TitleApplying Stakeholder Theory to Utility Regulation
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsScott, I
JournalEcology Law Currents
Date Published2015
KeywordsManagement, MBA

Many in the energy sector are calling for a transformation of the traditional utility model. However, proposals for “Utility 2.0” typically maintain the bilateral, adversarial relationship between the utility and its regulator. This article posits that one of the key flaws in the U.S. utility regulatory system is this myopic decision-making process, which limits the potential for consideration of stakeholder interests and more comprehensive systems thinking. While expanding the interests considered by utilities and regulators will not solve other problems embedded in traditional utility regulation, a broadening of the consideration of stakeholder interests will almost certainly allow for more comprehensive long-term planning, greater attention to environmental and other stakeholder concerns, and the potential for transformational policy choices. The article therefore offers a new governance structure that would bring stakeholder interests to the regulatory table and allow utilities and regulators to include these interests in key decision-making contexts.