Thursday, April 18 — The Consumer Advocates of the PJM States (CAPS) released a seven-volume handbook that aims to demystify transmission planning, development, and cost allocation processes.

 Consumer electric rates are rising across the PJM Interconnection, raising alarms for consumer advocates. Increased investment in transmission infrastructure is one driver of these rising costs. But the complexity of laws and regulations that govern PJM, plus the wide variety of methodologies that utilities use to determine rates, makes it difficult for consumers to understand exactly what they’re paying for and why.

“Consumers want reliable electricity at affordable rates,” said CAPS Executive Director Greg Poulos. “They want to know that their dollars are being used in the most effective way possible. It’s hard, however, to know exactly what goes into the bills we all pay because PJM’s processes are so complicated and there are significant concerns about the lack of oversight for transmission projects presented at PJM. The goal of this handbook is to shed some light on how PJM calculates rates so that CAPS members can be the best possible advocates for the communities they serve.”

Reliable electric service is fundamental to daily life, but much of the transmission infrastructure in PJM — which encompasses 13 states and the District of Columbia — is more than 40 years old. Factors such as rising demand from manufacturing facilities and data centers, as well as increased demand for renewable energy, will also heighten transmission needs in the coming years. There can, however, be tension between the need for major investment and the impact on consumers, who will ultimately shoulder the costs. This handbook will be a tool for advocates as they scrutinize spending in PJM and navigate everything from PJM’s annual planning process to rate cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to state-level siting and permitting proceedings.

 The handbook — which was developed on behalf of CAPS by David Gardiner and Associates — contains the following seven volumes:

  • Volume 1: Executive Summary
  • Volume 2: Background on the Electric Network, PJM, and PJM Members
  • Volume 3: Electric Customer Bills
  • Volume 4: Transmission Planning in PJM
  • Volume 5: Transmission Siting in the PJM Region
  • Volume 6: Transmission Project Costs and Charges
  • Volume 7: Transmission Rate Cases in PJM

 All volumes are available for download here.


About CAPS:

Established in 2013, Consumer Advocates of the PJM States, Inc. (CAPS) is a non-profit organization whose members represent over 65 million consumers in the 13 PJM States and the District of Columbia. Regulatory rules vary greatly across jurisdictions, but in each the electricity costs paid by consumers is at least partly determined by the tariff and rules under which PJM operates. PJM and its stakeholders set those rules and CAPS’ engagement is necessary to ensure that consumers’ voices are heard. CAPS’ mission is to actively engage in the PJM stakeholder process and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure that the prices consumers pay for reliable, wholesale electric service are reasonable.

About DGA:

David Gardiner and Associates (DGA) was founded in 2001 to serve as a strategic advisor to organizations and businesses seeking a sustainable future. Our firm combines expertise developing research and analysis with deep understanding of clean energy markets and policy. DGA has worked for foundations, businesses, and non-profit advocacy groups to develop strategies to identify and promote policies that will advance clean energy and a low-carbon economy.

Media Contact:

Hannah Schuster, Senior Communications Associate | 703-298-2339