Regulating a Thriving Smart Grid: Doing the Unlikely
In his keynote address at the Illinois’ Smart Grid Forum, Rich Sedano spoke about the role of regulators and utilities in the current smart grid environment. As the use of smart grid technology increases, judicious regulation hinges on a strategic and proactive approach. This is easier said than done. Smart grid technology poses new and challenging issues and regulators must tend to the routine demands of regulation, while politics and other external forces nip at their heels. In order to strike this balance, Mr. Sedano encourages programs and rates that promote customer resources, earnings for regulated companies that reflect public values, as well as the implementation and routine review of minimum smart grid requirements. He presented examples from other states to illustrate how Illinois can prepare for changes in state law slated for 2017. Acknowledging that all states struggle with these issues, Mr. Sedano encouraged regulators to learn from the experiences of other states by actively engaging customers and stakeholders, while having realistic expectations when executing their vision.