Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission hears perspectives on alternative utility ratemaking

Published on March 05, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) hosted a Harrisburg hearing on Wednesday to gather information from experts regarding alternative ratemaking methodologies for energy programs.

The hearings are part of a ongoing set of discussions about how to best maintain a safe and reliable energy infrastructure while also encouraging utilities to push forward with more aggressive energy efficiency conservation programs.

The panels involved in the hearings reflect perspectives from experts in alternative ratemaking, energy efficiency, consumer organizations, industrial customers and utilities.

Several issues regarding alternative rate design were discussed, including whether revenue decoupling encourages utilities to better implement energy efficiency and conservation programs, whether rate mechanisms are reasonable in the public interest, and whether the benefits of implementing such rate mechanisms outweigh any costs associated with implementing the rate mechanisms.

The commission will also review written comments regarding alternative ratemaking while continuing to explore any other issues that may arise. Deadlines for public comment extend until March 16.

The PUC aims to balance the needs of consumers and utilities while ensuring reliable utility services at reasonable rates. Its responsibilities extend into protecting public interests, educating consumers to make independent utility choices, furthering economic development, and fostering new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.