California storage bill and Michigan utility resource plan were top 2018 trending issues on AEE

Legislation providing incentives for customer-sited energy storage in California and a utility’s resource plan in Michigan were the top bill and regulatory proceeding, respectively, “trending” in PowerSuite, Advanced Energy Economy’s online tool for identifying and managing energy policy risks and opportunities, in 2018. Among regulatory topics tagged as “favorite” by AEE PowerSuite users, “grid modernization” took top honors with 1,872 tags.

In California, the big news in energy legislation was passage of the “100% clean grid” bill, SB 100. But it was another California bill that was the top trending legislation in PowerSuite nationally all summer long. Passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Brown, SB 700 reauthorized California’s signature Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for another five years to bring to market new distributed energy technologies, including customer-sited energy storage – and the “trending” status of SB 700 was a function of the burgeoning business interest in energy storage in the Golden State. As in YouTube or Twitter, a bill that’s “trending” in PowerSuite is particularly popular among users and particularly active, in terms of hearings, amendments and floor action in the legislature.

Although California’s SGIP bill was closely tracked—and much amended—as it worked its way through the legislature, its prospects for success were always good. PowerSuite’s machine learning-based bill forecast—a feature available to PowerSuite Pro subscribers—indicated a 76% (or “likely to be enacted”) chance of passage at the time the bill was introduced.

Among Public Utility Commission (PUC) dockets, it was Michigan electric utility Consumers Energy’s integrated resource plan that set the trending pace. Addressing a wide variety of energy resources—including solar, energy storage, energy efficiency, demand response, and conservation voltage reduction, as well as retirement of four coal-fired power plants—this IRP attracted wide-ranging interest among PowerSuite users in a docket opened in 2015 but with dozens of filings in 2018 alone.

PowerSuite users indirectly show their interest in specific legislative and regulatory topics as well, based on what they are tracking as “favorites.” The PowerSuite team curates common energy policy topics into “watch lists” for easy reference. Among those watch lists, regulatory dockets categorized under “Grid Modernization” were favorited the most in 2018, followed by a cluster of others: resource planning, energy efficiency, and rate cases. (See Fig. 1 below.)

Fig. 1: Top 10 AEE PowerSuite Utility Docket “Watch List” Topics in 2018

top10dockets-2018-PowerSuite 2

See the entire Utility Docket “Watch List” Topics in 2018 here.

In terms of legislation, bills related to “Renewable Portfolio Standards” (RPS) received the most “favorites” by PowerSuite users this year. When a topic (or a specific bill or docket) is marked as a “favorite,” the PowerSuite user receives an email notification with updates whenever there is new activity on the selected issue. (See Fig. 2 below.)

Fig. 2: Top 10 AEE PowerSuite Legislative Bill “Watch List” Topics in 2018

top10bills-2018-PowerSuite 2

See the entire Legislative Bill “Watch List” Topics in 2018 here.

PowerSuite is a powerful tool for separating the signal from the noise in the complex world of energy policy. More than 250 companies, utilities, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and media outlets use PowerSuite to identify and manage energy policy risks and opportunities in all 50 states and the federal government; PowerSuite now has more than 1,400 active monthly users.

New features in 2018:

  • Custom Reports: PowerSuite users can easily share reports on bills or dockets to share with colleagues. With one click, PowerSuite can generate a Word document or spreadsheet on the legislation or regulatory proceedings they are following.
  • “Favorite” and “Trending” Filings: PowerSuite users can now “favorite” specific regulatory filings just as they can with dockets. In addition, users can see what filings within that docket are “trending”—attracting the most interest and activity among PowerSuite users. Example: This Arizona docket has generated more than 250 filings, but with one click you can zero in on the six specific filings that are trending on PowerSuite.

New features coming soon:

  • Legislative Hearings: Just in time for the 2019 legislative sessions, we will provide information on bill hearings once they are scheduled, so advocates can effectively and efficiently engage on legislation.
  • Improved Docket Search: Now under development, our biggest upgrade in search functionality since 2014 will dramatically enhance usability for both new and advanced users, making it easier than ever to find that business-driving needle in the regulatory haystack.

In addition to its core features, PowerSuite contains a wealth of information in state-by-state profiles covering key decision-makers; energy policies, resources, and prices; regulatory structures and investor-owned utilities; and more. Also available are free archived webinars like this one demonstrating PowerSuite’s powerful features and how to get the most out of them. Start a free trial today at powersuite.aee.net.

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