Brief as amicus curiae in Support of Petitioners in EnerNOC v. Electric Power Supply Ass’n

Authors: Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Richard B. Stewart, and Katrina M. Wyman

The Guarini Center has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court supporting the US government’s position in the case EnerNOC v. Electric Power Supply Association.

The outcome of this case will determine the extent to which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can regulate demand response programs in wholesale energy markets. These programs pay consumers for reducing their electricity consumption when demand is high, such as on hot summer days. 

If the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the Court of Appeals below, which took a restrictive view of FERC’s jurisdiction, demand response program could be excluded from wholesale energy markets.  This would be a significant loss for electricity consumers, who benefit from the low-cost electricity service that wholesale demand response programs help provide. It would also be a loss for renewable energy advocates, who hope to build an electricity system that can accommodate larger quantities of renewable energy. 

For over fifteen years, FERC has worked step by step to incorporate demand response programs into the wholesale energy markets as the Commission has become increasingly convinced of the benefits such programs provide. The Court of Appeals’ decision could undo this long and careful process. We urge the Supreme Court take action to ensure that this does not come to pass.

The brief was a collaborative effort of Guarini Center Faculty Director Richard B. Stewart, Energy Program Director Katrina M. Wyman, and Executive Director Danielle Spiegel-Feld. Michael Lenoff, who is a member of the JD class of 2017, provided invaluable research assistance.

Read the full brief here.