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
Information about NRRI's Colloquium being held 11-Feb-17 at the NARUC Winter Meetings in Washington, DC as well as presentations can be found here.
Recent Research Papers
The Year in Review 2016: Moving Past Reduced Regulation
As the transition from traditional wireline voice service to IP-enabled and wireless communications accelerates, state legislators have shifted their focus away from deregulating traditional providers and toward increasing broadband availability, broadening state universal service fund contributions, and ensuring the availability and quality of emergency services. Only two state legislatures proposed bills limiting commission oversight of wireline services during 2016, with no state directly addressing the question of regulating VoIP or IP-enabled services.1
Minnesota brings the number of states that have significantly reduced or eliminated oversight of wireline telecommunications to 41, an increase of only one from the previous year. A bill under consideration by the District of Columbia would have increased this number to 42 had it passed. The DC Telecommunications Modernization Act (B 21-0659) would have reduced oversight of Verizon, including providing a path for the replacement of wired service with fixed wireless and VoIP. Passage of B 21-0659 would have resulted in reduced regulation for Verizon in all but two states in its nine states territory, Massachusetts and New York. Minnesota passed HF 1066 reducing regulation for carriers in areas with effective competition, while maintaining support for basic local service. The Minnesota Competitive Market Regulation Act, HF 1066, ensures the continued availability of service throughout the state by maintaining the Minnesota Public Utility Commission's oversight of basic service pricing in areas where competition is judged strong enough to discipline providers and ensure on-going consumer choice.
Evaluating Chattanooga Gas Company’s 2012-13 Energy Efficiency Programs and Ideas for Evaluating Future Energy Efficiency Programs in Tennessee
Chattanooga Gas Company (CGC), a subsidiary of Southern Company, delivered an
energy efficiency program for its Tennessee residential customers from 2011 through 2013. The
program included two measures: (1) providing programmable, automatic set-back thermostats to
requesting customers, free of charge; and (2) a related Community Outreach and Customer
Education effort. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA), in its November 8, 2010 Order in
Docket No. 09-00183, approved the CGC efficiency program. That Order also specified that
TRA and CGC would consult with the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) about the
NRRI’s “Future Drivers and Trends Affecting Energy Development in Ontario: Lessons Learned from the U.S.” (Mowat Energy Research Report #137)
Mowat Centre’s Energy Hub (Mowat) contracted with the National Regulatory Research
Institute (NRRI) for a study and report on emerging trends facing the energy sector in the United
States, with a particular focus on distributed energy resources (DER) and their potential role in
the electric utility of the future. This research focused on four different major portfolios and
three future scenarios. The four portfolios are:
Regulatory experts generally agree that ratemaking should strive to achieve high economic efficiency by utilities, fairness, and reasonable regulatory costs. These three outcomes have characterized good ratemaking going back to the beginning of public utility regulation. Economic efficiency requires utilities to create or adopt new technologies, achieve excellent operating performance, and set rates that correspond to marginal cost. All of these outcomes benefit the long-term economic well-being of utility customers in addition to advancing the public interest. Fairness means that neither customers nor utility shareholders unduly shoulder risks or retain the benefits of utility activities. Fairness is essential for the public credibility of the regulatory process and regulation itself. A large part of regulatory costs are the expenses incurred by utilities and other stakeholders during the course of general rate cases.
This NRRI research paper provides an overview of community solar (CS) activities around the country. It reports on the rapid expansion of community solar projects under two different rubrics:
1. States that are implementing laws and rules that govern CS, currently underway in 15 states and the District of Columbia;* and,
2. In other states as well those above, individual utility companies are obtaining approvals from their state regulatory authorities, or for non-state-regulated utilities from their governing boards or commissions, for CS programs.