The old model for financing power grid improvements is broken and the utility industry knows it. Financing is becoming more difficult, so an industry trade group and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have joined to promote innovative policies.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and NRDC announced a joint agreement to advance support for utility policies that enhance the power grid and protect the environment.
EEI represents the nation’s investor-owned electric utilities. It and NRDC say they will collaborate to promote grid modernization policies at the state level that innovation, while at the same time supporting fair and adequate cost recovery for maintaining the evolving grid.
The agreement urges state utility regulators to adopt a number of policies that range from employing new rate designs to ensure utilities remain financially whole when they help customers adopt distributed generation technologies and use energy more efficiently to assuring customers that costs will not be shifted unreasonably to them from other customers. “
“If properly done, utilities can adapt to the changing needs of customers, modern electricity systems, and technologies, while continuing to deliver safe and reliable service, maintain financial integrity by allocating costs of service fairly among customers, and continuously improve environmental performance,” the proposal states.
NRDC and EEI say they agree that the electric utility business can no longer be about selling more electricity. Instead, it needs to be about ensuring that people have reliable and steadily improving electricity services.
“Today utilities are partnering with customers, regulators and all stakeholders to transform the way they generate and deliver electricity. This agreement helps chart a path to success,” said EEI Executive Vice President David Owens said in a statement.