our programs

Regulatory Training Initiative

 

 

 

What is the Regulatory Training Initiative?

NARUC's Regulatory Training Initiative (RTI) provides live online and pre-recorded training courses to regulators, commission staff, and stakeholders to increase their knowledge of regulatory issues and processes. The courses focus on the principles of regulation, as well the key skills required to participate in regulatory proceedings, including regulatory accounting and finance, cost-benefit analysis, and the fundamentals of utility law. The curriculum also includes emerging issues and policies in utility regulation, and introductions to new and emerging technologies and requirements affecting electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications. Courses range in length from 6 hours to 18 hours and are accessed remotely via Zoom.  Students are encouraged to ask questions and propose new subjects and instructors to help the initiative grow and expand.

    Upcoming Live RTI Courses

    January 9, 2023 -  Scott Hempling’s Fundamentals of Utility Law

    This 12-week/18 hour course will be held on Monday evenings from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST.  The course covers the legal fundamentals of utility regulation for members of the regulatory community.  It reviews topics such as market structure, pricing, mergers and corporate structure, and federal-state jurisdictional issues.  

    WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

    • How to distinguish “monopolies” from “monopolizers”
    • How to distinguish anticompetitive conduct from unearned advantage
    • How to set rates without violating the U.S. Constitution
    • The entire alphabet soup of ISOs, RTOs, IPPs, Transcos, CLECs, ILECs
    • Why “deregulation” is a misnomer
    • Why “transmission” now means regional transmission
    • How FERC's wholesale competition efforts are changing how states do their jobs
    • How the repeal of the PUHCA 1935 is reshuffling corporate and market structure
    • Why 80-year-old regulatory statutes makes state-federal relations so awkward
    • How climate change is affecting utility regulation
    • How “public interest” could include environmental protection, stability, and civil rights
    • Why some regulators are so much better at their jobs than others

    Week 1     Regulation's Purposes, Dimensions, and Professions

    Week 2     Industry Structure Overviews:  Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications

    Week 3     Market Structure I:  Rights, Obligations and Powers of the Utility

    Week 4     Market Structure II:  Authorizing Competition in Monopoly Markets

    Week 5     Market Structure III:  Making Competition Effective

    Week 6     Sales I:  Ratemaking Under Statute and Constitution

    Week 7     Sales II:  Undue Discrimination, Filed Rate Doctrine

    Week 8     Sales III:  Retroactive Ratemaking, Mobile-Sierra Doctrine

    Week 9     Corporate Structure, Mergers and Acquisitions

    Week 10   Federal-State Jurisdictional Relationships

    Week 11   The Attributes and Actions of Effective Utility Regulators

    Week 12   Bonus Session:  Analysis of Recent Cases; The Future of Regulation

    As with any learning experience, completing the assigned reading before class will dramatically increase the value of this course. You will receive a detailed syllabus and the second edition of Hempling’s book, Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction, upon registration.

    Fees: $300  full NARUC State Members; $599 for all others.  Price includes a copy of the second edition of Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction.

    Click here to register

    January 24, 25, 26 – The Basics of Utility Accounting and Ratemaking for Regulators

    This 3-day/6 hour course provides an introduction to the processes, general principles, and terms used in financial accounting and reporting by regulated utilities.  The course addresses items of particular importance to utility regulation, including investments in capital, depreciation, etc. Examples from the utility industry will be used to illustrate key concepts and calculations.

    Fees: $150  full NARUC State members; $300 all others

    February 21, 22, 23 – Rate Case Basics – How to Prepare, Read, and Analyze a Utility Rate Case

    This 3-day/6 hour course provides an introduction to utility rate cases.  It reviews the basic parts of a rate case and explains how these cases are developed.  Students will learn how to read and audit a rate case.

    Fees: $150 full NARUC State members; $300 others

    March 21, 22, 23, 2023 - How to Be An Effective Witness

    This 3 day/ 6 hour live course us directed to commissioners, commission staff, and stakeholders who prepare and deliver testimony in state regulatory proceedings.  It reviews the institutional context of administrative agencies and how they implement their key purpose, the promotion of the public interest, through witness testimony. The course will also provide guidelines for writing sound and persuasive testimony as the foundation for being an effective witness.

    Fees: $150  full NARUC State members; $300 others

    AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND COURSES

    Benefit-Cost Analysis for Distributed Energy Resources:  This course reviews the purpose, process, and key considerations in cost-effectiveness testing of single or multiple distributed energy resource (DER) investments.  The course describes the fundamental principles of benefit-cost analysis, key factors and considerations for identifying relevant costs and benefits for different DER technologies, and how to use a common framework to develop a primary BCA test for DERs.  Click here to register.

    Fees: $125 full NARUC State members; $250 others

    Including Equity and Energy and Environmental Justice in State Public Utility Commission Decisions: This course reviews the major definitions and dimensions of E&EEJ, including: reviewing proposed metrics for studying E&EEJ effects in each major dimension; reforming public participation processes to advance diversity, inclusiveness, and equity; examining the distribution of costs and benefits produced by ratepayer-funded programs and utility investments; adjusting utility tariffs to achieve more equitable outcomes; and integrating E&EEJ into the daily practices of utilities and utility regulators. The course will also report on  the way in which state commissions are incorporating equity perspectives into utility regulatory proceedings.  Click here to register.

    Telecom 101: This is an 8-hour course on current topics in telecommunications. It reviews the history of telecommunications regulation and universal service and the changes in state and federal oversight as competition has replaced direct regulation. Topics covered include Universal Service, Cooperative Federalism, the 1934 and 1996 Telecommunications Acts, key technical innovations (VoIP, wireless, 5G, satellite broadband), Lifeline, broadband deployment and adoption, and consumer protection. Click here to register.

    Fees: $125 full NARUC State members; $250 others

    Fundamentals of Resource Adequacy: This recent RTI course covers concepts in resource adequacy and emerging methods to ensure grid reliability. This an eight-hour course, presented in four two-hour lectures. The course addresses several topics, including resource adequacy as an assessment of risk; the definitions and relationships between resource adequacy, reliability, and resilience; the role of regulators in assessing, forecasting, and ensuring resource adequacy; and emerging concepts in resource adequacy. Click here to register.

    Available on-demand

    Fees: $125 full NARUC State members, $250 others.

    An Introduction to Utility Accounting: This course provides an introduction to general accounting principles, for example, the importance of generally accepted accounting procedures, balance sheets and income statements, and cash vs. accrual accounting. It also addresses items of particular importance to utility regulation, including investments in capital, depreciation, etc. Examples from the utility industry will be used to illustrate key concepts and calculations. Click here to register.

    Available on-demand

    Fees: $87.50 full NARUC State members, $175 others.

    An Introduction to Utility Finance: This course provides students with an understanding of the basic finance and regulatory concepts of utility regulation. Topics to be covered include why utilities are regulated; risk and return; portfolio theory; the relationship between rate base and capital structure; the weighted average cost of capital; and the required return on common equity. The course will also review financial concepts commonly associated with utility regulation, such as optimal capital structure, market-to-book ratios, and securitized bonds. Click here to register.

    Available on-demand

    Fees: $87.50 full NARUC State members, $175 others

    An Introduction the Theory and Practice of Regulation: This program will provide participants with an introduction to the principles and practice of regulation. The principles of regulation are a mix of engineering, financial, legal, accounting, and economic concepts and methods that provide the basis from which regulatory decisions are made. The practice of regulation focuses on the scope of regulatory decisions and how those decisions are made, including the mix of different types of expertise needed to mold those decisions. Click here to register.

    Available on-demand

    Fees: FREE

    FUTURE COURSES

    • Telecommunications Technology and Jurisdiction
    • Demand-Side Management: Energy Efficiency and Demand Response
    • Accounting for Non-Accountants
    • What Exactly is a Rate Case and How do I Review One?
    • Alternative and Performance-Based Regulation

    REGISTERING FOR RTI COURSES

    • Your MyNARUC account is used to register and take courses. If you don’t have an account, create one at https://www.naruc.org/mynaruc/
    • Commissioners and commission staff members should be sure to use their commission email addresses when creating a MyNARUC account to ensure proper pricing. There is no charge for a MyNARUC account. 
    • Pricing for courses is based on course length. NARUC commission members receive a discounted price.   
    • To register for a course, go to https://www.naruc.org/our-programs/rti/ and select the course you want to take.  The site will redirect you to the RTI registration site.  Login to the site with your MyNARUC ID.
    • Once you’ve logged in, click on the top navigation bar, select Register for Courses, and then choose the course you want to take.

    Please email questions to RTISupport@naruc.org