Regulatory Resources Dashboard
This page provides relevant research and tools for state public utilities commissions as they pursue an equitable transition to a decarbonized grid. Issues covered here include utility planning, regulatory process and strategy design, utility business models, equity, and procurement.
Regulating for Decarbonization
This brief explores how PUCs can utilize updated legislative mandates, decarbonization-aligned missions and visions, and an updated interpretation of the public interest to make informed decisions.
This brief explores how PUCs can respond to changing statutory mandates by positioning staff to effectively collaborate, utilize new and existing resources, and recruit and retain top talent.
This brief explores how regulatory process innovation can help drive equitable decarbonization in the face of increased caseloads, growing stakeholder diversity, ambitious policy timelines, and information asymmetries between regulators and utilities. It includes real-world examples and actionable recommendations for how regulators, lawmakers, and others can support regulatory processes that deliver on state policies.
Utility Business Model Innovation
This report explores how totex ratemaking could help keep utility rates affordable through the clean energy transition by putting utility capex and opex projects on a level playing field.
This report reviews a selection of historical PIM examples and provides a simple accounting of the results to identify important lessons for future PIM development. By exploring why some PIM proposals are rejected while others are accepted, as well as what happens to PIMs after acceptance, regulators can learn how these regulatory tools can best be leveraged in a shifting electricity landscape.
This paper reviews regulatory reform efforts undertaken by 10 states, describes the processes by which reform can proceed from initiation to delivery on outcomes, and identifies the most significant factors that impact reform efforts’ effectiveness.
This report reviews foundational elements of different reform options, poses key questions to explore their applicability, identifies illustrative experiences for ideas and concepts, and explores policy implementation options to help spur action.
This paper is focused on changes needed at the grid distribution level to adapt the grid, and on associated options for how to evolve the utility market serving that part of the system.
This report and associated summary for regulators outlines the fundamental shifts that must take place to reduce residential carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2005 through deployment of carbon-free electricity, demand-side management, building retrofits, and vehicle electrification.
These comments offer an analytic approach to support the Colorado PUC’s review of performance-based regulation (PBR), evaluating whether adopting PBR would be net beneficial to the state, and illustrating how a well-constructed PBR framework can reduce customer costs while supporting state policy goals. While it focused on the Colorado context, it can be applied to other commissions considering PBR.
This article offers five important takeaways that can improve other states’ efforts navigating new utility business models. It is based on Hawaii’s experience navigating how PBR can support climate and clean energy policy goals while still keeping rates manageable for families and businesses.
This article offers eight recommendations to regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders looking to integrate PIMs into their regulatory frameworks.
This report outlines 10 key strategies to support building decarbonization. It is accompanied by a resource library that shares resources for regulators from commissions across the U.S., nonprofits, and media that expand on the themes and strategies introduced in our report.
This post explores why building electrification—as opposed to renewable natural gas—is the least-cost and most flexible path to decarbonization.
Community Engagement and Just Transition
This article offers five steps regulators can direct utilities to take to build beneficial relationships with their communities.
In this actionable framework for state and federal policymakers, RMI explores how to design and implement comprehensive climate policy that ensures that the energy transition uplifts — rather than abandons — coal workers and communities and those disproportionately bearing the brunt of health impacts from coal.
Resource Planning and Procurement
This study presents recommendations for updated electricity resource procurement processes that meet the challenge of the coming decade. It lays out three principles for regulators that define the leading edge of resource procurement.
This playbook enables grid planners to more systematically evaluate opportunities to deploy modular—and often lower-cost and lower risk—non-wires solutions portfolios.
This report estimates that replacing the entire fleet of global coal plants with clean energy plus battery storage could be done at a net annual savings as early as 2022. The rapidly declining costs of renewables push net annual savings to $105 billion in 2025—before considering coal’s dire health, climate, and environmental impacts, or accounting for the social and environmental benefits of reducing pollutants.
Data Transparency and Analytics Tools
RMI maintains a comprehensive, open-access database of utility financial, operational, emissions, customer, equity, and regulatory data. These data collectively shed light on the capital investment remaining in fossil plants, how those plants are dispatched, how they impact customer rates, and the degree to which they prevent utilities from being climate-aligned. These data also tell the story of how renewable energy investment is shaping the electricity generation landscape, rates, and decarbonization, among many other potential analytical insights.