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The Second Time Around: Gas Utility Regulatory Responses during Recessionary Periods

The personal and broader societal impacts of today’s world-wide coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented.
And economically, we are experiencing new and unanticipated challenges from both a business and individual perspective. These challenges also are quickly beginning to impact the regulatory and ratemaking activities of gas distribution utilities in the United States. Interestingly, the impacts on gas distribution utilities today are in many respects different from those that were experienced during and after the 2008-2009 Great Recession. As such, today’s business challenges will require the creation of well-conceived and meaningful ratemaking solutions and regulatory policies that recognize the uniqueness of the current situation.
Clearly, the impact on our economic and social conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred much more rapidly and dramatically than during the 2008-2009 period.
Today we are experiencing wider and much more encompassing social impacts, with “stay at home” restrictions put into place by states creating new challenges on how business can continue to be conducted effectively – and how we manage our daily lives. Unemployment has increased faster and more dramatically than in the 2008-2009 period.

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