Launched in February 2014, the e21 Initiative is a consensus-based, multi-stakeholder effort to better align the way utilities in Minnesota are compensated with customer expectations and public policy goals, and enable the state to adapt to rapid technology change at the distribution edge.
In its first phase (Feb. to Dec. 2014), e21 achieved consensus that Minnesota should evolve toward a more consumer-centric, performance-based regulatory approach and utility business model (see Phase I Report). e21’s second phase (January 2015 to July 2016) is devoted to developing the next level of detail necessary for implementation of its Phase I recommendations. A set of white papers on performance-based compensation, integrated system planning, and grid modernization is forthcoming later this summer.
GPI partners with Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, Center for Energy and Environment, George Washington University Law School, and other stakeholders to map out this transition that will achieve the following Guiding Principles:
- Align an economically viable utility model with state and federal public policy goals.
- Provide universal access to electricity services, including affordable services to low-income customers.
- Provide for just, reasonable, and competitive rates.
- Enable delivery of services and options that customers value.
- Recognize and fairly value grid services and “distributed energy resource” services.
- Assure system reliability, and enhance resilience and security, while addressing customer privacy concerns.
- Foster investment that optimizes economic and operational efficiency of the system as a whole.
- Reduce regulatory administrative costs where possible (e.g., results in fewer rate cases or otherwise reduce the burden of the regulatory process).
- Facilitate innovation and implementation of new technologies.