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.