The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”

June 28, 2017 @ 8:15 am – 3:30 pm
Pyle Center
University of Wisconsin: Pyle Center
702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
$75 for members, $125 for non-members
Cara Lee (Sam) Mahany Braithwait


Draft Agenda

 The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
(and how it turned into a tangle)
0.6 CEUs


This program travels through history to understand the drivers and the outcomes of regulation and rates in Wisconsin, with a backdrop of what has happened nationally during the same period. We recognize how regulations often have translated into rate design and vice versa. We will also have a briefing on how cost of service has changed over time.


8:00-8:15          Registration check-in and welcome coffee

8:15-8:45          The Foundations of Wisconsin’s Regulatory Role  –  The availability of heat, light, and water service are central to modern life. For this reason, an individual, business, or local government that provides one of these services to the public is deemed a “public utility” and is subject to a system of state regulation designed to ensure availability of service and to protect the interests of consumers, public utilities, and their investors.  Zach Ramirez, Staff Attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Council
Zach Ramirez presentation  and Zach Ramirez memo  and Zach Ramirez video

8:45-9:30          Regulatory Intent:  From the First Oil Crisis Until Today  –  Surveying the last 40 years, this presentation looks at major state and federal regulatory developments, their principal drivers, and how states responded to and implemented federal energy policy changes.  Nate Zolik, Attorney, Godfrey and Kahn
Nate Zolik presentation and Nate Zolik video

9:30-10:15        Utility Response to the “Tango”  –  Thrust into a new role, conserving their product, how did utility programs respond to new initiatives from the public and regulatory spheres of influence?

Panel Discussion

Moderator:  Enrique Bacalao, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

10:15-10:30      Break

10:30-11:45      Economics and Engineering in a new Partnership:  Cost of Service  –  Much has changed in cost of service modelling over the past 40 years as regulation and rates adjusted to new market conditions.  Larry Vogt, Director of Rates, Mississippi Power
Larry Vogt Economics presentation

11:45-12:30       Lunch

12:30-1:15         Minimum Distribution Charges   Minimum distribution charges have caught the attention of some regulators.  What are they, and how can they help with cost/pricing issues in today’s market?  Larry Vogt
Larry Vogt Minimum Distribution presentation

1:15-1:30            Break

1:30-2:30            Public Perception of the “Tango”  —  Presentation of program options that were designed to meet new regulatory guidelines. What was the public expectation to these changes?  How did they perform?  What were the roles of pilot programs and market incentives?

Panel Discussion:

  • Thomas Content, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
  • Sarah Barry,  Executive Director, Customers First! Coalition
  • Kathy Kunz, Executive Director, Cool Choices

2:30-3:15            Challenge or Opportunity:  It Started With Conservation and Now Includes Renewable Load Growth  —   How have regulators and utilities responded to revenue erosion?  How successful have their responses been?  How do these options fit with regulatory intent?   Dan Hansen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting    
Dan Hansen presentation

3:15-3:30             Closing Comments

3:30                      Adjourn



Note: The following programs have been designed as a series:

  • June 28, 2017 — The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
  • July 21, 2017 — Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
  • Sept. 28, 2017 — Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
  • Oct. 26, 2017 — Powering a More Electric Economy

Registering for all four programs qualifies the registrant for a discounted registration fee. Registration for the series may be shared by up to four employees of the same organization. If you would like to inquire about this discounted fee, please email Sara at



Your registration fee includes printed materials, welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEU certificates are available upon request.

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