Register Today for Courses in Cost of Service and Rate Design for Natural Gas Interstate Pipeline Companies (January 26th-27th)
Brown, Williams, Moorhead & Quinn, Inc.

Brown Williams provides its clients with technical support covering a wide range of economic and rate making issues facing market participants in energy transportation and transmission industries concentrating entities interacting before federal and state regulatory commissions.  From providing advice to crunching the numbers, Brown Williams has the expertise to get it done right. 

  • Cost Of Service 7 topics

    Developing fully allocated rate models requires that all components of the cost of service come together into one set of interrelated calculations. It is at its core a five step process. Confirming rate base is the first step in the process, which sets the stage for return on capital through rate of return and return of capital through depreciation. Investigating operating expenses is the second, which ensures legitimate daily operations expenses are recouped through the tariff rates. Third, the estimation of depreciation accruals determines the pace of recovery of the original costs. Toward the end of the process the weighted average income tax rate derives the allowance for income tax liability for the cost of service. Brown Williams works with scores of pipelines to ensure that the total revenue requirement is just and reasonable, and that ratepayers cover their respective cost burdens.

  • Certificate Applications 5 topics

    Energy infrastructure is literally the backbone of the energy industry and the foundation for reliability and the array of modern service offerings and operational flexibility customers have increasingly come to expect. In order for the industry to respond to the changes and challenges of the future, it is essential that infrastructure projects be permitted and constructed in a timely, legally-compliant safe and economically efficient way. Regulatory processes are evolving toward earlier communication with stakeholders to identify and resolve issues, coordination and concurrent action among agencies responsible for various aspects of the project.. Brown Williams has the expertise to guide you through these processes and reach a successful conclusion. We stay current with regulatory developments and will advise you on how any new policies might affect your project

  • Allocation & Rate Design 6 topics

    The presentation of a rate case argument is laid out in the Code of Federal Regulations in a series of schedules and statements required for a rate case filing, including the data supporting billing determinants, volumes, and the cost allocation and rate design that are being proposed in a company’s case in chief. Cost allocation and rate design are the final steps in the cost of service process and can be the trickiest part of determining the tariff rates for the pipeline’s services. Brown Williams has the expertise to lead its clients through the evolution of allocation methodologies, Commission precedents, and industry accepted practices to find equitable solutions and fair allocations of costs among customers.

  • Depreciation 5 topics

    The depreciable lives of an entity’s assets are bound by three life expectancy estimates: 1) the average physical life expectancy of the various classes of property; 2) the remaining life of the natural gas reserves supporting the need for the assets; and 3) the average remaining depreciable life, which takes into account interim retirements. The Code of Federal Regulations defines depreciation as the 'accounting for the loss in value' of the asset. Estimating that loss in value over time encompasses a wide variety of mathematical models to reflect the depletion of the underlying natural resources, the rate of deterioration of the utility asset, the laws governing the use of accelerated depreciation, and the actual calculation of the depreciation rate itself. Brown Williams can ensure that the depreciation rate appropriately reflects the balancing act between ratepayers and utility owners, and between current and future generations of ratepayers.

  • Return 5 topics

    Brown Williams employs specialized consultants who have extensive experience with the financial parameters, methodologies and regulatory policies involved in determining costs of capital, including appropriate returns on equity for energy companies given the level of operating and financial risk associated with comparable companies and the particular subject company for the cost of capital study. Brown Williams can help its clients perform cost of capital studies regardless of industry or regulatory jurisdiction.

  • Electric Transmission 5 topics

    Brown Williams provides advice to a wide variety of transmission related entities. The issues include revenue requirements, congestion management, zonal/grid-wide rates, phase- in methods, treatment of the various pre-existing agreements, definition of transmission facilities, revenue allocations, loss calculations and recovery methods, ancillary services and rates, grid expansion costs recovery methods, and ensuring that good price signals were given participants to ensure economic decisions. Brown Williams melds the work products from various client stakeholders (legal, rates, tariffs, operations, planning and infrastructure) to determine the likely cost impact and best path forward for our clients.

  • FERC Compliance 5 topics

    The latest CFR Title 18 tome is about a quarter larger than it was just a few years ago. With more regulations and more nuanced provisions, compliance with today’s energy regulatory environment is a greater challenge than ever. And scrutiny by the regulators is picking up steam with each passing year. It is the nature of regulations in complex industries to be precise and yet confusing and contradictory. Nevertheless, compliance is mandatory. Brown Williams’ staff of experts can help clients through the maze of reports, conditions, requirements, and timetables to stay within compliance standards and avoid the consequences of an i not dotted.

  • Economic Analysis 5 topics

    In the dynamic arena for energy market share, market concentration and perceived market power can be the critical factors in regulatory approval for applications ranging from fairly routine market-based rate filings all the way to mergers and acquisitions. While the basic concepts surrounding fair markets and monopoly power are well known, there remains continuing uncertainty about the precise definitions of market power. The Supreme Court has defined market power as the ability to raise prices above the levels that would be charged in a competitive market. The question quickly expands to encompass the number of participants in the market, the geographic limits that define the market and alternative goods or services that can limit price manipulation. Brown Williams’ economists and analysts can provide complete competitive analysis and evaluation of natural gas, electric transmission, crude oil or refined oil products markets on behalf of its clients.

  • Regulatory Accounting 4 topics

    Parts 101, 201, and 352 of the Commission’s regulations prescribe a Uniform System of Accounts for electric utilities, natural gas companies, and oil pipelines respectively. Title 18 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations contains the rules and requirements that the Commission may impose on regulated entities regarding maintaining accounts, filing tariffs, proposing rate changes, and abandoning service. Threading the needle of regulatory standards is often confusing and fraught with countervailing instructions. Brown Williams’ staff of experts guides clients across the broad scope of regulations and requirements.

  • Oil Pipeline Rates 4 topics

    Many aspects of ratemaking for oil and natural gas pipeline systems are identical or nearly so, but crude and refined products pipelines do provide challenges specific to them. The so-called Starting Rate Base and Deferred Return stem from FERC’s Order 154B methodology, while grandfathered rates and indexed rates follow upon Congressional instructions. Brown Williams’ oil pipeline expertise is brought to bear on these and other issues in various federal and state proceedings that have utilized the full spectrum of ratemaking services offered including state and federal regulatory policy issues, all cost of service issues, ad valorem tax issues, and prudency issues related to large-scale project costs and project implementation problems. Brown Williams provides strong litigation support to clients, from the discovery phase, through written and oral testimony at the trial phase, to assisting in the briefing phases.

  • Testimony Experience 12 topics

  • Intrastate Pipelines 5 topics