Utility Of the Future Rates Group

REACHING A MODERNIZED GRID

WHY NOW?

The energy industry is undergoing a drastic transformation as a result of the federal and state policy goals that focus on promoting clean energy resources, coupled with technology innovation. Such policies are expected to boost the expansion of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) – namely solar distributed generation (DG), Electric Vehicles (EV), Demand Response, energy efficiency and energy battery storage. Thus, this is a crucial time for utilities to get together to discuss innovative approaches that together will shape a successful transition path. The Utility of the Future Rates Group (UFRG) is a think tank consisting of private and public energy utility members across the US and Canada. Held twice a year, the UFRG meetings bring together directors, managers and senior analysts in the Rates, Costing, Regulatory and Load Forecasting departments to interact, test out ideas and obtain direct feedback on their on-going work as they implement a modern grid that is reliable, more decarbonized and efficient. Rates and compensation mechanisms for DERs must be optimized to ensure inter-class customer equity, affordability, and efficiency goals. DERs must also be properly integrated with utility system planning.The UFRG members explore options for innovative rate designs and the host of DER pricing and regulatory strategies needed to find an optimal integration solution.These include new utility business models that may be needed to succeed in the new environment. Economists Incorporated (EI)’s Senior Vice President, Amparo Nieto directs the group. Ms. Nieto and her colleagues share their expertise during the meetings and offer valuable insights as to how to approach the various challenges.

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