State Approaches to Equitable Distributed Energy Resource Deployment, March 2023
This report was published by the National Governors Association (NGA) in March 2023 and is a product of the State Energy Justice Roundtable hosted by NARUC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the NGA in April 2022. This report outlines how Governors and state energy policy makers are working to advance the deployment of and access to distributed energy resources (DERs) (i.e., rooftop solar, wind energy, heat pumps, electric vehicle infrastructure, battery storage, microgrids, and energy efficiency) across their states and territories.
State Energy Justice Roundtable Series: Participating in Decision Making, February 2023
This report was published by NARUC in February 2023 as a product of the State Energy Justice Roundtable hosted by NARUC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the National Governors Association in April 2022. It includes a background on the concept of energy justice and how it is becoming of higher priority in energy policy. It also outlines the role of participation in decision making in energy justice along with frameworks for communities and public utility commissions to take action to support energy justice progress.
State Energy Justice Roundtable Series: Energy Justice Metrics, February 2023
This report was published by NARUC in February 2023 as a product of the State Energy Justice Roundtable hosted by NARUC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the National Governors Association in April 2022. It includes a background on the concept of energy justice and how it is becoming of higher priority in energy policy. This report also outlines how the collection and analysis of data are essential to support energy justice efforts. It provides a framework by the Initiative for Energy Justice and Front and Centered that was created to guide and evaluate implementation of renewable energy requirements that can be applied to other policies. It also discusses the types of metrics that are relevant to energy justice initiatives and provides real-life examples of how states are using similar metrics to achieve energy justice goals.
State Energy Justice Roundtable Series: Customer Affordability and Arrearages, February 2023
This report was published by NARUC in February 2023 as a product of the State Energy Justice Roundtable hosted by NARUC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the National Governors Association in April 2022. It includes a background on the concept of energy justice and how it is becoming of higher priority in energy policy. This report also outlines the role of affordability and arrearages in energy justice, explaining that energy insecurity is prevalent in historically disadvantaged communities and correlated to overall financial security. It also discusses the characteristics of energy burden, actions to increase affordability, and the pronounced impact of COVID-19 on energy insecurity.
Lessons Learned from the Ongoing Response to the COVID-19 Crisis, October 2021
This report discusses the impact COVID-19 has had on state regulators, utilities, industry stakeholders, and customers as they all have had to adjust to a rapidly changing landscape. It discusses the role of NARUC’s Subcommittee on COVID-19 in gathering and analyzing regulatory and utility actions to prepare lessons learned. It also outlines the COVID-19 key lessons learned for public utility commissions produced by the Subcommittee on COVID-19 resulting from a series of roundtable discussions in April 2021 to allow commissioners, utility industry representatives, and key advocates an opportunity to identify shortcomings with the initial and ongoing response to the pandemic, detail successes, and highlight unique responses from commissions, state energy offices, and the utility and private sector. The report goes on to discuss emergency preparedness strategies and crisis communications, the transition to new business protocols, assessing public sector responses, and a preliminary analysis of financial impacts to utilities and consumers from the COVID-19 crisis
Designing Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Community Solar Compensation Programs, 2022
On February 9, 2022, as part of the NARUC Winter Policy Summit, five NARUC Staff Subcommittees co-hosted two sessions on community solar. (Find presentations and recordings under “Activities” on this webpage.) The speakers’ presentations and this accompanying brief address: community solar market status, benefits of community solar for LMI customers; LMI community solar program design best practices; compensation and rate design; what’s next; and resources for more detailed information.
State Energy Justice Roundtable, April 2022
NARUC, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and National Governors Association (NGA) hosted a State Energy Justice Roundtable in April 2022. Participants included federal and state decision-makers, members of community-based organizations, and subject-matter experts. The Roundtable members explored current state efforts to articulate and incorporate energy justice concerns into energy-related decision-making. Participants established connections with one another to better understand the current landscape of existing resources, learn about emerging efforts, and identify ongoing support opportunities for advancing energy justice. See papers written based on the Roundtable under “Resources” on this webpage.
Regulator’s Roundtable #2: Financial Impacts to the Utility Sector from the COVID-19 Pandemic, April 2022
The previous regulator roundtable focused on ongoing challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic for low-income and also moderate-income customers. As state disconnection moratoria policies have expired, it is estimated that $27 billion in past-due utility bills remain unpaid. States are increasingly focused on customer affordability and proactive repayment policies as specific policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis. The utility sector works closely with state regulators, and energy policymakers on opportunities to connect customers to services and affordable payment plans. This roundtable will explore issues stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, efforts by utilities to improve and expand customer service and assistance, and how information and data sharing between utilities and state agencies can significantly improve the speed of getting assistance to customers and improve outcomes for customers.
Webinar: What is Community Solar – Part 1: Benefits for Low- and Moderate-Income Consumers, February, 2022
Many states offer community solar or solar gardens as a way to enable people without access to rooftop solar the opportunity to enjoy cost savings benefits by using renewable energy. But do we really know if the costs savings are reaching the targeted customers? This panel reviews prominent community solar programs that have been successfully designed in whole or in part to serve, and provide cost savings to, low-to-moderate income and historically underrepresented customers. This panel will discuss the types of marketing and outreach needed to get targeted customers to participate, and what policies and procedures within the programs are necessary to make sure cost savings benefits are received as advertised. Join us to learn how community solar programs should be designed to reach these communities, whether workforce development programs paired with such programs are bringing jobs to the targeted communities, and how developers and utilities can effectively market and attract targeted customers to participate.
Moderator: Hon. Eric Blank, Colorado
Speakers: Richard Caperton, Arcadia; Chris Nichols, Groundswell; Ted Trabue, DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Summary brief: Designing Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Community Solar Compensation Programs (2022)
Webinar: What is Community Solar – Part 2: Cost Impacts to Participants and Non-Participants, February 13, 2022
This panel reports on the costs to participants and non-participants created by a community solar program designed specifically for, or with a carve out for, serving the low-to-moderate and historically underrepresented customers. It seems that every state has different policies and procedures when it comes to the regulatory treatment of a community solar program, and this panel will help you identify which policies and rate designs are right for your state. The panelists will answer questions such as, what factors should be considered when designing the tariffs for these programs? Should the amount of the solar credit be set at the full retail rate, the energy only rate or something entirely different? and Should community solar program costs be included in rate base or be carved out such that only the participants pay for the program and how would that regulatory treatment impact participants’ savings? Creative alternative rate design proposals will be highlighted.
Moderator: Jamie Barber, Director Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Unit, Georgia Public Service Commission
Speakers: Gabriel Chan, University of Minnesota; Matt McDonnell, Strategen Consulting; Katie Ottenweller, Vote Solar
Summary brief: Designing Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Community Solar Compensation Programs (2022)
Regulator’s Roundtable #1: Customer Arrearages, Best Practices for Customer Assistance, and Ongoing Challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic, January 2022
The ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted enormous financial difficulties, not only for low-income, but also moderate-income customers. As state disconnection moratoria policies have expired, it is estimated that $27 billion in past-due utility bills remain unpaid. Customer affordability and proactive repayment policies remain an essential part of a comprehensive approach to addressing utility customers' ability to pay their bills, especially during the ongoing pandemic. This roundtable explored the full financial impact to utility customers from the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged participants to share unique and effective strategies to engage with vulnerable customer classes. Commissioners and commission staff were encouraged to discuss how their state commissions have addressed customer arrearages related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Next Generation of Customer Assistance in an Ongoing Pandemic, November 9, 2021
The ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted enormous financial difficulties, not only for low-income, but also moderate-income customers. As state moratoria policies have expired, it is estimated that $27 billion in past-due utility bills remain unpaid. Customer affordability and proactive repayment policies remain an essential part of a comprehensive approach to addressing utility customers' ability to pay their bills, especially during the ongoing pandemic. This panel explored the full financial impact to utility customers from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as effective strategies to engage with vulnerable customer classes. Panelists detailed innovative collaborations between electric utilities and public assistance agencies, state, and community organizations, and ways to streamline and/ or automate bill assistance to ease customer hardship and ensure ongoing utility sector financial health.
Moderator: Commissioner Ann Rendahl - Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
- Commissioner Maida Coleman - Missouri Public Service Commission
- Chris Ayers, President, National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA)
- Katrina Metzler, Executive Director, National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC)
- Monica Whiting, VP Customer Experience and Chief Customer Officer, Arizona Public Service "
Equitable Access to Battery Energy Storage, April 14, 2021
The topic was inspired by a pair of reports from the Clean Energy Group on Massachusetts’ ConnectedSolutions storage incentive program, which applies energy efficiency budgets to facilitate storage deployment. On this call commission staff from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Hawaii shared their experiences facilitating the deployment of battery energy storage with a focus on how energy storage programs are serving underserved communities such as low- to moderate-income customers and residents of affordable housing communities.
NARUC Subcommittee on COVID-19, October 2020 – November 2021
The Subcommittee on COVID-19, composed of members of NARUC’s Emergency Preparedness Recovery, and Resiliency Task Force and other relevant stakeholders, studied the public utility sector’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The Subcommittee on COVID-19 compiled lessons learned from stakeholder responses to the COVID-19 global health crisis; analyzed coordination between inter-governmental agencies and external stakeholders; and developed a list of best practices for responding to future public health crises.
The final ‘lessons learned’ style report of the Subcommittee on COVID-19 entitled "Lessons Learned from the Ongoing Response to the COVID-19 Crisis" details key lessons learned for state commissions from the ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis. The scope of the analysis includes workforce issues, changing business practices, low- to moderate-income customer impact, regulatory responses, utility financial approaches to pandemic response, and other key challenges.
NARUC is grateful for the support of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity and Grid Deployment Office along with the National Association of State Energy Officials, the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates which enables the resources and activities described on this webpage.
NARUC staff experts who support these activities include: