RAP principal Rich Sedano facilitated a series of workshops on decoupling for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Partly as a result of the state’s success with meeting energy efficiency goals, Minnesota is considering the merits of decoupling mechanisms to align utility incentives with public policy goals. RAP and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) coordinated the workshops to educate stakeholders.
Mr. Sedano provided an overview of the reasons to pursue decoupling, a simplified calculation of a decoupled rate, and best practices in decoupling rate design during the first workshop on July 17, 2013. Janine Migden-Ostrander, RAP principal, drew on her experience as the consumer advocate in Ohio to explain how decoupling benefits utility customers, particularly due to its ability to make the utility revenue-neutral,even when pursuing energy efficiency programs. Consultant Pamela Morgan, consultant and former vice president of regulatory affairs at Idaho Power Ric Gale, and Synapse Energy Economics vice president Tim Woolf shared personal experiences with decoupling mechanisms.
During the second workshop on July 31, 2013, Mr. Sedano joined Ralph Cavanagh, senior sttorney and codirector of the energy and transportation program at NRDC, to answer participant questions about the impacts and details of decoupling. More than 60 state agency staff, utility representatives, and NGOs participated in the workshops.