center for partnerships & innovation

NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

Energy Customers

Ultimately, the energy system must serve the needs of the customers who connect to and pay for energy infrastructure and energy services. Rapid technological change and shifting policy priorities have resulted in many areas where utility regulators play a particularly important role in influencing how customers adopt, respond to, and adapt to new opportunities. The evolving needs of customers at the grid edge are particularly relevant for demand flexibility (e.g., grid-interactive efficient buildings, automated demand response), transportation and heating electrification, and behind-the-meter distributed energy resources (e.g., solar + storage). Furthermore, utility commissions play a critical role in ensuring that all customer perspectives are considered in determining the course of an equitable energy transition, including groups whose voices have traditionally not been heard.

Demand flexibility, also sometimes referred to as load flexibility or active efficiency, is the capability to reduce, shed, shift, or modulate electricity consumption in real time in a way that is beneficial to both consumers and the power system. It also includes new opportunities for managing load to provide a wider range of grid services, following the rapid emergence of consumer-oriented energy technologies such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), smart appliances, electric vehicles, behind-the-meter battery storage, behavioral tools, and grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).

NARUC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to assist state utility regulators and energy officials in learning about GEB opportunities and grid benefits. The NASEO-NARUC GEB State Working Group is open to all NARUC and NASEO members. Learn more.


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Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is increasing around the country, resulting in a new kind of electricity load from EV charging. Commissions are grappling with related challenges, including how to shift this new load to off-peak hours and whether and how utilities will be involved in offering EV charging to drivers. NARUC, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, is working to explore these and related topics with its members and experts through an EV state working group and other initiatives. Learn more.


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Public utility commissions (PUCs) across the country are facing the challenges of an evolving regulatory landscape as consumer needs, new technologies, and policy goals increasingly lead to changes in traditional utility and regulatory practices. Emerging stakeholder engagement processes are a key tool for informed decision-making in this landscape and can help achieve win-win outcomes in the public interest. Learn More.


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Energy justice is defined as the goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system, while also remediating social, economic, and health burdens on those historically harmed by the energy system. Energy justice has recently become a priority for state and federal decision makers as the energy sector transitions from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy resources. NARUC supports state efforts to advance energy justice efforts through initiatives in partnership with U.S. Department of Energy, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the National Governors Association (NGA), and others. Learn More.


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Reports Published as a Result of the State Energy Justice Roundtable Series, February 2023