NARUC Releases Draft Rate Design Manual

   The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) convened a town hall meeting for the public and other interested parties to provide input on the draft Manual on Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Compensation during the Summer Committee Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 23.

The draft manual, along with a notice describing the format of the town hall meeting, was distributed to stakeholder groups and posted to NARUC’s website on July 21.

The draft DER Compensation Manual is the result of a November 11, 2015, resolution adopted at NARUC’s Annual Meeting to create a Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design to provide a forum for state commissions to address rate design challenges. The resolution also recognized the increasing importance of rate design issues in state policy. At that meeting, NARUC President Travis Kavulla of Montana noted in his installation remarks that the subcommittee would prepare a manual related to DER to help states manage these challenges.

  “Once complete, the manual will be a practical tool to help state regulators manage the complicated issues associated with rate design for distributed generation,” said Kavulla.  “While the staff subcommittee has produced a solid draft, the present release is not the final word on this matter, and we expect a number of changes to be made in response to the feedback we receive at Nashville and by the comment deadline on September 2. Stakeholders have actively participated so far, and I hope that will continue.”

Organized in five main sections, the manual describes the basic rate design process and how DER affects that process, defines DER and its relevance for states, identifies the challenges and questions raised by the details of rate design and compensation, outlines a variety of DER compensation methodologies and provides a description of advanced technologies that may assist regulators and utilities in planning and monitoring DER development.

The subcommittee solicited input on preparing the draft manual earlier this year and received roughly 130 responses. The feedback on the current draft will help inform the final manual, which is scheduled for a November release. As indicated on the notice, all comments on the draft manual should be sent to, and will be accepted through September 2, 2016. Comments should only be sent to this e-mail address.  IEF