National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

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National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
Formation 1889
Type Non-profit organization (trade association)
Headquarters 1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005
President
Robert Powelson
First Vice President
John W. Betkoski III
Second Vice President
Ellen Nowak
Treasurer
David E. Ziegner
Staff
42
Website naruc.org

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is the national association representing the state public service commissioners who regulate essential utility services, including energy, telecommunications, and water. NARUC members are responsible for assuring reliable utility service at fair, just, and reasonable rates. Founded in 1889, the Association is a resource for its members and the regulatory community, providing a venue to set and influence public policy, share best practices, and foster solutions to improve regulation.

Each summer, NARUC holds committee meetings. Major issues in 2016 for regulatory commissioners are rate design and the EPA's Clean Power Plan. Rate design deals with the issue of how to charge (and pay) customers who generate their own electricity through means such as rooftop solar devices. Consumers whose homes or businesses have solar panels that generate power can typically sell back excess electricity to the power grid in a process called net metering. For 2017, from its annual conference (held in July in San Diego), interoperability was a key issue. According to experts from the conference, it is important that the electric grid and smart technologies can work together. The concept is referred to as interoperability. This refers to the ability of different systems being able to share information with each other, interpret the data that they share, and present it to consumers in a way that is accessible.[1]

The NARUC Board of Directors formally adopted the “Distributed Energy Resources Rate Design and Compensation” manual during NARUC’s annual meeting in La Quinta, California in November 2016. The manual was created as a guide for utility regulators in the process of implementing appropriate DER rate design and compensation policies.[2][3]

The president of NARCU is Robert Powelson, who was appointed in November 2016 to the position. He previously served as commissioner on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.[4]

Committees and task forces[edit]

Standing committees[edit]

NARUC has eight standing committees that propose policies for NARUC to support on federal and state issues.[5]

Consumer Affairs[edit]

The Consumer Affairs Committee examines how state commissions protect consumer interests as it relates to many industries, including the telecommunications and energy industries. Major issues include "slamming", information protection, and consumer education.[6]

Critical Infrastructure[edit]

This committee was created after the 2001 terrorist attacks to look at security concerns surrounding utility infrastructure. The committee helps state regulators share best practices and collaborate about the best security practices.[7] The committee chairman is Richard S. Mroz of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. It has one subcommittee, the Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure which is chaired by Lynn P. Costantini of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.[7][8]

Electricity[edit]

According to NARUC, the "Electricity Committee develops and advances policies that promote reliable, adequate, and affordable supply of electricity." The committee works closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other federal agencies.[9]

The committee chairman is Edward S. Finley, Jr. of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. It has six subcommittees:[9]

  • Staff Subcommittee on Electricity
  • Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability
  • Staff Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management
  • Staff Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal
  • Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal
  • Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management

According to experts from a NARUC conference in July 2017, it is important that the electric grid and smart technologies can work together. The concept is referred to as interoperability. This refers to the ability of different systems being able to share information with each other, interpret the data that they share, and present it to consumers in a way that is accessible.[10]

Energy Resources and the Environment[edit]

The committee works with state regulators to find ways to create environmentally sustainable and affordable energy for utilities. Major issues the committee focuses on include:[11]

  • Energy efficiency
  • Protection of the environment
  • Renewable energy and distributed resources (net metering)
  • Assistance to low-income utility customers

Gas[edit]

The Committee on Gas hosts panel discussions and educational sessions to help NARUC's constituency understand issues affecting natural gas. The committee works with FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.[12]

The chairman is Stan Wise of the Georgia Public Service Commission. It has three subcommittees: the Staff Subcommittee on Gas; Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety; and Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety,[12] which is chaired by Norman Saari, a commissioner on the Michigan Public Service Commission.[13]

International Relations[edit]

According to NARUC, "With the trend of energy market development expands overseas, several countries have sought help and best practices from their American counterparts. The International Committee manages NARUC's outreach activities across the globe, including partnerships with numerous countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Bangladesh."[14]

Telecommunications[edit]

Since the telecommunications industry was deregulated in 1996, both the industry and the regulators' roles have quickly changed. The committee serves state regulators by sharing best practices and trends related to telecommunications issues. It works with many federal agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and FBI.[15]

Water[edit]

The committee works with the EPA, water companies, and state water administrators to discuss issues about the use and reuse of water.[16]

Task forces[edit]

Innovation[edit]

The Task Force on Innovation focuses on new technologies and innovation in the utility sector. Topics will include:[17]

  • Integrated energy networks
  • Battery storage
  • Renewables
  • Smart networks
  • Information technologies
  • Data analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • New technology regulations

Veterans' Workforce[edit]

The Task Force on Veterans' Workforce will focus on veterans programs and job opportunities in the utilities sector.[17]

Board of directors[edit]

The following board members are officers or committee or task force chairs:[18]

Name Position State Commission
Robert F. Powelson President Pennsylvania
John W. Betkoski, III First Vice President Connecticut
Ellen Nowak Second Vice President Wisconsin
David E. Ziegner Treasurer Indiana
Greg R. White Executive Director (none - works at NARUC)
David W. Danner Chairman, Committee on International Relations Washington
Edward S. Finley, Jr. Chairman, Committee on Electricity North Carolina
Mary-Anna Holden Chairwoman, Committee on Water New Jersey
John E. Howard Chairman, Subcommittee on Education

and Research

South Carolina
Paul Kjellander Chairman, Committee on Telecommunications Idaho
Nancy Lange Chairwoman, Committee on Energy Resources

and the Environment

Minnesota
Sherina Maye Edwards Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Supplier and

Workforce Diversity

Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety

Illinois
Richard S. Mroz Chairman, Committee on Critical Infrastructure New Jersey
Brandon Presley Chairman, Committee on Consumer Affairs Mississippi
Stan Wise Chairman, Committee on Gas Georgia
Brien J. Sheahan Chairman, Task Force on Innovation[17] Illinois
Judith W. Jagdmann Chairwoman, Task Force on Veterans' Workforce[17] Virginia

The remaining board members are:[18]

Name State Commission
Bob Anthony Oklahoma
Ronald A. Brise Florida
Betty Ann Kane District of Columbia
W. Kevin Hughes Maryland
G. O'Neal Hamilton South Carolina
Jolette A. Westbrook Massachusetts
Audrey Zibelman New York
Lorraine H. Akiba Hawaii
Carla Peterman California
Asim Z. Haque Ohio
Robert R. Scott New Hampshire
Mark Vannoy Maine
Nick Wagner Iowa
Margaret E. Curran Rhode Island
Kara Brighton Wyoming
Doug Little Arizona
Chris Nelson South Dakota

NARUC appointed two new board members at its winter meeting in 2017. Doug Little of the Arizona Corporation Commission was appointed to a term that begins immediately in February 2017 and ends in October 2020. As an Arizona Corporation Commissioner, Little was first elected in November 2014 and served as the chairman in 2016. He was the vice chairman of the Western Energy Imbalance Market Body of State Regulators and is a member of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Board.[19]

Chris Nelson is a commissioner on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He was appointed to serve on the board of NARUC on January 12, 2017 through October 2018. He previously served on the board in 2014 and was the chairman of the Committee on Telecommunications. He previously served as the South Dakota Secretary of State for eight years.[20]

Issues[edit]

At the NARUC winter committee meeting on February 13, 2017, two experts discussed the elements that determine solar value and the benefits and challenges of utility scale versus rooftop solar.[21]

Solar prices, subsidies, net metering rules, and technology are all elements that determine the value of solar energy. Rooftop solar, also known as distributed solar, has upsides and downsides. Upsides include peak shaving, resiliency, voltage and frequency support, the distribution of power where it is developed, load reduction, and the flow of energy back into the system. However, rooftop solar costs 2 to 3 times as much as utility scale solar and it gets subsidized. Utility scale solar contains nearly all of the "pro" arguments for rooftop solar, but without the subsidies.[21]

State regulatory commissions[edit]

State Commission Name Website
Alabama Alabama Public Service Commission http://www.psc.Alabama.gov
Alaska Regulatory Commission of Alaska http://rca.alaska.gov
Arizona Arizona Corporation Commission http://www.azcc.gov
Arkansas Arkansas Public Service Commission http://www.arkansas.gov/psc
California California Public Utilities Commission http://www.cpuc.ca.gov
Colorado Colorado Public Utilities Commission http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/puc
Connecticut Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority http://www.ct.gov/pura
Delaware Delaware Public Service Commission http://depsc.delaware.gov
District of Columbia Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia http://www.dcpsc.org
Florida Florida Public Service Commission http://www.psc.state.fl.us
Georgia Georgia Public Service Commission http://www.psc.state.ga.us
Hawaii Hawaii Public Utilities Commission http://puc.hawaii.gov
Idaho Idaho Public Utilities Commission http://www.puc.idaho.gov
Illinois Illinois Commerce Commission http://www.icc.illinois.gov
Indiana Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission http://www.in.gov/iurc
Iowa Iowa Utilities Board http://iub.iowa.gov
Kansas Kansas Corporation Commission http://www.kcc.ks.gov
Kentucky Kentucky Public Service Commission http://psc.ky.gov
Louisiana Louisiana Public Service Commission http://www.lpsc.org
Maine Maine Public Utilities Commission http://www.maine.gov/mpuc
Maryland Maryland Public Service Commission http://www.psc.state.md.us
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities http://www.mass.gov/dpu
Michigan Michigan Public Service Commission http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc
Minnesota Minnesota Public Utilities Commission http://www.mn.gov/puc
Mississippi Mississippi Public Service Commission http://www.psc.state.ms.us
Missouri Missouri Public Service Commission http://www.psc.mo.gov
Montana Montana Public Service Commission http://www.psc.mt.gov
Nebraska Nebraska Public Service Commission http://psc.nebraska.gov
Nevada Public Utilities Commission of Nevada http://puc.nv.gov
New Hampshire New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission http://www.puc.nh.gov
New Jersey New Jersey Board of Public Utilities http://www.bpu.state.nj.us
New Mexico New Mexico Public Regulation Commission http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us
New York New York State Public Service Commission http://www.dps.ny.gov
North Carolina North Carolina Utilities Commission http://www.ncuc.net
North Dakota North Dakota Public Service Commission http://www.psc.nd.gov
Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio http://www.puco.ohio.gov/
Oklahoma Oklahoma Corporation Commission http://www.occeweb.com
Oregon Oregon Public Utility Commission http://www.puc.state.or.us
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission http://www.puc.pa.gov
Rhode Island Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission http://www.ripuc.org
South Carolina South Carolina Public Service Commission http://www.psc.sc.gov
South Dakota South Dakota Public Utilities Commission http://www.puc.sd.gov
Tennessee Tennessee Regulatory Authority http://www.tn.gov/tra
Texas Public Utility Commission of Texas http://www.puc.texas.gov
Utah Public Service Commission of Utah http://www.psc.utah.gov
Vermont Vermont Public Service Board http://psb.vermont.gov
Virginia Virginia State Corporation Commission http://www.scc.virginia.gov
Washington Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission http://www.utc.wa.gov
West Virginia Public Service Commission of West Virginia http://www.psc.state.wv.us
Wisconsin Wisconsin Public Service Commission http://psc.wi.gov
Wyoming Wyoming Public Service Commission http://psc.state.wy.us

References[edit]

  1. ^ Randolph, Kevin (2017-07-21). "Interoperability key for modernization of grid, panel says - Daily Energy Insider". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-03. 
  2. ^ "NARUC Releases Final Distributed Energy Resources Manual". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  3. ^ Rozens, Tracy (2016-11-16). "NARUC’s rate design manual draws praise from utilities and solar groups". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  4. ^ "NARUC names Powelson of Pa. PUC as organization’s new president". Daily Energy Insider. Washington, D.C. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Committees Overview". NARUC. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Committee on Consumer Affairs". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Committee on Critical Infrastructure". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure". members.naruc.org. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  9. ^ a b "Committee on Electricity". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Interoperability key for modernization of grid, panel says - Daily Energy Insider". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  11. ^ "Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  12. ^ a b "Committee on Gas". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Michigan commissioner appointed to chair NARUC pipeline safety subcommittee". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  14. ^ "Committee on International Relations". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  15. ^ "Committee on Telecommunications". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  16. ^ "Committee on Water". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  17. ^ a b c d "NARUC executive committee creates innovation, veterans’ workforce task forces". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  18. ^ a b "Members". National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  19. ^ "Arizona Commissioner appointed to NARUC Board of Directors". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  20. ^ "South Dakota PUC’s Chris Nelson appointed to NARUC board of directors". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  21. ^ a b "Value of utility scale vs. rooftop solar debated amid price decline". Daily Energy Insider. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 

External links[edit]