CEA Virtual Regulation Program: Electricity Regulation during a Pandemic


On May 6, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) hosted its annual CAMPUT Workshop, Regulatory Perspectives on Electric Utility Pandemic Response & Digital Transformation. For the first time, the event was hosted in a digital format. ERQ is now offering a Video feature that allows readers to view this program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV5nmcgF7Fs.


The workshop had two primary themes.

First it considered customer relief measures and decreasing loads resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased pressure on electric utility financial models given the growing revenue shortfalls. The program also explored the recent KPMG report commissioned by the CEA and the Canadian Gas Association regarding the costs and benefits of utility cloud computing investments.[1]

The event started with a keynote speaker, Brien Sheahan, former Chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission who outlined the principles that should guide regulators in addressing COVID-19 challenges.

The first panel, which was chaired by Indy Butany-DeSouza, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Alectra Utilities, and included: Jonathan Erling, Executive Director at KPMG; Kevin Major, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company; and, Denise Parrish, Deputy Administrator in the Wyoming Office of the Consumer Advocate.

The panel explored how new technologies could promote utility cost savings, increased security and greater resiliency. Various obstacles to adoption were identified, including regulatory models that prevented optimal investment.

The second panel was chaired by Francis Bradley, President of the CEA. It included Gordon Kaiser, a former Vice Chair of the Ontario Energy Board, David Morton, Chair of the British Columbia Utility Commission and Larry Parkinson, Director of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington.

The second panel surveyed the steps regulators have taken across Canada and the United States to increase regulatory efficiency during COVID-19. They also forecasted the challenges ahead including significant rate applications caused by historic demand destruction.

  1. KPGM, “Capitalizing the Cloud” (March 2020), online (pdf): ERQ <www.energyregulationquarterly.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CEA_CGA_-Capitalizing-the-Cloud-Report-EN_04.23.20.pdf>.


Leave a Reply