Course #
Section Number
Spring 2024
Energy & Environmental Policy
Markets & Regulation
Course Instructor

In many other countries, government owns and operates utilities as a public service. The United States largely has chosen a different path, especially with respect to energy utilities: permitting private companies to provide these essential services, subject to extensive regulation. For many decades, exclusive monopolies dominated the space. The last several decades have seen the rise of competition in both the wholesale and retail space. But this shift has taken hold in only parts of the United States, while in other jurisdictions consumers still do not have the right to choose their supplier and the transmission and even the generation of power remains largely monopolized. The result has been a patchwork that evinces little uniform national policy, and still is largely regulated by state governments despite the regional, interstate characteristics of energy. This course explores the forms and institutions of utility regulation in the United States, with a focus on electricity. It provides a critical introduction to the design of electricity markets that were created in the twentieth century and iterated upon ever since. Along the way, students will hear first hand from practitioners and experts as guest lecturers, while learning how a once mundane field has become the cutting edge of emergent technologies and social mandates like decarbonization.


This class will meet W/F every other week. Class will meet on the following dates: 3/20 and 3/22, 4/3 and 4/5, 4/17 and 4/19, 5/1. Class will not meet 5/3, but instead will have an evening lecture on 4/30.

Quarter Title Instructor Day(s) Time(s) Syllabus
Spring 2024 Utilities and Electricity Markets: Regulation in the United States Travis Kavulla Syllabus