PUC report evaluates how to expand consideration of climate change and equity
The Oregon Public Utility Commission has developed a road map for adapting regulation to the changing electric sector, with an eye to making progress on climate change and equity.
The report was required by the Oregon Legislature when it passed Senate Bill 978 in 2017. Many of the suggested changes would require action by the Legislature to expand or alter the regulatory body's authorities.
The report recommends action in six areas:
• Climate change: The PUC lacks a clear mandate to address greenhouse gas emissions except as an economic risk. The agency recommends that the Oregon Legislature take up this regulatory gap.
• Affordability, equity, and environmental justice: The PUC recommends that the Legislature consider ways to improve equitable access to energy services.
• Retail customer options: The PUC will work to achieve consistent pricing for energy resources such as solar, storage and energy efficiency.
• Utility incentive alignment – The PUC will launch a process to determine incentives for innovative approaches to providing electricity service.
• Regional market development – The PUC will participate with other states and agencies to promote the development of a regional market, designed to lower costs and risks to customers.
• Participation – The PUC will develop a strategy to enhance public engagement and inclusion in its processes.
"The PUC's strength is using unbiased, economic analysis and independent decision-making that balances trade-offs among competing priorities," stated Megan Decker, commission chair, in a press release. "This report creates an overarching framework for the PUC to organize its work to adapt to an evolving sector."
To read the report: https://www.puc.state.or.us/Renewable%20Energy/SB978LegislativeReport-2018.pdf
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