The February issue of American Gas magazine titled, With Drive and Determination, features Robert Powelson, 2017 President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and discusses his three priorities for the year ahead: infrastructure, investment and innovation.
As Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Powelson firmly believes that a well-maintained and resilient infrastructure is critical for a strong economy. Hailing from the second-largest natural gas production state in the nation, Powelson has seen first-hand the economic renaissance taking place, due in large part to the shale revolution.
In his role as NARUC President, Powelson aims to provide a broader conversation around modern utility infrastructure investment among lawmakers, local distribution centers and industry stakeholders. Powelson is encouraged by the conversation taking place within NARUC about updating the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and examining ways for state commissions to incorporate ratemaking tools that stimulate infrastructure investment.
A cornerstone of Powelson’s NARUC Presidency will be to focus on opportunities for innovation within the utility industry. Today, customers expect to have access to smart thermostats and meters, as well as the ability to be more involved in their energy usage, pricing and sources of generation. It is important that utilities begin to explore ways to improve the overall customer experience and engage customers in a more personal way.
Over the next year, NARUC will focus on bringing the thought leaders in technology to NARUC and showcasing some of the newest technologies in the utility realm. Examples include battery storage technology, oxide fuel cells and new combined heat and power initiatives.
For the complete American Gas magazine article, please click here.