Special introductory workshop on the theory, principles, and concepts of public utility regulation.


Registration is through the Grid School Conference page.

About The Program

The Institute of Public Utilities is very pleased to offer a special workshop on the theory, principles, concepts and institutions of public utility regulation. The workshop is designed to provide an overview to participants who are relatively new to the regulatory policy arena, including utility personnel and analysts. However, the program is also open to public-sector participants also wanting a concise but comprehensive introduction to regulation. The workshop format will allow for questions and interaction. As with all IPU educational programs, we emphasize a balanced, objective, and reasoned approach.

This workshop is held a day prior to our Grid School Program. If you are already attending that program you can extend your educational experience by registering for this Introduction to Regulation course.

Topics Covered

  • Regulation as a primary type of public policy
  • Public utilities and how they compare in terms of technical, economic, and institutional traits
  • The theory of competitive markets and market failure
  • The public interest and regulation as balancing of utility and customer interests
  • Historical origins, evolution, and theories of economic regulation
  • Economic and legal foundations and core concepts of regulation
  • Regulatory commission structures, independence, and roles
  • Traditional and evolving regulatory jurisdiction, functions, and methods
  • Basics of public utility ratemaking and rate design
  • Regulatory process, rules of conduct, independence, and ethics
  • Restructuring, deregulation, and contemporary policy issues


Prof. Janice Beecher has served as Director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University since 2002, bringing more than thirty years of applied research experience to the position. Established at MSU in 1965, the Institute’s mission is to support informed, effective, and efficient regulation of the network industries providing essential utility services. More than 20,000 people working in the regulatory policy community across the globe have attended IPU continuing education programs. Dr. Beecher’s research areas include regulatory theory, institutions, principles, and concepts; regulatory commissions and jurisdiction; ratemaking methods; expenditures, price, and demand trends; regulatory adaptation; and ethics. She has particular expertise in the economics, structure, and regulation of the water industry and water pricing. Dr. Beecher is a frequent author, lecturer, and participant in national and international academic and professional forums and is Editor-in-Chief of Utilities Policy (Elsevier). She previously held positions at The Ohio State and Indiana Universities and the Illinois Commerce Commission. Dr. Beecher has faculty appointments in MSU’s College of Social Science. She teaches courses in public policy and regulation and supervises graduate research students from the MPP program. She holds a B.A. in Economics, Political Science, and history from Elmhurst College and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.


The Institute of Public Utilities is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State Boards of Accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual course for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: