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State Energy and Utility Regulation

Last updated on September 24, 2021

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot has represented energy companies and utilities before state public utility commissions in a variety of proceedings, and we advise clients on business strategies to positively affect operations and transactions. Our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully handling traditional utility cases and the capability to tackle new and emerging utility issues. We offer clients the flexibility to seek attorneys’ advice to anticipate and address individual issues or to represent them in cases that most impact their businesses.

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot attorneys have been representing energy (including both electric and natural gas) and other public utilities in regulatory proceedings before state and federal agencies for over 30 years, including state public utilities commissions, and in particular, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). Our specialized knowledge of public utility and energy law, as well as the unique technical, economic and financial aspects of utility and energy company operations, enables us to present cases effectively before regulators and achieve desired results. We have strong expertise in cases which involve complex financial, technical and accounting issues, and expert economic or engineering testimony.

Our representation covers the entire range of utility regulation, including:

  • Rates and rate design
  • Financing
  • Complaints
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Renewable resources, including hydropower, solar and wind
  • Certification and acquisition approvals
  • Rulemakings and compliance with state and federal rules

Successes include:

  • Representation of electric utilities in rate cases involving consumer advocate intervenor; negotiated successful terms of settlements and achieved successful results in each case through both settlements and public hearings
  • Representation of private equity company investigating investing in Alaska power projects, including analyzing regulatory risks, interpreting the impacts of laws, and providing strategic advice on regulatory issues
  • Representation before the RCA of a development stage solar generation company planning to serve rural Alaska villages; successfully obtained an exemption from RCA regulation to reduce costs and risks
  • Representation of an Alaska Native Regional Corporation subsidiary developing wind generation infrastructure in rural Alaska, including analyzing requirements for RCA certification and economic regulation, and developing power purchase, financing support, and operations agreements
  • Obtained state certificates for new energy utilities to provide service, overcoming challenges to the companies’ financial capability and other fitness issues
  • Obtained “clean” regulatory approvals for certificate transfers related to energy and utility acquisitions and changes in control, avoiding conditions that would adversely affect ongoing business operations