Want to See What a Real PSC Looks Like?

WV has a passive (I have also used the word “supine” here on The Power Line.) PSC that is captured by the two Ohio-based holding companies that control out state’s electricity industry.

Take a look at what the NY PSC is doing in its new case, 14-M-0101: Reforming the Energy Vision (REV).  This is a PSC that works for the people of its state.  See if you can pick out all the themes that we have written about here on The Power Line for the past 6 years:

About the Initiative

The energy industry is in transition. Technological innovation and increasing competitiveness of renewable energy resources, combined with aging infrastructure, extreme weather events, and system security and resiliency needs, are all leading to significant changes in how electric energy is produced, managed and consumed. New York State must lead the way to ensure these trends benefit the State’s citizens, whose lives are so directly affected by how electric energy is manufactured, distributed, and managed.

To meet this challenge, the Commission commenced its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative to reform New York State’s energy industry and regulatory practices. This initiative will lead to regulatory changes that promote more efficient use of energy, deeper penetration of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, wider deployment of “distributed” energy resources, such as micro grids, on-site power supplies, and storage. It will also promote greater use of advanced energy management products to enhance demand elasticity and efficiencies. These changes, in turn, will empower customers by allowing them more choice in how they mange and consume electric energy.

The Commission has identified six core policy outcomes relating to customer knowledge, market animation, system-wide efficiency, fuels and resource diversity, system reliability and resiliency, and carbon reduction. A Staff Report and Proposal sets forth a vision for how to accomplish the Commission’s objectives. The proposal describes how customer-side resources can become a primary tool in the planning and operation of the utility system, which will improve system efficiency and enable the deployment of cleaner and more resilient technologies. The Report further explains how reforms in the utility ratemaking process will be necessary, to provide the correct incentives for utilities and markets to develop a cleaner and more efficient electric system.

Note the words “to reform New York State’s energy industry” in the NY PSC’s statement of purpose.  You would never see that statement in any similar statement by the WV PSC.  Also note the six policy objectives.  NONE of these objectives are the focus of the WV PSC’s own policy objectives, because the WV PSC simply accepts power company plans and does not develop its own independent policy objectives.  Chapter 24 of the WV Code of statutes give the PSC broad powers, but to date, the agency has never attempted to exercise them to serve the interests of WV or our state’s citizens.

Check out NY’s plan.  That’s what a real PSC looks like.

3 thoughts on “Want to See What a Real PSC Looks Like?

  1. This is a seminal document!
    Thank you, Bill,for creating a resource that informs, educates and connects all those working for clean, affordable and efficient energy services and solutions.
    – Robert Robinson
    DC Solar United Neighborhoods
    Grid 2.0 Working Group

  2. Bill: Yes! I thought the same thing when I read the NY PSC statement. Unfortunately, the WV PSC has Stockholm syndrome. They have come to identify with their captors (AEP/First Energy) rather than their supposed constituents, the citizens and ratepayers of West Virginia.. The question is: What will it take to make the WV PSC care more about their customers than the power companies?

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