Connect with us

Expert Opinion

SmartGrid: Moving Toward Regulatory Uniformity

Published

on

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq. 

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated.

At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that was focused on SmartGrid, panelists were in agreement that among the reasons for this slow development is the lack of regulatory uniformity at the state level regarding how SmartGrid-related services are treated and, more specifically, how SmartGrid-related costs are recovered.  According to the panelists, until energy companies sense some degree of regulatory support for SmartGrid, coupled with a relatively normalized set of costing rules, the deployment and offering of SmartGrid will remain limited.

It appears that many states already have heard the call of industry on this matter.  According to research conducted by the Edison Electric Institute, in the last two years, several state commissions have adopted rules and orders focused on SmartGrid ratemaking.  These commissions have recognized the need to incentivize energy companies, through favorable cost recovery mechanisms, to invest in the network facilities and devices SmartGrid requires.  The possibly unwitting result is that a significant degree of regulatory uniformity is spreading across the country.  Today’s status quois not perfect, but it’s a start.

Through either general rulemakings or company-specific rate cases, the commissions of many states have decided to permit energy companies to recover SmartGrid costs through their rates, with some limitations.  These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Some states, such as California and Colorado, limit the amount of recoverable investment to the figures presented in the companies’ initial SmartGrid plans.  Illinois, in reviewing Commonwealth Edison’s proposed “Advanced Metering Pilot”, identified specifically which costs the company may amortize within its rate design.  New Jersey and New York are allowing companies to recover costs through existing mechanisms.

Still other states, such as Delaware and the District of Columbia, have approved the concept of cost recovery for SmartGrid in theory, and will determine specifically which costs may be passed through, and to what degree, in forthcoming rate cases.

In all, 21 states have agreed that some portion of the costs associated with SmartGrid facilities may be recovered through rates, whether base energy rates or specific surcharges (of these, Montana will permit NorthWestern Energy to begin pass-through in 2013).

This permission has been withheld, in some instances, from certain companies whose applications were deemed incomplete or implausible, but these states at least have accepted the concept of SmartGrid cost recovery as a reasonable policy choice.  At this time it appears that, of the state commissions that have addressed the issue, only Indiana and Nevada have not approved some form of cost-recovery mechanism for SmartGrid.

Unfortunately, about half of U.S. states have not yet addressed SmartGrid ratemaking.  The considerable work done by several other state commissions may spur those states to action, and certainly their decisions can be instructive examples to states that will tackle these issues in the future.

The more regulators display an understanding of the need to address SmartGrid costs and rates, the more comfortable the industry will be that they can invest in this technology safely and profitably.

As Deputy Editor, Chris Naoum is curating expert opinions, and writing and editing articles on Broadband Breakfast issue areas. Chris served as Policy Counsel for Future of Music Coalition, Legal Research Fellow for the Benton Foundation and law clerk for a media company, and previously worked as a legal clerk in the office of Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. He received his B.A. from Emory University and his J.D. and M.A. in Television Radio and Film Policy from Syracuse University.

5G

Robert Kubik, John Godfrey and Derek Johnston: After a Decade of Progress, What’s Next for 5G?

A decade after the advent of LTE, the next-generation 5G will be, and already is, a critical resource for Americans.

Published

on

The authors of this Expert Opinion are Samsung Electronics America officials Robert Kubik, John Godfrey and Derek Johnston

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq. 

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated.

At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that was focused on SmartGrid, panelists were in agreement that among the reasons for this slow development is the lack of regulatory uniformity at the state level regarding how SmartGrid-related services are treated and, more specifically, how SmartGrid-related costs are recovered.  According to the panelists, until energy companies sense some degree of regulatory support for SmartGrid, coupled with a relatively normalized set of costing rules, the deployment and offering of SmartGrid will remain limited.

It appears that many states already have heard the call of industry on this matter.  According to research conducted by the Edison Electric Institute, in the last two years, several state commissions have adopted rules and orders focused on SmartGrid ratemaking.  These commissions have recognized the need to incentivize energy companies, through favorable cost recovery mechanisms, to invest in the network facilities and devices SmartGrid requires.  The possibly unwitting result is that a significant degree of regulatory uniformity is spreading across the country.  Today’s status quois not perfect, but it’s a start.

Through either general rulemakings or company-specific rate cases, the commissions of many states have decided to permit energy companies to recover SmartGrid costs through their rates, with some limitations.  These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Some states, such as California and Colorado, limit the amount of recoverable investment to the figures presented in the companies’ initial SmartGrid plans.  Illinois, in reviewing Commonwealth Edison’s proposed “Advanced Metering Pilot”, identified specifically which costs the company may amortize within its rate design.  New Jersey and New York are allowing companies to recover costs through existing mechanisms.

Still other states, such as Delaware and the District of Columbia, have approved the concept of cost recovery for SmartGrid in theory, and will determine specifically which costs may be passed through, and to what degree, in forthcoming rate cases.

In all, 21 states have agreed that some portion of the costs associated with SmartGrid facilities may be recovered through rates, whether base energy rates or specific surcharges (of these, Montana will permit NorthWestern Energy to begin pass-through in 2013).

This permission has been withheld, in some instances, from certain companies whose applications were deemed incomplete or implausible, but these states at least have accepted the concept of SmartGrid cost recovery as a reasonable policy choice.  At this time it appears that, of the state commissions that have addressed the issue, only Indiana and Nevada have not approved some form of cost-recovery mechanism for SmartGrid.

Unfortunately, about half of U.S. states have not yet addressed SmartGrid ratemaking.  The considerable work done by several other state commissions may spur those states to action, and certainly their decisions can be instructive examples to states that will tackle these issues in the future.

The more regulators display an understanding of the need to address SmartGrid costs and rates, the more comfortable the industry will be that they can invest in this technology safely and profitably.

Continue Reading

Digital Inclusion

Craig Settles: Libraries and Telehealth on the Vanguard for Broadband

Libraries can do for telehealth what they did for broadband: Provide low-income folks with access to digital and healthcare literacy.

Published

on

The author of this Expert Opinion in Craig Settles, director of Communities United for Broadband

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq. 

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated.

At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that was focused on SmartGrid, panelists were in agreement that among the reasons for this slow development is the lack of regulatory uniformity at the state level regarding how SmartGrid-related services are treated and, more specifically, how SmartGrid-related costs are recovered.  According to the panelists, until energy companies sense some degree of regulatory support for SmartGrid, coupled with a relatively normalized set of costing rules, the deployment and offering of SmartGrid will remain limited.

It appears that many states already have heard the call of industry on this matter.  According to research conducted by the Edison Electric Institute, in the last two years, several state commissions have adopted rules and orders focused on SmartGrid ratemaking.  These commissions have recognized the need to incentivize energy companies, through favorable cost recovery mechanisms, to invest in the network facilities and devices SmartGrid requires.  The possibly unwitting result is that a significant degree of regulatory uniformity is spreading across the country.  Today’s status quois not perfect, but it’s a start.

Through either general rulemakings or company-specific rate cases, the commissions of many states have decided to permit energy companies to recover SmartGrid costs through their rates, with some limitations.  These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Some states, such as California and Colorado, limit the amount of recoverable investment to the figures presented in the companies’ initial SmartGrid plans.  Illinois, in reviewing Commonwealth Edison’s proposed “Advanced Metering Pilot”, identified specifically which costs the company may amortize within its rate design.  New Jersey and New York are allowing companies to recover costs through existing mechanisms.

Still other states, such as Delaware and the District of Columbia, have approved the concept of cost recovery for SmartGrid in theory, and will determine specifically which costs may be passed through, and to what degree, in forthcoming rate cases.

In all, 21 states have agreed that some portion of the costs associated with SmartGrid facilities may be recovered through rates, whether base energy rates or specific surcharges (of these, Montana will permit NorthWestern Energy to begin pass-through in 2013).

This permission has been withheld, in some instances, from certain companies whose applications were deemed incomplete or implausible, but these states at least have accepted the concept of SmartGrid cost recovery as a reasonable policy choice.  At this time it appears that, of the state commissions that have addressed the issue, only Indiana and Nevada have not approved some form of cost-recovery mechanism for SmartGrid.

Unfortunately, about half of U.S. states have not yet addressed SmartGrid ratemaking.  The considerable work done by several other state commissions may spur those states to action, and certainly their decisions can be instructive examples to states that will tackle these issues in the future.

The more regulators display an understanding of the need to address SmartGrid costs and rates, the more comfortable the industry will be that they can invest in this technology safely and profitably.

Continue Reading

Expert Opinion

Tarun George: Unleashing the True Power of LTE Networks for Machines

With the growing requirements of low-latency, high-speed networks, the transition to 5G has become paramount, particularly for internet of things.

Published

on

The author of this Expert Opinion is Tarun George, co-founder of Cavli Wireless.

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq. 

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated.

At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that was focused on SmartGrid, panelists were in agreement that among the reasons for this slow development is the lack of regulatory uniformity at the state level regarding how SmartGrid-related services are treated and, more specifically, how SmartGrid-related costs are recovered.  According to the panelists, until energy companies sense some degree of regulatory support for SmartGrid, coupled with a relatively normalized set of costing rules, the deployment and offering of SmartGrid will remain limited.

It appears that many states already have heard the call of industry on this matter.  According to research conducted by the Edison Electric Institute, in the last two years, several state commissions have adopted rules and orders focused on SmartGrid ratemaking.  These commissions have recognized the need to incentivize energy companies, through favorable cost recovery mechanisms, to invest in the network facilities and devices SmartGrid requires.  The possibly unwitting result is that a significant degree of regulatory uniformity is spreading across the country.  Today’s status quois not perfect, but it’s a start.

Through either general rulemakings or company-specific rate cases, the commissions of many states have decided to permit energy companies to recover SmartGrid costs through their rates, with some limitations.  These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Some states, such as California and Colorado, limit the amount of recoverable investment to the figures presented in the companies’ initial SmartGrid plans.  Illinois, in reviewing Commonwealth Edison’s proposed “Advanced Metering Pilot”, identified specifically which costs the company may amortize within its rate design.  New Jersey and New York are allowing companies to recover costs through existing mechanisms.

Still other states, such as Delaware and the District of Columbia, have approved the concept of cost recovery for SmartGrid in theory, and will determine specifically which costs may be passed through, and to what degree, in forthcoming rate cases.

In all, 21 states have agreed that some portion of the costs associated with SmartGrid facilities may be recovered through rates, whether base energy rates or specific surcharges (of these, Montana will permit NorthWestern Energy to begin pass-through in 2013).

This permission has been withheld, in some instances, from certain companies whose applications were deemed incomplete or implausible, but these states at least have accepted the concept of SmartGrid cost recovery as a reasonable policy choice.  At this time it appears that, of the state commissions that have addressed the issue, only Indiana and Nevada have not approved some form of cost-recovery mechanism for SmartGrid.

Unfortunately, about half of U.S. states have not yet addressed SmartGrid ratemaking.  The considerable work done by several other state commissions may spur those states to action, and certainly their decisions can be instructive examples to states that will tackle these issues in the future.

The more regulators display an understanding of the need to address SmartGrid costs and rates, the more comfortable the industry will be that they can invest in this technology safely and profitably.

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

 

Trending