A new national resolution recognizing the urgent need for resources, infrastructure, stakeholder collaboration and equity to address the rapid growth of transportation electrification was shared with the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation and the new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation.
The Resolution on Urgency of Preparing for Widespread Transportation Electrification, passed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners at its November Annual Meeting, recommends increased coordination of new investments; effective, efficient and equitable grid upgrades; and stakeholder engagement. There are 30 states that have authorized electric companies to deploy more than $3 billion for transportation electrification investments, with more than $800 million directed toward historically marginalized communities, not to mention billions of dollars for investments under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.
"Electrification is a promising and relatively straightforward way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and heating sectors," said Rhode Island Commissioner Abigail Anthony, who chairs NARUC's Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, which sponsored the resolution. "State utility regulators have unique expertise in ensuring that utilities manage the cost to serve electric load, including exploring rates and investments that improve grid flexibility and allow clean heating and transportation to be served without increasing peak demand."
"Transportation electrification is an important policy for many NARUC states and the federal government to meaningfully address climate change and decarbonization," said Commissioner Michael Richard, of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who sponsored the resolution and is a member of the ERE committee. "State utility regulators, working collaboratively with key federal and state agencies, will play an important role in effectively implementing transportation electrification, and for this reason, I'm pleased that NARUC has adopted this resolution to focus attention on this important priority of our day."
Anthony noted that although state utility regulators have unique expertise in ensuring that utilities manage the cost to serve electric load, utilities need to also be committed to the ideals expressed in the resolution. In addition, groups such as the Edison Electric Institute and other stakeholders are similarly focused on these issues and have acknowledged the importance of this resolution.
"America's electric companies are committed to working with regulators and other key stakeholders to identify the cost-effective investments that are needed to transform our nation's transportation sector," said EEI Executive Vice President Phil Moeller, who oversees the Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs. "We commend NARUC's Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment for its efforts to ensure that all key stakeholders are well prepared to coordinate on these new investments, which will help to meet the current and future needs of our customers."
The letter specifically requests that the agencies engage in an active dialogue with NARUC as the Association moves forward to develop opportunities for states to address their electric transportation needs.
For recent NARUC publications on electric vehicles, visit the Center for Partnerships and Innovation Energy Infrastructure Modernization resource page at https://www.naruc.org/cpi-1/energy-infrastructure-modernization/electric-vehicles/.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.