Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.


Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

New Media

Power Grab: The Case for and Against Avista’s Merger

Inlander, Samantha Wohlfeil

The argument is kind of like if a state governor claimed one day that the DMV was now independent, even though he still appointed the people to lead it, says Robert McCullough, a renowned Northwest utility expert who has experience with Canadian and foreign utilities, and their takeovers of Northwest utilities.

The Regulatory War on Alternative Energy

International Policy Digest, James Peron

Robert McCullough points to a series of bad decisions by state regulators. “California has this tradition of astonishingly bad decisions. They build and charge the ratepayers. There’s nothing dishonest about it. There’s nothing complicated. It’s just bad planning.”

New Articles

Taking the path less followed

Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

A month ago, I had the honour of sitting down with the NDP cabinet and Premier John Horgan. I gave a detailed presentation why proceeding with Site C would be costly and risky. Curiously, after the cabinet meeting the only followup involved questions from specific MLAs — not inquiries from the cabinet or their staff.

Opinion: Site C proponents fall prey to Sunk Costs Fallacy

Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

This fallacy, which is related to status-quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth.’ Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction.

Opinion: Renewables cheaper, more dependable than Site C

The Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

The problem with Site C is not that it is a hydroelectric project. The problem with Site C lies in the economics. When Site C was proposed, fossil fuel prices were high. The cost of renewables were twice what they are now. Loads were not increasing terribly rapidly (load growth has been flat in B.C. for the past decade), but the forecasts were very optimistic. It is not an exaggeration to say that everything has changed. Site C is relatively costly compared to the alternatives and very costly compared to the wholesale market. It is in our power to do far more and spend far less.

New Reports

ASC 980 and the Decision to Complete Site C

At the invitation of the Canada Institute, I gave a speech on the decision-making process behind continuing construction of the Site C Dam. This memo is based on my presentation on April 11, 2018.

Are Bitcoin Miners Suitable Electric Loads?

Recent press reports indicate that a substantial electric market may be emerging for these tariff sensitive, highly mobile loads. Given North America’s falling energy prices, some utilities may find these attractive customers. There may also be significant downsides as well.