Decision-making in demand-side management collaboratives: The influence of non-utility parties on electric-utility policies and programs

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Since the late 1980s, a number of electric utilities and interested non-utility parties (NUPs)-such as environmental groups, large industrial customers, and state government agencies-have tried a new approach to reaching agreement on program design and policy issues related to utility use of Demand-Side Management (DSM) resources. Through this new arrangement, known as the DSM collaborative process, parties who have often been adversaries attempt to resolve their differences through compromise and consensus rather than by using traditional litigation. This paper-which is based on studies of over a dozen collaboratives nationwide-discusses the organizational structure of collaboratives, the ways in which NUPs have ... continued below

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12 p.

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Schweitzer, M.; English, M. & Schexnayder, S. July 1, 1995.

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Since the late 1980s, a number of electric utilities and interested non-utility parties (NUPs)-such as environmental groups, large industrial customers, and state government agencies-have tried a new approach to reaching agreement on program design and policy issues related to utility use of Demand-Side Management (DSM) resources. Through this new arrangement, known as the DSM collaborative process, parties who have often been adversaries attempt to resolve their differences through compromise and consensus rather than by using traditional litigation. This paper-which is based on studies of over a dozen collaboratives nationwide-discusses the organizational structure of collaboratives, the ways in which NUPs have been involved in the decision-making process, and how the amount of influence exerted by the NUPs is related to collaborative accomplishments. Most of the collaboratives studied had two organizational levels: a {open_quotes}working group{close_quotes} that provided policy direction and guidance for the collaborative and {open_quotes}subgroups{close_quotes} that performed the detailed tasks necessary to flesh out individual DSM programs. Most collaboratives also had a coordinator who was charged with scheduling meetings, exchanging information, and performing other important organizational functions, and it was common for the utility to fund consultants to provide expert assistance for the NUPs. In general, the utilities reserved the final decision-making prerogative for themselves, in line with their ultimate responsibility to shareholders, customers, and regulators. Still, there was substantial variation among the collaboratives in terms of how actively consensus was sought and how seriously the inputs of the NUPs were taken. In general, the collaboratives that resulted in the largest effects on utility DSM usage were those in which the utilities were most willing to allow their decisions to be shaped by the NUPs.

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12 p.

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OSTI as DE95013977

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  • 20. National Association of Environmental Professionals annual conference and exposition: environmental challenges - the next twenty years, Washington, DC (United States), 10-13 Jun 1995

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  • Other: DE95013977
  • Report No.: CONF-9506115--7
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 82417
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc781025

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  • July 1, 1995

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Jan. 19, 2016, 12:36 p.m.

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Schweitzer, M.; English, M. & Schexnayder, S. Decision-making in demand-side management collaboratives: The influence of non-utility parties on electric-utility policies and programs, article, July 1, 1995; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc781025/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.