Developing an Equity Framework for State Regulatory Decision-Making

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The report presents a framework for states that seek to incorporate equity into regulatory decision-making. Berkeley Lab contextualizes approaches and metrics from various states into example processes to exemplify how this may be done, including topics such as the development of equity goals and definitions, intervenor funding, community engagement, performance-based ratemaking, and utility resource planning. The report offers five takeaways and considerations, supported by these examples:

  1. Equity comprises multiple tenets and stages, all of which must be considered in parallel.
  2. At the start of designing new equity-related processes, it is critical to establish clear and actionable goals, definitions, roles, and responsibilities to ensure progress.
  3. Once goals are established, it is critical to align tools and metrics that bridge the gap between what an intervention may do and how it may impact communities and households.
  4. Processes should be stakeholder driven. It is important to not only increase education and outreach, but to actively seek out and incorporate feedback from inclusive public processes and build in accountability mechanisms.
  5. Processes should be iterative. Feedback loops between evaluations and program design provide the flexibility to better align existing interventions with community priorities and to incorporate equity into future decision-making.

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