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Innovation and the Changing Regulation of the Electric Industry

Innovation and the Changing Regulation of the Electric Industry

On November 4, 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission opened a docket entitled “Inquiry into potential impacts to the current utility model resulting from innovation and technological developments in generation and delivery of energy.” (ACC Docket No. E-00000J-13-0375.) This docket was initiated at the request of Commissioner Bob Burns who is concerned that new innovation and technology will force regulators to change the way they supervise utilities including how rates are set. Specifically, Commissioner Burns identifies six categories of technological innovation that may impact the current utility model providing electric service:

  • Distributed Supply and Storage Resources enabling customer self-supply;
  • Customer load management technology, energy efficiency, major new loads and related services;
  • Utility Scale Storage Technology;
  • Metering Technology and Services;
  • Transmission and Distribution Automation ; and
  • Micro-grids

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