Chairman Remarks’

Vice Chairman James Gardner Kentucky Public Service Commission

Vice Chairman James Gardner
Kentucky Public Service Commission

Sponsored and written by James Gardner 2012-2013 FRI Advisory Board Chair and Vice Chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission

These days present great challenges to utilities and the customers they serve. Increasing infrastructure costs necessitated by aging plant, EPA regulations, and cyber-security concerns, are placing upward pressure on customers’ bills. Flat or decreasing demands are threatening the utility business model of the past forcing the energy sector to examine how it will evolve.

The Financial Research Institute brings together representatives from the power sector, government regulation and consumer advocacy to engage in constructive dialogue regarding the urgent issues confronting us all. Like all prior annual symposiums, this year’s program is extremely well-organized around a central theme to be explored by insightful speakers, and promises stimulating debate with active, excellent board participation. The bi-monthly Hot Topic calls on current topics likewise have strong presentations and very good participation.

As the outgoing Chair of the Financial Research Institute Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone involved with the Financial Research Institute for all they do to help maintain FRI as a top quality organization. I would also like to congratulate Sonny Popowsky, former Pennsylvania consumer advocate, for being named the inaugural 2013 Crystal Award winner for his outstanding career.

I also thank all who have contributed to the success of FRI and in particular want to recognize the great leadership and assistance provided by Steve Ferris and Sarah Gott. I appreciate the opportunity to have served this past year and with the upcoming board leadership under Diane Munns as Chair, I know that the FRI is in good hands.