e21 Roundtable Suggests Process Considerations for Performance Metrics Docket

As we’ve noted previously, a core activity of e21 Phase III is to convene stakeholders in Roundtables to discuss issues related to the principles, goals, and objectives developed by earlier phases of e21.

Among those previously developed topics is performance-based compensation, for which stakeholders developed a framework in the e21 Phase II white paper that, among other things, delineates principles and guidelines to support an incremental movement toward a more performance-based model for electric utility regulation and identifies three scenarios to help stakeholders think about key decisions in the process.

In September of 2017, the Minnesota PUC opened a docket to identify and develop performance metrics and, potentially, incentives for Xcel Energy electric utility operations, seeking comments on the key goals of utility regulation and how performance on those goals should be measured, among other items.

Following the opening of that docket, the e21 Initiative convened its first “Roundtable” of Phase III, with the goal of raising the level of education for all  stakeholders and allowing them to explore their perspectives in advance of the initial comment period. e21 conveners recruited representatives from a diverse group of stakeholders who seemed likely to intervene in the docket, and began the process with an initial meeting in November of 2017 to learn about performance-based utility regulation from an international and national perspective.

Following the first meeting, the group met three additional times to jointly educate one another, explore varying perspectives around what outcomes should be used to establish performance metrics, and discuss concerns and opportunities around the process of exploring performance regulation.

Ultimately, the group did not have enough time to settle on a set of desired outcomes that could be delivered through performance regulation, but group members did raise up several suggestions for how to carefully and intelligently continue this conversation, including:

  • Utilizing a structured process with clear direction
  • Seeking stakeholder engagement throughout that process
  • Recognizing that there are already performance incentive mechanisms in place in Minnesota, and addressing that as part of the process
  • Considering that some emerging issues may both be pertinent to this docket and also require a separate or simultaneous discussion

To learn more about suggestions from the group, please check out the official filing.

We expect that this group will continue to meet in the future, so please stay tuned for more updates!

Have a question about the e21 Roundtable on Performance Incentive Mechanisms? Contact Doug Scott at [email protected] or Trevor Drake at [email protected]