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What We Do

Rate Case Support and Strategic Analysis

Rate case strategy

MCR helps clients develop successful rate case strategies for state jurisdictions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We help evaluate the decision to file a case, define overall objectives, support the underlying rationale, prepare supporting analysis of regulatory issues, and determine the optimal timing for cases. MCR works with clients to develop a regulatory strategy that will be sustainable in the long run. We carefully examine the nature of expected short-term and long-term changes to both costs and revenues; and then we identify alternative potential regulatory strategies addressing the specific circumstances that each client faces.

Rate case management

MCR facilitates the development and management of rate cases at both the state and federal levels. We provide support and guidance in overall process management, prioritize and address key issues, develop structure and strategy of supporting studies, refine testimony and exhibits, administer the flow of interrogatories and other discovery requests and responses, and manage the filing of required schedules and work papers.

Pre-filing review

MCR provides pre-filing reviews of regulatory petitions, pre-filed testimony, tariffs, exhibits, and minimum filing requirements before submission to regulatory commissions. MCR’s experienced professionals bring a wide variety of regulatory and ratemaking experiences; our clients benefit from our constructive reviews and recommendations on improvements to proposed filings. Conducting fully independent pre-filing reviews improves filings and builds more compelling cases for the desired regulatory outcomes.

Cost of Service

MCR provides support for cost of service studies for electric, gas and water companies, for use in rate cases or for other regulatory analysis outside the context of a rate case filing. Support may be provided via our in house model or performed by using your Company’s model.

COST™ model

MCR’s Cost of Service Tool (COST™) is ideal for regulatory professionals seeking to provide greater transparency to regulators, intervenors and other stakeholders. The tool also provides full functionality to design rates for rate case filings as well as typical bill analysis. Built by regulatory professionals in Microsoft Excel, COST™ is a fully functional cost of service model with open logic for audit, review, scenario analysis, and user editing. It allows for development of the Cost of Service without any buried code or time-consuming run-time macros. New cost elements, revenues or rate base items can be quickly integrated into the analysis; adding new rate schedules is as simple as inserting a column into Excel. Learn more by downloading a COST™ brochure and reading about five features a cost of service model must have. Upon request, MCR experts will facilitate a live, online demonstration of COST™ and will answer your questions during the meeting. Contact us for more information.

MCR has also designed a rate design module that connects seamlessly with the COST™ model. Rate schedule revenue requirements are imported from the client’s Cost of Service and rate design personnel can choose to manually adjust the proposed rate increase for each class or have the model run the calculations. See Rate Design section for additional support MCR provides in conjunction with and separate from this model.

Cost of service support

MCR reviews and validates your internal cost of service model to compare results, allocation methodologies and consistency with previous runs used in filed cases. Our regulatory professionals recommend different allocation methodologies and analyze the ones most likely to be utilized in future rate cases or studies for alternative rate designs.

Rate Design

Traditional rate design

MCR works with clients to develop regulatory filings that allow recovery of revenue requirements through a variety of traditional mechanisms, including modification to customer charges, evaluation of time of use periods, revisions to block structures, and development of other riders that recover costs for changes in infrastructure and operating costs. MCR helps clients determine the mechanisms that fit our clients’ specific circumstances and develop regulatory filings based on solid justifications to support the selected approaches.

Alternative rate design

MCR uses a collaborative approach to develop specific proactive alternative rate methodologies, such as straight fixed variable rates, decoupling, weather normalization, formula rates, or multiyear rate plans that will ensure rate mechanisms reflect the operational and financial requirements of our clients. MCR creates innovative rate designs to match the unique demands of an ever-changing and evolving marketplace. We work closely with our clients to study and modify rate mechanisms to meet competitive challenges and produce desired revenue requirements.

Tariff analysis

MCR develops analyses that are based on decades of experience and industry best practices. Our final report includes an analysis of each rate schedule with findings, professional insights and actionable recommendations, leading to improved consistency across all tariffs. When tariffs are analyzed by an independent organization, utilities gain better control over the process outside a formal rate case proceeding.

Rate schedule determination

MCR helps interpret and develop a systematic approach to ensure our clients choose proper rate schedule determination for their commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. Through our rate option review and analysis services, we help our clients proactively provide outreach to their C&I customers. Utilities benefit from this offering through improved relationships with C&I customers and regulators.

Expert Testimony

Expert regulatory testimony

MCR staff supports clients in preparing and providing testimony; our expert contributions enable utilities to succeed in response to regulatory and market changes. MCR staff has successfully testified regarding revenue requirements, cost of service, rate design and alternative ratemaking. Our staff members have presented and supported expert testimony on behalf of clients before numerous state regulatory bodies and FERC.

Witness training

MCR offers training courses in ratemaking, regulatory accounting, and witness effectiveness. Our Understanding Ratemaking course covers the fundamentals of ratemaking, advanced ratemaking, and contemporary topics in ratemaking. Similarly, MCR’s Regulatory Accounting class helps bridge the understanding gap between traditional GAAP and regulatory accounting requirements. Our Becoming a More Effective Witness course is customized for participants who have been designated a role in an upcoming hearing and need to understand how to become an effective witness.

Regulatory Support

Regulatory/legislative support & policy development

MCR helps our clients develop and implement this process, as well as assist with specific tasks within the process. We review and evaluate drafts of legislation and regulations, and prepare comments and opinions regarding impacts to the client. MCR has advocated client interests before state regulatory commissions while coordinating regulatory efforts across corporate functions. MCR’s experiences cover a wide array of topics, such as deregulation and re-regulation drafts, RTO formation, energy efficiency and demand response program development, FERC transmission issues, advanced metering, distributed generation, microgrids and electric vehicles. MCR collaboratively works with our clients on creating policy and regulatory positions, while developing advocacy strategies that align with corporate strategies.

Load forecasting process review

MCR works jointly with clients to assess the appropriateness of their load forecasting process and supporting models, and to identify any opportunities for improvement. This analysis can include a granular level review of a client’s requirement of data collection or a macro-level assessment of load forecasting that ultimately supports power supply requirements. MCR’s assessment can include a benchmarking study of our client’s peers, which provides our clients meaningful comparisons to their peers.

Revenue enhancement

MCR works collaboratively with clients to provide customized revenue enhancement strategies, based on corporate goals and the client’s existing regulatory environment. We leverage our regulatory and financial expertise to ensure viable opportunities are offered without sacrificing customers or customer experiences. MCR’s process involves facilitating client team discussions, strategically thinking through options and analyzing the viable ones; choosing the service(s) that provide(s) the greatest revenue potential; and developing a regulatory plan to gain approval for the offerings while ensuring the services align with corporate objectives. The resulting revenue enhancement strategy provides an actionable plan for our clients to achieve increased revenue opportunities.

Energy efficiency & demand response regulatory support

MCR combines its regulatory experience with its energy efficiency experience to support our clients in these types of filings. From developing and defending load potential studies, to designing programs, to the nuances of setting incentive levels and applying cost effectiveness tests, MCR professionals are able to develop or review energy efficiency plans and create needed regulatory filings and justifications. MCR also has experience working through EM&V processes and dealing with state-wide evaluators to ensure program results are presented in a manner that supports proper credit for the results achieved.

Stakeholder participation/advisory service

Working group meetings with external stakeholders can be time consuming for utility regulatory staff. MCR works collaboratively with our clients to understand their positions, thus enabling us to represent our clients’ views in working group discussions. We have successfully represented our clients at stakeholder meetings regarding a range of topics, including rate design, planning, and forecasting to energy efficiency and distributed energy.