Four Alternative Models for Regulating an Investor Owned Utility of the Future

How do you coerce a monopoly to act as if it were operating in a ruthlessly competitive industry? This is the billion-dollar question of Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs). It’s a tricky thing to do with a mixed history of success. And it’s getting trickier, especially here in Hawaiʻi, where renewable energy and so-called “distributed resources” (e.g. rooftop solar, residential batteries, smart appliances, electric vehicles) are changing the nature of the electricity system, managed by our own monopoly, Hawaiian Electric Company. Here, UHERO Fellow Michael Roberts summarizes four ideas for how to change the way we regulate Hawaiian Electric Company, and shares some preliminary thoughts about their strengths and weaknesses.

Facebook
Twitter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) welcomes online comments to stories that are posted on our website or social media pages. Comments are intended to be a forum for open, respectful, and family-friendly discussion. UHERO reserves the right to remove anything posted on our website or social media pages that is deemed inappropriate. All comments are moderated and will therefore have a delayed post time.
Some guidelines (not an exhaustive list) we use when moderating/approving comments include:

  • Do not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
  • Do not post content that is hateful, threatening or wildly off-topic; or do anything unlawful, malicious, discriminatory or defamatory.
  • Observe confidentiality laws at all times.
  • Do not post spam or advertisements.
  • Observe fair use, copyright and disclosure laws.
  • Do not use vulgar language or profanity.

UHERO may amend this policy from time to time.