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Supreme Court to review U.S. electricity market efficiency rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review the legality of an Obama administration regulation aimed at encouraging efficiency in the electricity market by having electrical grid operators pay users to reduce consumption at peak times.

The court said it will hear an appeal filed by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to reverse a May 2014 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that threw out the rule. The regulation, aimed at improving grid reliability and encouraging clean energy, remains in effect as the litigation continues.

FERC chairman Norman Bay said in a statement that the program is “important to the nation’s competitive wholesale electricity markets and reliable electric service.”

The regulation concerns what FERC calls “demand-response,” which is when, in an attempt to manage demand for electricity, regional electrical grid operators agree to pay electricity users to cut consumption at peak times.

The brief court order noted that Justice Samuel Alito will be recused in the case, meaning only eight justices will participate. The court did not give a reason.

The Electric Power Supply Association, other trade groups that represent utilities and PPL Corp challenged the regulation. They would lose out if the regulation is allowed to stay intact because it is likely to reduce demand for electricity generation… (read full story on Yahoo News).

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