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
Congratulations to Commissioner ToNola Brown-Bland and Commissioner John Rosales who were elected Chair and Vice Chair of NRRI's Board at the NRRI Board Annual Retreat on May 12, 2016
Recent Research Papers
NRRI 16-04 Vertical Arrangements for NG Procurement.pdf
Recent interest in long-term hedging
Both electric and gas utilities purchase large amounts of natural gas as part of their business operations. Prior to the 1980s, a feature of the natural gas industry was contracts of long durations, often over 20 years at fixed prices, for both producer-pipeline transactions and pipeline-gas utility transactions.
Starting around 1985, trading arrangements within the natural gas industry became dramatically more short-term and flexible, in both price and terms and conditions, compared to prior periods. This trend occurred throughout the sector, from gas procurement, gas storage, and retail transactions to capacity contracting for pipeline services. It was a result of a more open and restructured natural gas market, among other things. This market includes buyers and sellers consummating trades with minimal transaction costs. Other developments favoring shorter-term contracts since the mid-1980s include a highly developed financial market for gas hedging and the evolution of short-term electricity markets. In fact, a major motivator of the restructuring of the U.S. natural-gas industry was the high social costs from rigid multi-year contractual arrangements as the industry transitioned to a more liberalized structure. Overall, competitive pressures have made long-term commitments a more expensive
Utility bills are a universal form of regular communications between utilities and their customers. Bills are, of course, the primary means by which utilities report usage data to consumers and remind consumers of the essential information about how much is owed and when. In addition, though, depending on the many different interests held by utilities, their regulators, consumers of various stripes, and society in general, bills and bill inserts can and often do provide much more information. A few of the major examples include: utility rates and billing determinants; current usage compared to previous usage or sometimes compared to other similar consumers; progress reports toward meeting budgets or achieving greater efficiency in utility consumption; where to turn for answers to questions and education about the bills themselves or utility usage in general; and information about available financial assistance and other kinds of customer service programs.
In May 2015, Commissioner Jim Huston of the Indiana Regulatory Utility Commission
(IURC or Commission) contacted the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) with an
interest in exploring public utility billing practices around the nation after learning that the
number one area that results in complaints received by the IURC's Consumer Affairs
Division is about concerns with utility billing and billing-related communications.
The technology transition is well underway. Customers are not waiting for the FCC or State commissions to designate functionally equivalent services but are moving from the traditional Public Switched Network (PSTN) and time division multiplexed (TDM) products to new services made possible by changes to network infrastructure at a rapid rate. Based on their adoption of new services, these customers appear to see few differences between the traditional wired copper network and the new IP and wireless networks.
Next month, FERC in holding a technical conference on implementation of PURPA. To prepare state commissions for that event, this Webinar will examine the "tools" that state commissions can use to avoid outcomes like those experienced in …