center for partnerships & innovation

NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Emergency Preparedness, and Cybersecurity

NARUC CPI supports state commissions in their work to ensure the energy system is safe, secure, and resilient. Commissions are charged with regulating the utilities who routinely deal with threats to system operations, including physical or cybersecurity activities, weather events, and limitations in supply chains or workforce capacity. NARUC’s efforts focus on partnering with subject matter experts across the federal, state, local, and private sectors to explore topical issues, develop valuable decision-support resources, and deliver training to inform regulatory decision making. Targeted NARUC resources are available related to critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, energy emergency management, defense community partnerships, electric grid resilience, and microgrids.

These activities are coordinated with the Committee on Critical Infrastructure and Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability and Resilience.

The Nation's critical energy infrastructure is diverse and complex, providing essential services that underpin American society. CPI supports state commissions’ efforts to assess risks to the reliability and resilience of critical infrastructure and drive effective action across the planning, preparedness, response, and recovery lifecycle. NARUC’s Critical Infrastructure Committee provides strategic leadership in these efforts. Through this Committee, NARUC provides State regulators with a forum to analyze solutions to utility infrastructure security and delivery concerns, share best practices, and build enduring collaboration with federal and private sector counterparts.

The Critical Infrastructure Committee coordinates activities with the Committees on Electricity, Gas and Water and the Staff Subcommittee on Electricity and Resilience. Learn more.


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Accelerated by advances in technology and modernization efforts, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in the U.S. are growing in frequency and potential for disruption. Cybersecurity risk management has become a top priority for industry and policymakers alike. NARUC CPI works to provide state regulators with strategies, tools, and expertise to engage utilities in discussions about cybersecurity preparedness, response, and recovery planning, policies, and practices. These initiatives, coupled with training and technical assistance, support PUCs in their mission to ensure safe, reliable and resilient energy infrastructure at reasonable rates. Learn more.


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Recent emergency events have heightened the nation’s collective awareness of the need for access to energy and the importance of ensuring the continued delivery of essential energy services. The intensified focus on protecting the reliability of our vulnerable energy systems and creating a more resilient infrastructure will enable the nation to better respond to future large-scale and catastrophic events.

State utility regulators play a critical role in ensuring regulated utilities are adequately prepared to respond to emergency events. State public utility commissions may require their utilities to file disaster preparedness plans with the commission and crucially approve a variety of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery investments. Additionally, state public utility commissions may be designated lead response agencies in the federal Emergency Support Function 12 – Energy (ESF-12) framework. NARUC CPI provides state utility regulators with strategies, tools, and expertise to engage other state agencies and utilities in discussions about energy emergency preparedness, response, and recovery planning, policies, and practices. Learn More.


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The reliability and resilience of the energy system is drawing increasing levels of attention from state utility regulators. While reliability is a broadly accepted term with well-defined metrics, resilience—the ability of the system to anticipate, absorb, recover from, and adapt to disruptive events, particularly high-impact, low-frequency events—is not yet incorporated into regulatory processes. NARUC CPI supportsis state utility regulators’ efforts to define and quantify the benefits of resilience investments that reduce the likelihood, duration, and impacts of interruptions to electricity service. Learn more

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Critical defense facilities seek active partnerships with public utility commissions in their states and appreciate when commissions are engaged with the relevant energy policy agencies at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The U.S. DoD relies heavily on the commercial electric grid for service and any disruption in electricity may present a significant national security vulnerability. Both the DoD and DOE have robust energy resilience requirements that necessitate utility partnership and regulatory attention.

State utility regulators are increasingly being asked to consider utility investments in energy resilience for critical defense facilities, leading to several opportunities for significant civilian-military collaboration around defense energy resilience topics. NARUC CPI supports regulators’ approaches to building those partnerships and offers guidance on several topics including financing of defense energy resilience projects, confidential information sharing, and case studies for key civilian-military collaborations already in development. Learn More.

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