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Changes in electric power regulation can unleash billion-dollar markets overnight. Or stall progress for years. Explore this section for links to guidelines, resources and case studies.

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Smart meters are a "time bomb" for utilities, warns insurance expert

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, smart meter insurance, smart grid trends, electric utilities
You would think just about every smart meter wrinkle has been discussed, dissected and considered by now. But the insurance industry has another one utilities may have to deal with: insurers are starting to worry about cyberattacks. And one insurer says coverage for cyberattack losses is generally not provided by the energy insurance market.

Reinventing utilities: Now Minnesota is rethinking the utility business model

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business model, state energy policies, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Minnesota has taken a bi-partisan, inclusive approach in its attempts to overhaul the state’s utility and energy policies. It’s an interesting way to explore and assess the roadblocks, the opportunities and the options available as the state maps out its energy future.

The net metering battle… 3 more states may offer relief to utilities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed generation, renewable energy, net metering, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Net metering may fade from the headlines for a while, but the issue isn’t going away anytime soon. Read the story to keep up with current developments and initiatives in Massachusetts, Missouri and Maine.

How to influence what the U.S. federal government does and thinks about utilities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, policy and regulation, national energy policy, Energy Department, DOE, electric utilities
Should utilities try to influence national energy policy? Certainly. And here is an opportunity to make your voice heard via Americans for a Clean Energy Grid. It’s not necessary to agree with the organization’s positions to take advantage of the chance to influence DOE policy on U.S. energy infrastructure. Read the story for details on how to participate.

Has the UK already invented the utility of the future?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, policy and regulation, utility business model, UK utility regulation
After a detailed examination, UK gas and electric utility regulators found that the current regulatory model needed to change if utilities were to successfully deliver on the promise of a sustainable energy sector. Guest author Paul Alvarez describes the new UK model and what it is intended to accomplish.

Europe’s green energy industry faces collapse, claims conservative news site

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, European renewable energy, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Europe’s aggressive rush to embrace renewable energy has resulted in turmoil for some countries, including escalating prices for consumers and slashed subsidies for providers, according to a conservative news web site. It’s time well spent to follow the tumultuous story for the lessons it can provide.

Storage gets a lift from California’s $415 million for behind-the-meter generation

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, distributed generation, renewable energy, California energy policy, electric utilities
California legislators have approved $415 million in funding for behind-the-meter power generation from wind and fuel cells to be paired with energy storage. Dean Frankel of Lux Research explains how the program will work and lays out the details. For more, read the companion story on DOE’s funding initiative.

Japan to its utilities: Screw the U.S. model, we're moving to competition

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid markets, Japan, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Japanese lawmakers may have stunned the country’s regional power monopolies when they voted last week to open the residential electricity market to full competition. Click to read about how disruptive the change will be, and the likely winners and losers.

Utility death spiral: Is decoupling a dumb idea?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business model, electric rates, rate decoupling
The traditional utility business model that ties revenues to the amount of electricity sold isn’t working now that energy efficiency and conservation are the goalposts for our energy future. Guest author Paul Alvarez says utilities, regulators and others should consider decoupled ratemaking as a possible solution. He explains why inside.

Ohio governor puts renewable energy and efficiency requirements on hold

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency, Ohio renewable energy standards, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a controversial bill that freezes the state’s five-year-old renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements for utilities at current levels. Supporters of the freeze have said the state needs time to rethink the economic impacts of the standards.

The existential threat to demand response

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, demand response, policy and regulation
A recent court order that said FERC exceeded its authority in setting compensation for demand response providers affects no more than a small fraction of the total market. But as guest author Mike Gordon points out, the court’s decision could hamper FERC’s ability to regulate DR markets more broadly in the future.

The net metering debate: Solar power unfair to the poor says former regulator

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, rooftop solar, rooftop solar subsidies, net metering, policy and regulation, electric utilities
It could be a good sign: a former regulator has criticized the net metering structure for unfairly subsidizing high-income families that can afford rooftop solar and penalizing low-income families that can’t. Utilities have frequently had a hard time getting net metering amended to remedy the situation. But if regulators are starting to listen… a change to come?

Massachusetts to utilities: Thou shalt modernize (for at least 10 years straight)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Massachusetts, energy efficiency, renewable energy, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Massachusetts already has a reputation for its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now the state is taking it one or two steps further. Regulators have issued orders requiring the state’s electric distribution companies to modernize the electric grid.

How to forecast Ontario's power future (and what it means to the rest of us)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Ontario, Canada, energy policy, smart grid programs, renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency
Last week, Canadian voters in the province of Ontario surprised the pollsters by electing a majority Liberal government. Guest author Ian H. Rowlands explains why that election should be taken as good news for smart grid proponents as well as for a variety of grid modernization initiatives and programs.

ComEd gets green light to speed up smart meter deployment

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, ComEd, Commonwealth Edison, smart meters, smart meter deployments, policy and regulation, electric utilities
For a long time, ComEd’s efforts to roll out smart meters looked like a confusing game of ping pong. There were politics; there were delays. But Illinois regulators this week approved the utility’s filing to speed up its smart meter deployment program… and wrap it up three years ahead of schedule.

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