Since 2003, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity (OE) has been providing independent and unbiased technical support to states, regions, and Tribes on their electricity-related policies through its Electricity Policy Technical Assistance Program. The scope of OE’s assistance is determined by the requests received.
Types of assistance offered and activities supported include:
- Analysis assistance consisting of data collection and assessment activities to determine impacts and evaluate policy options and technology and market strategies
- Stakeholder-Convened Discussions by organizing task forces, working groups, and collaborative processes to tackle key issues and build consensus for preferred courses of action
- Education and Training through workshops and webinars to raise knowledge levels and better equip policy makers to address local and regional needs
- Consultations for quick-turnaround assignments involving technical experts advising policy makers on specific matters of interest
There is a continuing need for information and education about electricity opportunities and options, especially due to the ever-changing dynamics of the electricity system. For example, evaluation of new technologies for electric generation, transmission, distribution, and end-uses requires independent and unbiased information on cost and performance to augment the information that policy makers already receive.
In addition, collaborative discussions offer a forum for creativity in identifying solutions to policy and regulatory challenges posed by these new opportunities and options. Unbiased technical assistance informs these discussions, providing resources and expertise that enable policy makers to explore innovative solutions and find common ground.