involve hard-to-reach customers, overcome financing barriers, and contribute to the growth of solar power.
June 25, 2018
Despite varying levels of electric vehicle penetration, many states are preparing for substantial EV growth in the near future. California, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan staff shared how each state is approaching two critical issues for EV growth: rate design for EV owners and deployment of charging infrastructure.
May 14, 2018
NARUC’s Center for Partnerships & Innovation and the Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment convened a state commission staff “surge” call, on which state staff from Alabama, Florida, California, and New Jersey discussed how states are considering utility investments in grid hardening and reliability, particularly in the face of higher damages from extreme weather. These states deal with tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, flooding, and wildfires, and utilities have varying ideas for how to reduce the likelihood of outages. Commission staff shared what investments utilities are making, best practices for rapid recovery, and new tools Commissions should be aware of to improve reliability as the frequency and duration of extreme weather events increase.
April 9, 2018
NARUC’s Center for Partnerships & Innovation and the Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment convened a state commission staff “surge” call, on which state staff from Hawaii, Washington, Indiana, Ohio, and Rhode Island discussed different distribution system planning (DSP) strategies. Across these five states, there are some clear similarities in goals of DSP: multiple staff cited pursuing least-cost solutions, achieving renewable portfolio goals, and providing the most current information as DSP objectives. Commission staff agree on the importance of stakeholder engagement, improving transparency, and educating commissioners, commission staff, utilities, and others involved in the process. However, states diverge in the paths to these objectives.
September 18, 2017
With rapid growth in DER installations, utilities and commissions are paying closer attention to the capability of the distribution grid to handle these additional resources. State commission staff from Michigan, California, and Minnesota provided an udpate on where each state is in reassessing distribution system planning policies to integrate DERs.
July 11, 2017
Passed in the aftermath of the 1973 energy crisis, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) has now been in effect for nearly four decades. Despite a few PURPA amendments and multiple, broad changes in electricity markets, most states have not significantly updated their PURPA rules and buy-back rates since fairly soon after the law was passed. As a result, large and small qualifying facilities (QFs, in PURPA-speak), including renewable-powered generators and particularly distributed generation, could still have difficulty gaining the market foothold PURPA was initially designed to enable. Several states are reexamining PURPA implementation in light of current conditions. Join state public utility commission staff from Michigan, Oregon, Montana, and Massachusetts to discuss each state's approach to updating PURPA rules and where these efforts might lead the electricity sector.
March 24, 2017
NARUC's Lab hosted a call on March 24, 2017, as part of our "surge" effort to link state staffers to learn from each other. This call focused on how various state commissions are considering the costs and benefits of energy storage. This document summarizes presentations from Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona commission staffers and discussion among other state staffers.
February 6, 2017
NARUC's Lab hosted a call on February 6, 2017, as part of our "surge" effort to link state staffers to learn from each other. This call focused on carbon trading programs in the northeast and California: the conception and structure of these programs and their future potential for continued operation or expansion. This document summarizes presentations from Maryland and California staffers and discussion among other state staffers.
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 9, 2016
The NARUC Research Lab convened state public utility commission staffers on a "surge" technical assistance call to learn from one another about how much utilities should be spending on information technology (IT) investments.