The electric utility industry is facing multiple challenges associated with low load growth, lower energy intensity, and increasing amounts of utility scale and distributed renewable resources. Although those resources reduce emissions, their output can be variable, difficult to forecast, and may quickly ramp up or down. This means changes in how utilities plan and manage the grid. At the same time, grid infrastructure requires continued investment for both resilience and security and flexibility in integrating multiple supply and demand resources. With those fundamental changes, regulators are increasingly interested in motivating efficiency, innovation, and improved performance. These multi-faceted objectives are challenging, as usage-based rates provide less financial support for required investments.
In the natural gas sector, local distribution gas utilities are increasingly being called on for significant investments to replace aging infrastructure and to expand systems to meet customer demand. Those requirements pressure capital expenditures and lead to more frequent rate cases. Often, utilities seek innovative rate mechanisms to efficiently and effectively support their investment needs. Gas utilities of all sizes continue to be concerned with timely cost recovery.
With increasing investments required to address infrastructure replacement, electric, gas and water utilities continue to seek constructive exchanges with stakeholders on alternative regulatory frameworks to support required earnings and to manage costs for consumers.
At ScottMadden, we offer extensive experience in addressing the strategic, operational, and financial challenges posed by regulation. We have provided testimony in regulatory and litigation proceedings on a variety of topics, including revenue requirements, cost of service studies, rate design, cash working capital, cost of capital and capital structure, fair value of rate base, demand forecasting, gas supply policy, performance benchmarking, financing policy, merger approvals, stranded cost measurement and recovery, regulatory policy, prudence reviews, and more. Collectively, our consultants have appeared as expert witnesses before utility regulators on more than 400 occasions in 43 states, at the FERC, and in several Canadian provinces. Our clients include participants across the electric, natural gas, and water sectors.
Let us support you in analyzing, designing, formulating, and supporting rate proposals in regulatory proceedings at the state, federal, and provincial levels.
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