June 27, 2019

June 26, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 25, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 24, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Natural Resources Defense Council ‎‎(NRDC) and Edison Electric Institute‎‎ (EEI) Issue Joint Statement on Decoupling, Net Metering‎

The Natural Resources Defense Council ‎‎(“NRDC”) and the Edison Electric Institute‎‎ (“EEI”) ‎announced last week that they agree – in principle – that certain changes are needed to the rate ‎structures of electric utilities. The agreement  was announced during a joint presentation at the ‎Winter Meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners ‎ (“NARUC”) ‎and has been covered by many sources as “a kumbaya moment” between two organizations that ‎rarely agree on anything. While it is refreshing to see two important stakeholders making ‎progress on these difficult subjects, the agreement is missing too many details to make it a real ‎breakthrough.‎

For example, with respect to net metering the agreement states that “owners and operators of on-‎site distributed generation must provide reasonable cost-based compensation for the utility ‎services they use, while also being compensated fairly for the services they provide.” As we ‎wrote about, when the Arizona Corporation Commission addressed net metering last ‎year, both sides agreed that rooftop solar customers should pay their fair share of grid costs and ‎be compensated for their energy. But they were far apart on actually calculating the net benefits ‎flowing between the utility and its rooftop solar customers.‎

Most of the joint statement focuses on need to decouple utilities’ revenue from the volume of ‎electricity sold. From the EEI and utility side, this is not surprising since they have been ‎advocating various forms of decoupling for years in response to eroding demand. NRDC’s ‎support for decoupling is based on its pursuit of energy efficiency (“EE”) and distributed (clean) ‎generation (“DG”). NRDC clearly recognizes that EE and DG goals will be imminently more ‎attainable once the utilities are on board and that utilities will not get on board until their ‎financial disincentive – volumetric rates – is removed.‎

The agreement also touches on giving utilities performance based financial incentives, making EE ‎available to low-income customers, and encouraging investment in “smart meters” and “smart ‎grids”.‎

NRDC is one of the country’s most powerful environmental groups that consistently advocates ‎for the promotion of clean energy and efforts to curb global climate change.‎

EEI is an industry association of investor-owned utilities.‎

©2019 All Rights Reserved. Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Associate

As a regulatory lawyer, Matt helps public and private companies successfully interface with ‎government agencies. He mostly focuses on permitting, siting, compliance, and enforcement matters, ‎especially those impacting the mining, energy, construction, and utility industries.‎ 

Leveraging his background in engineering, Matt approaches every project as if he’s solving a puzzle. He ‎thrives on identifying and analyzing all of the pieces and then systematically putting each piece in its ‎proper place to create the best possible result for his client. Whether working with clients or ‎...

602-262-5320