Jun
18
2018

Net Metering Debates Heat Up

Net metering policies evolved in several states this year, including Michigan, Connecticut, and Maine. Meanwhile, other states such as Kentucky saw heated battles sure to return. PACE supports changes in net metering laws that bring more fairness to the system – paying retail rates instead of avoided costs for net metering subsidizes electricity bills for a small number of residents and puts more costs on low and fixed-income families. Increasingly, states are taking a hard look at their net metering policies and aiming to bring payments in line with market rates, despite strong pushback from the renewable energy industry.

Jun
14
2018

Hedging Happens Every Day

Everyone needs to manage risk. We do it in our daily lives both personally and professionally. Utilities are no different. PACE has spent the last few weeks highlighting natural gas hedging after the Missouri legislature passed a resolution supporting the continued use of this essential, though often misunderstood practice.

Today’s infographic explains the top five benefits of natural gas hedging, from protecting consumers to supporting national security. We hope you will find this graphic useful as you think about all the ways you manage risk every day. #HowDoYouHedge?

Jun
12
2018

A Sea of Change in Charleston

It’s 90 degrees in the shade here in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC) has gathered for its annual meeting. Eleven states’ public utility regulators, from Texas and Arkansas to Florida and the Carolinas, are represented. This year’s theme is “Effective Utility Regulation – All in the Public Interest.” In a time of increasing cynicism about government, it’s uplifting to focus on elected officials and professional staff who work hard for consumers each day.

It’s also refreshing to be with so many who accept that appropriate regulation is needed to monitor and provide course

Jun
07
2018

Walking a Few Feet in Poverty

Since the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy joined the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition earlier this year, I’ve searched for ways to get smarter about home energy assistance and to deepen the Energy Fairness commitment to consumers. In late May, I attended a “poverty simulation.” Regular readers of the Energy Fairness newsletter know I eschew hyperbole, but here, the description “truly meaningful” fits the experience, a sentiment shared by many other participants.

This is the second time Entergy, the investor-owned electric utility serving New Orleans, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas has partnered with Catholic Charities to

Jun
05
2018

Hedging Happens Every Day

Following up from our column last week in Morning Consult, we wanted to create a simple way to explain natural gas hedging. As our infographic shows, gas hedging is no different than common, everyday steps families and individuals take to protect themselves from risk, whether that’s having a home insurance policy or bringing an umbrella with you in case of rain. Simply put, natural gas hedging helps utilities plan against risk and provide a stable and affordable supply of energy for consumers.

Please feel free to share our infographic on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, or forward to your

May
30
2018

Natural Gas Hedging - Smart Tool for Diverse Energy Portfolio

PACE thanks Morning Consult for publishing this op-ed as original content. https://morningconsult.com/opinions/hedging-smart-tool-diverse-energy-portfolio/.

As the U.S. energy portfolio continues to diversify, the tools and tactics electric utilities use to protect consumers and stabilize costs must keep up with the times to accommodate the growth of natural gas, renewable resources, storage and other innovations.

One of the most critical tools is hedging, a fact frequently discussed and underscored by state lawmakers. As an example, Missouri recently passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 that reaffirms the state’s policy of allowing electric utilities to hedge natural gas contracts and supports

May
24
2018

Smarter Ways Forward with The Ray

Frequently, PACE talks about consumers’ interest in transportation from a fuel supply angle (oil pipelines) or integrating new technologies (electric vehicles). Many big thinkers are attempting to envision how, when and at what cost energy, telecommunications and transportation will converge. Many laudable “Smart Cities” projects and pilots with broad scopes of inquiry are underway.

While sweeping inquiries are useful, it’s also beneficial to focus more closely on a set of questions and issues. More discrete sets of information often have a better chance of getting and holding people’s attention. Those who live and work far from cities should also

May
22
2018

A Tale of Two States - Deregulation in Texas

Last month, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) released an update to its regular report on Texas’ deregulated power market. TCAP is a not-for-profit that helps aggregate electricity purchases for dozens of cities in Texas, and so has a vested interest in monitoring the state’s complicated and ever-changing electricity markets. TCAP’s analysis can help you decide whether the Texas deregulation “miracle” is a tall tale.

I became a TCAP fan last summer after identifying them as one of the nation’s few organizations able to discuss “capacity markets” in plain English.

Since Texas is so frequently held up as an

May
17
2018

DOE's Hard Work and Always-On, Clean, Affordable Power

While media attention focuses on events at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, federal agencies and dedicated employees all over the country are quietly making progress on energy issues. This week, PACE takes a look at just one week’s output of good news from the Department of Energy. Sec. Rick Perry believes in all of the above, while championing renewable energy, and his philosophy shines through in work done each day by DOE divisions and partners.

On May 15, DOE announced a sizable grant of $72 million to “advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies,” continuing U.S. leadership in the space.

May
15
2018

Wolverines Set Shining Solar Example

Last summer, PACE released a report reviewing state solar net metering policies and discussing ideologies that influence some states to over-compensate private solar generators at the expense of every other consumer on the grid. We’ve enjoyed presenting on this topic and appreciate the many positive comments about our report’s readability and usefulness. Combine the strong response to PACE’s report with the uptick in state legislative and regulatory attention to net metering in 2018, and the result is that PACE will update our report later this year.

However, a few recent state developments merit attention before the fall.

First up is