2017 Rate Design Conference: Rate Design Renaissance

Current advancements in technologies such as solar photovoltaic systems, EVs, and battery storage are likely to have a big impact on future rate designs. As customers consume less power or generate their own, utilities have sought to shore up their bottom lines by decreasing the volumetric portion of utility bills and increasing the fixed portion that customers pay. As customer energy consumption patterns potentially change, traditional rate design may not best serve individual consumers or society as a whole. More sophisticated utility pricing can foster innovation while ensuring customers pay for the utility services they use. While some utilities continue to push fixed charge increases in response to DERs and stagnant load growth, other rate design solutions are emerging, with more rate design reform debates expected in 2017 and 2018. Across the nation, a high percentage of utilities are either currently involved in or proposing rate changes.

EUCI’s 15th Annual Rate Design conference brings together the impact of changing regulation, increased renewables, and enabling technologies in a way that best illustrates their possible interactions and positive impacts. The conference will provide state-of-the-art perspectives and best practices in innovative pricing and the valuation of distributed resources operating in a modernized grid. In addition to rate design innovations to better align cost recovery with the cost of service, we will also explore how some utilities are trying to improve cost recovery by addressing regulatory lag. Many utilities are pursuing capital cost trackers, forecast test years, and even multi-year rate plans. Leaders in the utility rate design field — providers, regulators, and industry experts — will address these current industry trends, while also supporting relationship-building and networking opportunities for the attendees.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore a variety of rate design options for addressing higher penetrations of Distributed Generation
  • Review the drivers of regulatory lag and how some utilities are addressing this issue
  • Discuss the rate design challenges of accommodating distributed energy
  • Discuss issues that utilities can expect to encounter with residential demand charges
  • Evaluate the impact of electric vehicles and distributed energy resources on residential rate design
  • Hear about rate design issues from the perspective of industry regulators
  • Analyze revenue decoupling and its effectiveness
  • Discuss the potential unintended consequences of certain rate designs



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations


Monday, September 25, 2017

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Conference Overview

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Introduction and Opening Remarks

Conference Co-chairs:

Rick Starkweather, Partner, ScottMadden, Inc.

Dan Hansen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting, LLC

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. :: Welcome from Conference Host Utility Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE)

Mr. Núñez will welcome conference participants to Baltimore, and will describe the central role that innovation is playing in BGE as it improves system performance, increases customer satisfaction, and tightens relationships with the communities it serves.

Alexander G. Núñez, Senior Vice President, Regulatory and External Affairs, Baltimore Gas & Electric

9:30 – 10:15 a.m. :: APS Rate Settlement

There have been many years of fierce policy debates about rate design between Arizona Public Service (APS) and solar advocates. In the recent rate case before the Arizona Commission, APS had requested to implement mandatory demand rates for all residential and small commercial customers. The settlement plan moves all customers toward more advanced rates by: 1) eliminating inclining block structures; 2) phasing out basic rates for larger residential customers; and 3) requiring all new distributed solar customers to subscribe to a demand-based rate or an energy based TOU rate with a grid access charge. In addition, distributed solar energy exported to the grid will be compensated at a Resource Comparison Proxy price without net metering. The settlement also proposes a residential technology pilot rate. In this session, Leland Snook with APS will talk about why APS settled for what they did as well as rate design and class segmentation.

Leland R. Snook, Director Rates & Rate Strategy, Arizona Public Service (APS)

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. :: The Need for Flexible Rate Design and Creating Sustainable Solutions for DC Quick Charging

Demand charges have been widely cited as cost prohibitive for electric vehicle (EV) public charging. Portland General Electric (PGE) has considerable experience with public charging. PGE also has an optional non-demand commercial rate that has proven popular for DC quick chargers. In this session, Jacob Goodspeed will cover some of the lessons learned at PGE as the company had their own chargers move from being under-utilized to being highly used. The following topics will be addressed:

  • Why demand charges being cost prohibitive may not be a permanent issue as EV adoption increases
  • The distinct difference between pricing challenges of rural chargers and those in a denser urban environment
  • Review the non-demand commercial rate and how it provides a “bridge” to chargers to ramp up and then have a glide path onto more traditional utility rates as their load factor increases
  • How TOU rates can incentivize behavior that helps integrate renewables and provides downward price pressure for non-participating customers

Jacob Goodspeed, Pricing Analyst, Portland General Electric 

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Unbundled Commercial Rate Structures + Green Tariffs

As customers’ expectations continue to transform, CPS Energy is working hard to design innovative rate structures that provide flexibility and control to large commercial customers while improving the transparency and certainty of cost recovery mechanisms.  While this trend is gaining momentum around the country, it can still be an extremely intimidating prospect for traditional utilities.  In this session, attendees will learn how these “Smart Rate Structures” create rates that fairly portray the value and cost of providing service.  Specific structures for discussion include unbundled pricing, green tariffs, and market access policies.  Additionally, attendees will learn best-practices for gaining organizational alignment on rate solutions.

Chad Hoopingarner, Sr. Director of Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, CPS Energy

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:15 – 2:00 p.m. :: What Role does Rate Design Need to Play in Modernizing the Grid?

New technology is evolving electricity transmission from a centralized, one-way system to a more distributed, interactive one. This technology enables utilities to engage customers on their side of the meter, but the necessary rates are needed to enable it. This interactive system necessitates new electricity rates so choosing the right electricity rate for a state is important, but so too is the process by which regulators arrive at that decision. In this session, Brian Edmonds will provide a regulatory perspective on how ratemaking works in tandem with electricity distribution technology.

Brian O. Edmonds, Esq., Policy Advisor, Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Utility Efforts to Reduce Regulatory Lag

Over the last few years, utilities have experienced many drivers of regulatory lag. This segment will discuss how Xcel Energy is improving regulatory outcomes by critically examining regulatory lag in its various territories including MN, CO, NM, SD, TX, NM and some of the challenges involved. The following topics will be covered in each state:

  • MN – Multi-Year rate cases, legislative changes to extend MYP period, forecasted cost of service and shift from pure forecast to industry escalators for O&M
  • CO – Use of large project capital riders with annual true-ups, filing gas & electric MYP rate cases, recovery of wind investments through existing rider mechanisms
  • NM – Commission denial of recent FTY filings, 5-month reach forward for capital
  • TX – Legislative change to procedural schedule (155 days), legislative relief to allow for “update” period

Chris Haworth, Assoc. Vice President, Revenue Requirements, Xcel Energy

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:15 – 4:00 p.m. :: Pricing Two-Way Power Flow

Time-based or dynamic pricing has been discussed, debated and piloted for many years. Now utilities have the growth of distributed generation (like rooftop solar) to address in their pricing strategy. This session addresses the implications of the resulting two-way power flows on pricing electricity services.

Ross Hemphill, President, RCHemphill Solutions, LLC and former VP of Regulatory at Commonwealth Edison

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. :: Perspectives and Guiding Principles on the Future of Rate Design

Rate design is pivotal in providing Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) the opportunity to recover their authorized revenue requirement. The rapid changes in today’s world has BGE and other utilities looking forward to a world with high levels of energy efficiency, distributed

generation (DG), and customer options for onsite backup supply. In this session, Mr. Núñez will share BGE’s perspectives on rate design, including the guiding principles used by the company to shape its advocacy for change.

Mark Case, Vice President, Regulatory and External Affairs, Baltimore Gas & Electric

4:30 – 5:15 p.m. :: A Growing Trend amongst Utility Cooperatives

Electric cooperatives are increasingly implementing innovative rate strategies such as to integrate new technologies, provide flexibility to consumers, and more accurately and equitably recover costs in the way they are incurred. Demand charges for residential consumers are one example of some of the innovative rate strategies that are a growing trend amongst cooperatives. This session will discuss why electric cooperatives are implementing innovative strategies including demand charges in certain areas, and describe the different design strategies.

Jan Ahlen, Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association    

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. :: Networking Reception

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. :: Decoupling in Colorado

A 2016 settlement between Public Service Company of Colorado and other stakeholders in Colorado allows the company to implement a decoupling mechanism for residential customers.  Conference attendees will learn more about the various options considered by PSCO, and why they proposed the pilot program.  Discussion topics include: 

  • Purpose of the decoupling mechanism
  • Stakeholder and company views
  • Decoupling versus increased fixed charges
  • Partial versus full decoupling
  • The Tucson Model
  • Caps and other customer protections
  • Next steps

Scott B. Brockett, Director, Regulatory Administration, Xcel Energy

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. :: Residential Demand Rates – It’s Time

In the changing utility world dealing with various net metering laws and 21st Century uncertain consumption patterns, one of the prominent solutions that keeps rising to the top is the implementation of residential demand rates. Never before has it been so important to align residential demand rates with generation power demand costs to ensure each customer is paying their fair share. In this presentation Richard Fowler, CEO of Howard Electric Cooperative, will answer 13 intriguing questions that deserve exploring before introducing residential demand rates at your utility.

Richard Fowler, Manager/CEO, Howard Electric Cooperative

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:20 – 11:05 a.m. :: An Update on New York’s REV

The penetration of distributed energy resources is transforming the electric power sector, with different jurisdictions taking different approaches as they examine possible changes to the traditional regulatory compact. New York’s REV initiative, kicked off in 2015, has been actively spurring clean energy innovation, bringing new investments into the State and improving consumer choice and affordability.  The focus of REV is shifting from frameworks to implementation, with effects on rate design and the utility business model.

Chris Sturgill, Senior Associate, ScottMadden, Inc.

11:05 – 11:25 a.m. :: Transforming Maryland’s Electric Grid

With a goal of ensuring that Maryland’s electric grid is customer-centered, affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable, the Public Service Commission initiated a proceeding, titled Public Conference 44 (PC44). The purpose of PC44 is for the commission to seek input on the best ways to transform Maryland’s electric distribution system, advancing customer-centered, affordable, reliable, and environmentally-sustainable electric service. PC44 is a result of the commission wanting to examine rate-related issues affecting the deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) and includes several key topic areas including rate design and the benefits and costs of DERs. In this session, Jon Kucskar will provide attendees with an update on PC44.

Jon Kucskar, Senior Commission Advisor Maryland, Public Service Commission

11:25 – 11:45 a.m. :: Conference Recap

Rick Starkweather and Dan Hansen will provide a recap of the key points that were covered during the conference. This closing session will also allow conference attendees to ask questions about any rate design presentation, issue or problem.

Rick Starkweather, Partner, ScottMadden, Inc.

Dan Hansen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting, LLC

11:45 a.m. :: Conference Adjourns


TOU Rates: The Emerging Standard of Residential Rate Design?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

1:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Workshop Timing


Interest in residential time-of-use (TOU) rates appears to be increasing. Several jurisdictions around North America are moving in this regulatory direction, including the California investor-owned utilities, which are scheduled to adopt default TOU pricing in 2019.  The advocates’ view for TOU rates is that, by better reflecting the time-variation in energy costs, they can provide customers with incentives to reduce total energy costs by shifting or reducing their usage. TOU pricing has also been suggested as an appropriate retail rate for customers with distributed generation, such as rooftop solar.  Of particular interest is whether TOU pricing should be used as a complement or substitute for demand charges when pricing net energy metered customers. This workshop will provide attendees with information about the prevalence of residential TOU rates, the designs currently in use, methods for designing TOU rates, estimates of customer demand response to TOU rates, and the advisability of applying TOU rates to DG customers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Current TOU rate designs
  • Methods for designing TOU rates
  • Estimates of customer response to TOU rates
  • TOU rates vs. demand-based rates for DG customers


  • TOU rates – background and prevalence
  • Summary of existing residential TOU rates
  • How TOU rates are designed
  • TOU demand response estimates
  • TOU pricing for DG / NEM customers
  • Summary

Workshop Instructors

Dan Hansen / Christensen Associates

Daniel G. Hansen, PhD (Michigan State University) is a Vice President at Christensen Associates. Dr. Hansen has worked in a variety of areas related to retail and wholesale pricing in electricity and natural gas markets. He has used statistical models to forecast customer usage, estimate customer load response to changing prices, and estimate customer preferences for product attributes. He has developed and priced new product options; evaluated existing pricing programs; evaluated the risks associated with individual products and product portfolios; and developed cost-of-service studies. Dr. Hansen has conducted evaluations and provided testimony regarding revenue decoupling and weather adjustment mechanisms. His research has been published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the Journal of Labor Economics, and The Electricity Journal.

Michael Ty Clark / Christensen Associates

Michael Ty Clark, PhD (Florida State University) is a Senior Economist. His expertise is in applied econometrics, empirical industrial organization, antitrust, and data analysis. Dr. Clark conducts analyses of customer response to innovative electric retail rate designs (TOU, CPP, etc.) and demand response programs.  His experience involves an array of econometric analyses, industrial organization techniques (e.g., demand estimation, consumer welfare, merger price simulation, and entry), implementing machine learning for network forecasting, and managing large datasets. He possesses programming proficiency in statistical software packages such as Stata, SAS, and R.


Jan Ahlen, Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association    

Scott B. Brockett, Director, Regulatory Administration, Xcel Energy

Brian O. Edmonds, Esq., Policy Advisor, Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia

Richard Fowler, Manager/CEO, Howard Electric Cooperative

Jacob Goodspeed, Pricing Analyst, Portland General Electric

Dan Hansen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting, LLC

Chris Haworth, Assoc. Vice President, Revenue Requirements, Xcel Energy

Ross Hemphill, President, RCHemphill Solutions, LLC and former VP of Regulatory at Commonwealth Edison

Chad Hoopingarner, Sr. Director of Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, CPS Energy

Jon Kucskar, Senior Commission Advisor Maryland, Public Service Commission

Mark Case, Vice President, Regulatory and External Affairs, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Leland R. Snook, Director Rates & Rate Strategy, Arizona Public Service (APS)        

Rick Starkweather, Partner, ScottMadden, Inc.

Chris Sturgill, Senior Associate, ScottMadden, Inc.


Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards
110 S Eutaw Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

To reserve your room, please call 1-410-962-0202
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

You can click here to book online 
Room Rate:

The room rate is $189.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of September 24 – 25, 2017.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to September 4, 2017. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 295.00

Host Utility

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