Online Learning: Learning Paths

Energy Regulation Fundamentals

Length: 4.5 hours
Subscription: 2 months - 12 months
Cost: $295 - $350
Prerequisites: None

Regulation greatly impacts how natural gas and electric utilities can operate, generate revenue, and earn profits. It also affects what other industry participants are allowed to do and where they are allowed to operate. Understanding the basics of energy regulation is essential for those seeking a solid understanding of the energy business. Energy Regulation Fundamentals provides a thorough overview of the basic concepts of energy regulation, who the energy regulators are, and who regulates what on state versus federal levels. This learning path also explains the ratemaking process and is appropriate for industry newcomers as well as those interested in learning details on how regulation works.

This course comprises the following modules:

  • Introduction
  • Basic Concepts of Energy Regulation
  • Regulatory Proceedings
  • Revenue Requirements and Ratemaking
  • Concepts of Natural Gas and Electricity Deregulation

Following is a more detailed outline of content contained in the Energy Regulation Fundamentals online course.


  • The role of regulation
  • Course objectives

Basic Concepts of Energy Regulation

  • What is regulation?
  • Why industries are regulated
  • Energy companies that are regulated and why it’s important to regulate them
  • Natural monopolies (LDCs, UDCs, vertically integrated electric utilities, ISOs/RTOs)
  • Essential facilities (transmission lines, gas pipelines, gas storage facilities, LNG terminals)
  • Competitive market participants (merchant generators, wholesale traders, financial services providers, retail marketers)
  • Who are the regulators and who do they regulate? (federal, state, local)
  • What does regulation do?
  • Impacts of regulation on energy companies, consumers and politicians
  • A brief history of regulation in the U.S.
  • The movement to deregulation in the U.S.
  • The regulatory compact (federal and state)
  • Six goals of regulators
  • Safe and reliable energy
  • Just and reasonable pricing
  • Economic efficiency
  • Consumer protection
  • Public goods programs
  • Fair return to shareholders
  • How regulation is determined
  • The regulatory process
  • The realities of regulation

Regulatory Proceedings

  • The purpose of a regulatory proceeding
  • Who initiates proceedings
  • Proceedings initiated by a regulator (rulemakings, inquiries and investigations)
  • Proceedings initiated by a regulated company (cost of capital proceedings, rate cases, certificate cases, applications, mergers and acquisitions approvals, proceedings initiated by others, complaints, petitions)
  • The regulatory process step by step: proceeding initiation, initial conference, opening briefs, discovery, hearings, closing briefs, draft decision, final decision, implementation, appeal
  • Settlements
  • Participants and their roles and goals: commissioners, presiding officer, commission staff, regulated energy companies, regulated energy company employees, intervenors

Revenue Requirements and Ratemaking

  • Types of ratemaking
  • Determining cost-based rates
  • Task 1: Establishing the cost of capital
  • Task 2: Setting the revenue requirement
  • Task 3: Allocating the revenue requirement among customer classes
  • Task 4: Setting rates
  • The rate case proceeding
  • How rates are adjusted between rate cycles
  • Setting rates for municipal utilities and co-ops
  • Issues with cost-of-service ratemaking
  • Incentive regulation (performance incentives, market-based/benchmark incentives)
  • Market-based rates
  • The unique case of the ISO
  • Impacts on earnings from each type of ratemaking

Concepts of Natural Gas and Electricity Deregulation

  • Reasons for deregulating an industry
  • Unbundling the gas and electric industries
  • Competitive wholesale markets and key transition issues (market liquidity, market power, transparent pricing, open access)
  • Consistent rules
  • Competitive retail markets and key transition issues
  • Multiple suppliers and open entry
  • Provider of last resort function
  • Reliability and sufficient capacity
  • Unbundling services and funding social programs
  • Cost allocation
  • Consumer protection and education
  • Transition mechanisms
  • Transition issues for the unbundled utility, competitive market participants and consumers
  • The evolution and current status of gas restructuring in the U.S. (wholesale markets, retail markets state by state)
  • The evolution and current status of electric restructuring in the U.S. (wholesale markets including current RTOs/ ISOs, retail markets state by state

Contact us at 866-765-5432 or e-mail for more information.

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