Utility of the Future

Project Leads: Katrina Wyman

The electric utility industry is changing. Low-cost distributed generation and the application of information technology have begun to decentralize how electricity is generated and consumed.  Utilities, generators, regulators and consumers may each have new roles to play in a potentially more dynamic, information-based and decentralized electric industry.

Consistent with its role as a policy and market oriented think tank, the Guarini Center’s work on innovation in electric utility regulation focuses on four kinds of legal and policy issues of electric system decentralization:

  • New Regulatory Models: An assessment of the opportunities and challenges to change in the overall process of utility rate regulation. This work is based on analysis of alternative regulatory models deployed in U.S. states and in select international markets, and focuses on both the process of regulation and its substantive policy goals.
  • Comparisons of Rules and Tariffs Affecting Distributed Generation: An assessment of innovative approaches toward integrating distributed generation into electric distribution networks, such as net metering, standby charges, LDC gas charges, and rights of way.
  • Alternative Distributed Generation Project Structures: Development of regulatory and financial roadmaps for potential new project structures, such as utility owned, community coops, or campus projects.
  • Resilience and Energy Infrastructure: An analysis of how communities, utilities and regulators incorporate the priorities, costs and benefits of resilience into existing energy infrastructure planning processes.