6th Annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium

Date and Time:

Friday, November 7, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall Warren Auditorium


On Friday, November 7, 2014, the University of San Diego School of Law will host its Sixth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium. The theme of our 2014 Climate & Energy Law Symposium is “Innovative Regulatory and Business Models in a Changing Electric Industry.” 

Regulatory frameworks and business models for electric utilities developed decades ago, and the fundamentals of the landscape are changing. Public policy, technological, and economic shifts are undermining the logic of the current system. Policies to encourage energy efficiency, increase renewable energy production, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are changing the context in which the industry operates. Technological innovations, including distributed photovoltaics, smart meters, and energy storage are enabling customers to understand and control their energy needs. Slower economic growth, increased efficiency, and more distributed generation are contributing to slower load growth. The confluence of these factors presents challenges and opportunities for the electric industry.

At the event academic and policy experts will analyze and assess three aspects of this complex issue.

  • Regulatory Changes: What regulatory changes will be needed to accommodate advancing technologies and the economic realities of the future? How can we align incentives of utilities, customers, and resource developers in a way that ensures equity and does not stifle innovation? What changes are needed to the utility ratemaking process both how utilities make money and how customers are charged for the energy services they use and provide? How can we achieve environmental goals and maintain reliability?
  • Utility Business Models: What utility business models could accommodate the projected changes? What functions and services should remain with regulated electric utilities and what functions could be provided by other entities? Are there existing examples of business models that could be applied to the changing landscape of the electric industry? What structure can meet overarching policy goals while maintaining viable utilities?
  • Market Structures: What market structures would facilitate exchange of services and value between utilities and customers? What attributes, market rules, and standards would be necessary to ensure transparency, encourage innovation, and create stability?

The University of San Diego Climate & Energy Law Symposium is co-hosted by the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) and the SAN DIEGO JOURNAL OF CLIMATE & ENERGY LAW.



Yara Zokaie