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608: Utility Regulators Have An Outsized Influence On The Clean Energy Revolution, with Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman, Carrie Zalewski
Episode 60829th June 2023 • SunCast • Nico Johnson
00:00:00 01:19:19

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Utility regulators quietly drive the clean energy revolution — yet many energy industry participants know little about them. SunCast Host Nico Johnson pulls back the curtain today in an engaging conversation with Carrie Zalewski, former chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

Carrie leverages her experience as a regulator and energy attorney, plus her background in engineering, to bring a unique perspective to a discussion on the complex world of energy regulation. From influencing how public utilities spend money, to supporting clean energy initiatives and designing beneficial electrification plans that address storage and transmission, Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) tackle a wide range of critical issues affecting your every day life.

Four years ago, Carrie joined the ICC from the Illinois Pollution Control Board, where she adjudicated complex environmental cases under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, shaped critical rulemaking and worked to properly balance the interests of Illinois businesses and residents while protecting the state's land, air, and water.

In 2021, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) named Carrie as head of a new resource group for Commission Chairs from all 50 states and regions to discuss relevant and timely topics. She's also participated in several influential organizations, such as the Organization of Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) States and the Climate Registry's Council of Jurisdictions.

Carrie left the ICC on June 16, seven months before her five-year term expired, for personal and professional reasons. Her fingerprints and impact will be felt for much longer than her tenure might suggest. Today’s conversation is wide-ranging and highlights exactly why it’s so important for industry to understand and learn to work with the Commissioners responsible for regulating energy and other resources across the Nation. Carrie was generous with her time and extensive knowledge in helping guide us through the complex undertaking that commissioners engage as public servants.

If you're interested in supporting renewables, gaining better insight into the outsize role of utility regulators or understanding how PUC decisions impact businesses and communities, this episode is a must-listen. Join Nico as he uncovers the intricacies of energy regulation and the significant role regulators have in shaping our clean energy future. You'll learn how engaging with state regulators can help you make a difference in the clean energy community and why, as a business or individual, it makes a lot of sense to do so.

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at

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