Benefits of a Comprehensive Public Stakeholder Process: the Oregon Senate Bill 978 Experience
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Benefits of a Comprehensive Public Stakeholder Process: the Oregon Senate Bill 978 Experience

  • A Renovate Initiative case study examining the Oregon Public Utility Commission’s comprehensive stakeholder process
  • Details of the commission’s process that is a model in the regulatory space for its scope and effectiveness
  • Guidance for commissions for adapting to the changing electricity sector, changing direction, or tackling controversial issues.

The Oregon Stakeholder Process: A Model For Regulatory Innovation

The Oregon Public Utility Commission undertook a progressive comprehensive public stakeholder process when the legislature mandated them to convene the state’s electric power sector to investigate industry trends and the impact of technology on the current regulatory system. Their model demonstrates a stakeholder process that is transparent, inclusive of the wider community, efficient, and effective. In this case study, SEPA dives into the specifics of the commission’s process, its outcomes, subsequent actions, and how Oregon’s stakeholder process can be used as a tool by other commissions when they face challenging issues or the need to change current approaches.

Key Insights

  • A comprehensive, open, and transparent stakeholder process produces multiple benefits: broad and diverse engagement across stakeholders, collaborative identification of new and existing objectives, and common understanding of stakeholder positions and desired outcomes.
  • External facilitation support enables new stakeholder voices to be heard, leveling the playing field between traditional and new participants.
  • Involving neutral outside expertise in the process helps to educate all participants, and develop a common foundation for discussion and future action.

A Resource of the Renovate Initiative

This case study is a part of the larger set of tools from the Renovate Initiative. This initiative helps commissions improve their regulatory process and foster innovation by addressing four obstacles: people and knowledge; managing risk and uncertainty; managing increased rate of change, and complexity of objectives. Learn more about the Renovate Initiative and its other tools.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Public Stakeholder Process: the Oregon Senate Bill 978 Experience

Case Study