Contributors: Jim Coyne, Bob Yardley, Dan Dane, Danielle Powers, Forrest Small, John Stewart, Mark Cattrell, and Ruben Moreno
Customers in several states, including Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Minnesota, are facing the prospect of unprecedented levels on electricity and natural gas bills.
Utilities that rely on wholesale markets to purchase electricity and natural gas are required to pay for supplies each week (electricity) or each month (natural gas). These bills are coming due, creating a financial emergency for many utilities. State regulators have two equally challenging and important responsibilities:
- Determining how to respond to customers’ immediate financial crises and the utilities that serve them.
- Reflecting on lessons learned and considering changes to applicable rules and policies.
This article deals with the immediate challenges facing customers, utilities, and state regulators.