Welcome to NRRI

The National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) was founded in 1976 by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). NRRI serves as a research arm to NARUC and its members, the utility regulatory commissions of the fifty states and the District of Columbia in the United States. NRRI’s primary mission is to produce and disseminate relevant and applicable research related to the utility sector – natural gas, electricity, water and telecommunications

 

To view NRRI’s Net Neutrality State Actions Tracker map and continually updated document click here.

Recent Research Papers
NRRI 18-03 IP Oversight
Oversight of retail wireline telecommunications services in the United States has been reduced over time as a result of increased competition and the transition of end-users from traditional wireline service to the more lightly regulated wireless and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. Although traditional regulation has been reduced, the States continue to oversee those functions delegated to them by the 1996 Telecommunications Act, including Intercarrier Agreements (ICAs) and other wholesale services, numbering, the designation of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs), the collection and distribution of state and federal universal service funds, Lifeline, basic local service (in some states), carrier of last resort services (in those states that still require it), Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), etc.

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NRRI 18-01 Water DSIC
The EPA estimates the 20-year national water infrastructure need at $384.2 billion, of which the largest amount ($245.4 billion) is needed for distribution and transmission projects (EPA, 2013, pg. 5). Today’s infrastructure replacement climate results from two primary factors: the age of infrastructure, and the absence for many utilities of a designated fund for replacing aging infrastructure (NRRI, 2009, pg 135). This first factor relates primarily to the economic boom at the end of World War II that resulted in significant growth in industrial, business, commercial, and residential development which resulted in an expansion of water and wastewater to support it. Much of this World War II era infrastructure is now at an age where replacement or significant repairs are required to ensure that the quality of service expected by customers can be maintained

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NRRI 17-05 Small Water Systems
There are over 50,000 community water systems in the United States; of these, just over 82 percent serve fewer than 3,300 customers, which are categorized as small water systems. Therefore, small water systems represent an important segment of the water industry in the United States (EPA, 2016B). While many small water systems are successful, others face challenges in providing clean, reliable water service to customers for a variety of reasons. This document provides an overview of small water and wastewater systems in the United States, and reviews actions being taken by state utility commissions to assist small water systems in effectively managing their work to ensure reliable service and quality

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NRRI 17-03 Broadband Adoption
The Telecommunications Act charges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the States with ensuring that all Americans have access to “reasonably comparable” communications services, including information services, at “reasonably comparable” prices regardless of where they reside.
Consumers in all regions of the Nation, including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular and high cost areas, should have access to telecommunications and information services, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, that are reasonably comparable to those provided in urban areas and that are available at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates charged for similar services in urban areas. (Telecommunications Act of 1934, as amended)

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NRRI 17-01 Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel
Significant benefits from natural gas
The U.S. natural gas industry has enjoyed a great run over the past eight years. It has contributed to the economy by creating new jobs and significantly reducing households’ and businesses’ energy bills. This was particularly important during the Great Recession when a boost from a major industry prevented further downward spiral of the economy.

Natural gas also benefited the environment by accelerating the retirement of coals plants. The shift from coal to natural gas was a major factor in lowering U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions by 12 percent between 2005 and 2015. Even after accounting for methane emissions, the most credible studies show that switching from coal to natural gas has mitigated global warming. Besides, natural gas emits less air pollutants, like sulfur-dioxide, mercury and nitrogen oxide, than coal.

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