NRRI

Regulatory Training Initiative

Regulatory Training Initiative

NRRI's Regulatory Training Initiative (RTI) provides comprehensive training to the regulatory community using a variety of learner-centric, flexible methods. Training content and materials will be available through a comprehensive, on-line "learning site" and will include on-demand courses, instructor-led classes, discussion boards, a resource library, and other tools. The initial courses will focus on basic principles and common issues confronting regulatory commissions, but the curriculum will expand to include emerging issues and policies in utility regulation, as well as an introduction to new technologies affecting electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications.

USING NRRI’S NEW LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

  1. Ensure you have a “MyNARUC” account by visiting https://www.naruc.org/mynaruc/ and logging in or signing up for an account. There is no charge for a MyNARUC account.
  2. Visit NRRI’s new on-line training site and log in using your MyNARUC username and password. [If you have just come from the MyNARUC site, your credentials may be “saved” and no further login will be required.]
  3. Click on “Register for Courses” to view the course catalog and register.

CURRENT COURSE OFFERINGS

NEW COURSENRRI announces Telecom 101, an 8-hour course on current topics in telecommunications. It reviews the history of telecommunications regulation and universal service and the changes in state and federal oversight as competition has replaced direct regulation. Topics covered include Universal Service, Cooperative Federalism, the 1934 and 1996 Telecommunications Acts, key technical innovations (VoIP, wireless, 5G, satellite broadband), Lifeline, broadband deployment and adoption, and consumer protection.

Telecom 101 will be delivered in four two-hour sessions, from 2 to 4 p.m (ET) on Tuesday & Wednesday, December 7 and 8 and Tuesday & Wednesday, December 14 and 15.

Instructors:    Sherry Lichtenberg, Ph.D., NRRI

                           Dave Malfara, CEO, Big Bang Broadband

Fees:    $150 for NRRI members, $300 for non-members.

NEW COURSE

Join Scott Hempling for Regulating Public Utility Performance, a weekly online course for regulators, decisionmakers, and legal and regulatory practitioners. This 12-week course in the legal fundamentals of utility regulation covers market structure, pricing, mergers and corporate structure, and federal-state jurisdictional issues.

Course term               12 weeks

Course dates              January 10 to March 28, 2021 -- All on Monday evenings

Times                          7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST

Total instruction        18 hours (12 sessions of 1.5 hours each)

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

  • How to distinguish "monopolies" from "monopolizers"
  • How to distinguish anticompetitive conduct from unearned advantage
  • How to set rates without violating the U.S. Constitution
  • The entire alphabet soup of ISOs, RTOs, IPPs, Transcos, CLECs, ILECs
  • Why "deregulation" is a misnomer
  • Why "transmission" now means regional transmission
  • How FERC's wholesale competition efforts are changing how states do their jobs
  • How the repeal of the PUHCA 1935 is reshuffling corporate and market structure
  • Why 80-year-old regulatory statutes makes state-federal relations so awkward
  • How climate change is affecting utility regulation
  • How "public interest" could include environmental protection, stability, and civil rights
  • Why some regulators are so much better at their jobs than others

SYLLABUS

  • Week 1     Regulation's Purposes, Dimensions, and Professions
  • Week 2     Industry Structure Overviews:  Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications
  • Week 3     Market Structure I:  Rights, Obligations and Powers of the Utility
  • Week 4     Market Structure II:  Authorizing Competition in Monopoly Markets
  • Week 5     Market Structure III:  Making Competition Effective
  • Week 6     Sales I:  Ratemaking Under Statute and Constitution
  • Week 7     Sales II:  Undue Discrimination, Filed Rate Doctrine
  • Week 8     Sales III:  Retroactive Ratemaking, Mobile-Sierra Doctrine
  • Week 9     Corporate Structure, Mergers, and Acquisitions
  • Week 10   Federal-State Jurisdictional Relationships
  • Week 11   The Attributes and Actions of Effective Utility Regulators
  • Week 12   Bonus Session:  Analysis of Recent Cases; The Future of Regulation

As with any learning experience, completing the assigned reading before class will dramatically increase the value of this course. You will receive a detailed syllabus and the second edition of Hempling’s book, Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction, upon registration.

Fees: $599, including a copy of the recently published second edition of Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction. State Commissions that pay NRRI membership dues receive a 50% discount on registration fees.

Scott Hempling is an attorney, expert witness, author, and teacher. As an attorney, he has assisted clients from all industry sectors, including regulators, utilities, consumer organizations, independent competitors, and environmental organizations. As a teacher and seminar presenter, he has taught public utility law and policy to a generation of regulators and practitioners, appearing throughout the United States, Europe, the Americas, and more. Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction was first published by the American Bar Association in 2013. It has been described as a “comprehensive regulatory treatise [that] warrants comparison with Kahn and Phillips.” The ABA published an expanded second edition in 20221.

Hempling is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and Administrative Law Judge at the by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

To comply with FERC’s ethics rules, Mr. Hempling receives no royalties from his books or courses.

Click here to register.

 

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND COURSES

Fundamentals of Resource Adequacy: This recent RTI course covers concepts in resource adequacy and emerging methods to ensure grid reliability. This an eight-hour course, presented in four two-hour lectures. The course addresses several topics, including resource adequacy as an assessment of risk; the definitions and relationships between resource adequacy, reliability, and resilience; the role of regulators in assessing, forecasting, and ensuring resource adequacy; and emerging concepts in resource adequacy. Click here to register.

Available on-demand

Fees: $125 for NRRI members, $250 for non-members.

An Introduction to Utility Accounting: This course provides an introduction to general accounting principles, for example, the importance of generally accepted accounting procedures, balance sheets and income statements, and cash vs. accrual accounting. It also addresses items of particular importance to utility regulation, including investments in capital, depreciation, etc. Examples from the utility industry will be used to illustrate key concepts and calculations. Click here to register.

Available on-demand

Fees: $87.50 for NRRI members, $175 for non-members.

An Introduction to Utility Finance: This course provides students with an understanding of the basic finance and regulatory concepts of utility regulation. Topics to be covered include why utilities are regulated; risk and return; portfolio theory; the relationship between rate base and capital structure; the weighted average cost of capital; and the required return on common equity. The course will also review financial concepts commonly associated with utility regulation, such as optimal capital structure, market-to-book ratios, and securitized bonds. Click here to register.

Available on-demand

Fees: $87.50 for NRRI members, $175 for non-members

An Introduction the Theory and Practice of Regulation: This program will provide participants with an introduction to the principles and practice of regulation. The principles of regulation are a mix of engineering, financial, legal, accounting, and economic concepts and methods that provide the basis from which regulatory decisions are made. The practice of regulation focuses on the scope of regulatory decisions and how those decisions are made, including the mix of different types of expertise needed to mold those decisions. Click here to register.

Available on-demand

Fees: FREE

UPCOMING COURSES (PLANNED)

An Introduction to Demand-Side Management: Energy Efficiency and Demand Response
An Introduction in Artificial Intelligence for Utility Systems
Alternative and Performance-Based Regulation
Benefit-Cost Analysis: Tools for assessing alternative regulatory policies

 

MEMBER PRICING FOR RTI COURSES

State commissions with fully paid NRRI dues will receive a 50% discount on all RTI course fees. If you have questions about your dues status, please email us at rtisupport@nrri.org.