The National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) was founded in 1976 by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). NRRI serves as a research arm to NARUC and its members, the utility regulatory commissions of the fifty states and the District of Columbia in the United States. NRRI’s primary mission is to produce and disseminate relevant and applicable research for NARUC members.
To serve state utility regulators by producing and disseminating relevant, high-quality research that provides the analytical framework and practical tools necessary to improve their public interest decision-making.
The NARUC-NRRI Relationship
NRRI was founded in 1976 by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). While corporately independent, NARUC and NRRI are linked in multiple ways to ensure accountability. NRRI’s formation and its dues structure were approved by NARUC’s Board of Directors. NRRI’s bylaws were approved by the NARUC Board’s Executive Committee. State commissioners constitute a majority of NRRI’s Board. NARUC’s Executive Committee receives regular reports on NRRI from its Second Vice President, who is an ex officio member of NRRI’s Board. The NARUC Board’s Education and Research Subcommittee evaluates NRRI’s performance and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. NARUC’s Executive Director is a member of the NRRI Board and NARUC’s Chief Financial Officer is a member of the audit committee of NRRI’s Board.
NRRI serves as a research instrument to its dues payers. NARUC, as the association of all state regulators, is invested in quality research serving its members. NRRI will coordinate its activities to support NARUC’s policy, research, educational and member-support service to state commissions.
What's New / What's Next:
NRRI Webinar Series
NRRI webinars are hosted once a month on a Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.
Are Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs Still Relevant? - December 11, 2019, time 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
Many states have efficiency, renewable, carbon, or climate goals, or some combination. Energy efficiency has long been touted as the most cost-effective approach to reducing carbon emissions in the buildings sector. Yet despite decades of support for efficiency programs in many states, studies show that billions of dollars of un-realized savings remain from further investment in efficient appliances and building practices. At the same time, energy customers are increasingly investing in other, more visible indications of "green" or climate-protective behavior, such as installing solar panels or purchasing renewable power, driving electric vehicles, and choosing sustainably-sourced and low embodied-energy goods. This webinar will consider the question of whether and under what circumstances ratepayer-funded efficiency programs should continue to intervene in the residential and commercial buildings market (including both energy-consuming equipment and the building envelope). Does energy efficiency still need programmatic support, and even if so, are there other approaches to reducing carbon emissions that are more cost-effective or better suited to today's policy and economic conditions?
Moderator: Jeff Loiter, Principal Researcher, NRRI
Maggie Molina – Senior Director for Policy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Jennifer Easler – Senior Staff Attorney, Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate
Dian Grueneich – Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
Ken Costello – Regulatory Economist, Independent Consultant
Recent Research Papers, NRRI Insights and more
NRRI 19-03 State Responses to Net Neutrality
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.