News Release

Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson Leads Discussion on Performance Based Regulation in Utility Rate Cases

For Immediate Release | 2-6-20
Contact | Daniel Schwiebert
Direct |  602-542-3625
E-Mail | DPSchwiebert@azcc.gov

PHOENIX - Arizona Corporation Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson opened a docket today to investigate the role performance incentive mechanisms (PIMs) may have in rate cases for Arizona electric utilities. The goal of PIMs are to better align the interests and expectations of utility customers with financial incentives and regulatory considerations of those utilities.

“My goal in opening this docket is to make sure we have the tools in place as regulators to ensure we are protecting customers and promoting accountability,” Commissioner Peterson said. “The electric utility industry has seen massive changes over the last decade – changes that will continue into the future – and I want to understand whether our current regulatory and rate making structures are equipped to address these new energy realities and the expectations of customers in the future.”

Since 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia have implemented or are investigating ways to incentivize performance for utilities with similar tools. PIMs can be used to incentivize a variety of policy priorities including, progress on clean energy, safety, reliability, affordability, customer service and grid modernization. 

According to Karl Rabago, Executive Director at the Pace Center for Energy and Climate, “Using performance incentives to transform the utility business model is a response to rising capital costs, weakening revenues and disruptive new technologies.”

Commissioner Márquez Peterson intends to schedule a workshop for stakeholders to engage on the subject in the coming months. “It is my hope that this docket is flooded with data, history and analyses looking at different ways to incentivize utility performance,” Peterson said. “I expect there to be quite a bit of interest on this topic and look forward to hearing more from all interested parties.”

To view the docket, click here

 

Lea Márquez PetersonAbout Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson, MBA, IOM:

Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission by Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2019. She is the first Latina to serve in a statewide seat in the state of Arizona.

Lea has been an entrepreneur in our community for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents over 1800-member businesses and in partnership with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the largest chambers in the State of Arizona.

She ran for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 2 in 2018 and won a competitive primary race though lost the general election. She previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations / convenience stores with 50 employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.

Lea has been appointed to serve on the Arizona Judicial Council which advises the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Finance Authority, the state’s bonding authority. She chairs the Board of Directors of Carondelet’s St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Hospitals in Tucson and is the former Chair of the Pima Association of Governments’ Economic Vitality Committee. She serves on the Boards of the University of Arizona Foundation and the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and is the President of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Tucson. She also serves on the national board for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She received her undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona, and her Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She is married with two children.

Twitter: @LeaPeterson
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leamarquezpeterson/

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://azcc.gov.

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