Why These Skills are Important Now: Most states’ regulators have seen a flood of utility requests for higher rates in general and for much higher fixed or customer charges in particular. To understand the arguments utilities are making about their need to raise rates and charges, the Weatherization Leveraged Partnerships Project at EOS is providing a series of three seminars to equip advocates for low-income consumers and low-income programs to ward off high mandatory charges and protect efficiency programs that serve low-income communities. You can see the recorded introductory webinar [May, 2015] on-line here.
Who should attend? Leaders of organizations that advocate for or manage affordable utility bills and/or for low-income efficiency or clean energy programs funded by utility ratepayers and the advocates who will have to present the case and win support for those organizations’ goals.
Webinar on September 16th:
Part 1: Utility Rate-Making Principles for Low-Income Advocates 2.0:
[A Deeper Dive]
- How to understand and engage in these elements of a rate case:
- Rate Base (RB),
- Rate of Return (ROR),
- Required Operating Income,
- Revenue Requirement and Rate Design including the
- Cost of Service Study on which the rate design is founded and
- What national consumer advocates are doing to win regulatory decisions that are both fair and evidence–based and
- How Weatherizers, Community Action and other low-income advocates can lead or assist in their efforts.
- Presenters: John T. Colgan [EOS’ regulatory and fixed charge expert]. John is a former five-year Commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission – the public utility commission in Illinois and also served as Vice-President for Public Policy at the Illinois Assoc. of Community Action for more than a decade.
John B. Coffman who is a nationally recognized utility consumer attorney and Utility Counsel of the Missouri Consumers’ Council. He has represented AARP in utility proceedings in more than dozen states. He is the former director of the MO. Office of the Public Counsel and teaches energy utility law at Washington University in St. Louis.
Webinar on September 29:
Part 2: Fair Alternatives for Covering Utilities’ Costs of Clean Energy and Efficiency
The utility of the future will be asked to deliver energy services that include clean energy and efficiency. Consumer advocates and environmental groups reject flat charges as the mechanism to recoup true costs to the distribution company.
This webinar will discuss several alternative policies that low-income advocates will have to consider when faced with industry rate requests and suggest approaches that may be adapted to your state’s utility system. It will offer the key general arguments in favor of or against each. These will include but not be limited to:
- “Decoupling “ revenues from the quantity of energy delivered, including modified versions of the approach that include low-income protections,
- High flat or time-based charges for owners of renewable energy,
- A variety of time-of-use rate variations and, of course,
- Changes in the fixed customer charge for every user.
Presenter: John T. Colgan [see above] with guest expert TBD.