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What's New / What's Next:

COVID-19 State Response Tracker

NARUC, NRRI, EEI, and other industry groups have coordinated to provide this tool for tracking state responses to COVID-19. This tracker will be updated regularly as additional information becomes available. Click a document type to review its content.

NARUC, NRRI Delegation Supports Puerto Rico Regulatory Training Efforts

As Puerto Rico seeks to rebuild its infrastructure after Hurricane Maria and this year’s devastating earthquakes, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) are working with regulators in Puerto Rico to exchange ideas about similar undertakings on the mainland. To support this effort, NARUC and NRRI are working with the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a regulator-to-regulator exchange of ideas and best practices in the energy, telecommunications, and consumer service areas.

 

NRRI Webinar Series

NRRI webinars are hosted once a month on a Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Utility Rate Making

A Three-Part Webinar Series

NRRI is excited to present a three webinar series on the impact of COVID-19 on utility rate making.  State responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including stay at home orders, disconnection moratoria, and changes in utility usage patterns, have had a significant effect on utilities, customers, and PUCs.  This webinar series will address those issues and provide information on the tools that states may use to respond to the crisis.

The three webinars will be moderated by Carl Pechman, Ph.D., Director, NRRI, and Cheryl Bulezca-Banks, Florida, PSC, Chair, NARUC Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance.

Register for one or all parts of the series.  Discounts will apply for participants registering for all 3 sessions. To register at the discounted rate, register here

Wednesday, May 27, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT:  The Interim Regulatory Treatment of COVID-19 Costs

Register now

The Interim Regulatory Treatment of COVID-19 Costs, will describe the tools (accounting methods and de-coupling) that state commissions can use to respond to the rate making issues caused by changes in demand, payment, and the need to provide specialized support for workers and customers resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Panelists:

Bill Steele, President, Bill Steele and Associates
Janine Migden-Ostrander, Principal Regulatory Assistance Project
John Howat, Sr., Policy Analyst, National Consumer Law Center

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2:00-3:30 PM EDT: COVID-19 & Lessons Learned from Prior Utility Financial Challenges

Register now

COVID-19 and Lessons Learned from Other Utility Financial Challenges, will discuss the ways in which state commissions have addressed previous emergencies, including the financial implications of the California energy crisis, the shutdown of nuclear plants in Florida, and Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. 

Panelists:

Hon. Upendra Chivukula, New Jersey BPU
Mark Cicchetti, Bureau Chief of Finance, Tax, and Cost Recovery, Florida PSC
Frank Lindh, former General Counsel, CPUC

Recent Research Papers, NRRI Insights and more

NRRI 19-03 State Responses to Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Restoring Internet Freedom (RIF) order was released in December 2017 and published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2018. The order redefines Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) as an information service, regulated under Title I of the Telecommunications Act, rescinds the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet order to oversee Internet Service Providers1 (ISPs) under Title II of the Act, and removes FCC oversight of net neutrality rules. State responses to the RIF order were immediate, although approaches have varied.

Download the paper here

NRRI 19-02 State Universal Service Funds 2018: Updating the Numbers

Universal Service is a key component of both federal and state communications policy. Its goal is to ensure that regardless of where they live, all citizens have access to robust, reliable communications services, including broadband connectivity, at affordable rates, with “reasonably comparable service” across the country. The four Federal Universal Service funds (FUSF)—High Cost/Connect America (CAF), Schools and Libraries (E-Rate), Lifeline, and Rural Healthcare—provide financial support to carriers (and, in the case of the Lifeline fund, consumers) to bring 21st century communications services to users across the country.

Download the paper here

NRRI 19-01 Review of State Net Energy Metering

The objective of this paper is to summarize actions now being taken in many states to change rate designs for distributed energy resources (DER) on the customer side of the meter. Net energy metering (NEM) has been the most common rate design used for customers with small-scale generators that provide what is sometimes known as self-service power. Recently, there has been considerable interest in finding alternatives to net metering by legislatures and public utility commissions (PUCs), with some related deliberations underway or recently concluded in at least 48 states and the District of Columbia. These actions sometimes arise from preexisting legislative or regulatory requirements that trigger reviews when the total installed NEM system capacity or energy production, either for individual utilities or statewide, reaches a predetermined threshold. In other cases, regulatory reviews have been requested by utility companies through proposals to replace net-metering with other alternatives.

Download the paper here

NRRI Insights: Telecommunications Questions to Consider as Schools and Businesses Go Online

The COVID-19 virus will have impacts on telecommunications services and systems across the country. This NRRI alert provides some thoughts regarding questions commissions may wish to consider as we move to a “virtual world.”

Download the paper here