The Thaw: the End of the Ice Age For American Utility Rate Cases - Are You Ready?

Sat Jul 31 16:24:38 EDT 2004
By Drs. Hethie Parmesano and Jeff D. Makholm

Utility rate cases, the "acme of American utility regulation," are once again looming on the radar screens of American utilities and the state commissions. Rates frozen in the mid-to-late 1990s are now thawing. In many jurisdictions the institutional knowledge to conduct the detailed studies required and the skills needed to organize a rate case have been lost to early retirement and reorganization. In addition, a number of new issues can be expected to surface in the latest round of rate cases.

Planning and successfully prosecuting a rate case involves a host of detailed, interrelated technical and strategic analyses and policy decisions. In an article in the July 2004 issue of The Electricity Journal titled The Thaw: The End of the Ice Age for American Utility Rate Cases - Are You Ready? NERA Special Consultant Dr. Hethie Parmesano and Senior Vice President Dr. Jeff Makholm review the new rate case issues and their complexities and present a list of key pieces of advice for utility staff facing rate cases.