Fundamentals of Utility Law: Weekly Webinar

January 2021 - March 2021

Please join me for this year’s Fundamentals course—a weekly webinar course for decisionmakers and practitioners, presented on 12 successive Monday evenings. 

Course term                 12 weeks

Course dates                January 11 to March 29, 2021 -- All on Monday evenings 

Times                             7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST

Total instruction        18 hours (12 sessions of 1.5 hours each)

Registration opens     November 1, 2020



  • How to distinguish "monopolies" from "monopolizers"

  • How to distinguish anticompetitive conduct from unearned advantage

  • How to set rates without violating the U.S. Constitution

  • The entire alphabet soup of ISOs, RTOs, IPPs, Transcos, CLECs, ILECs

  • Why "deregulation" is a misnomer

  • Why "transmission" now means regional transmission

  • How FERC's wholesale competition efforts are changing how states do their jobs

  • How the repeal of the PUHCA 1935 is reshuffling corporate and market structure

  • Why 80-year-old regulatory statutes makes state-federal relations so awkward

  • How climate change is affecting utility regulation

  • How "public interest" could include environmental protection, stability and civil rights

  • Why some regulators are so much better at their jobs than others



Week 1     Regulation's Purposes, Dimensions, and Professions

Week 2     Industry Structure Overviews:  Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications

Week 3     Market Structure I:  Rights, Obligations and Powers of the Utility

Week 4     Market Structure II:  Authorizing Competition in Monopoly Markets

Week 5     Market Structure III:  Making Competition Effective

Week 6     Sales I:  Ratemaking Under Statute and Constitution 

Week 7     Sales II:  Undue Discrimination, Filed Rate Doctrine

Week 8     Sales III:  Retroactive Ratemaking, Mobile-Sierra Doctrine 

Week 9     Corporate Structure, Mergers and Acquisitions

Week 10   Federal-State Jurisdictional Relationships

Week 11   The Attributes and Actions of Effective Utility Regulators

Week 12   Bonus Session:  Analysis of Recent Cases; The Future of Regulation



Scott Hempling advises and testifies before utility regulatory agencies and legislative bodies throughout the United States.  He has addressed audiences in Canada, Central America, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and Peru.   An adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, he is the author of Regulating Public Utility Performance:  The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction (American Bar Association 2013); Preside or Lead?  The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators (2013); and Regulating Mergers and Acquisitions of U.S. Electric Utilities: Industry Concentration and Corporate Complication (Edward Elgar Publishing 2020).  A former Executive Director of the U.S. National Regulatory Research Institute, Hempling received a B.A. cum laude from Yale University in (1) Economics and Political Science and (2) Music; and a J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.  See his full resume here.



Webinar platform: We will host the webinar via Zoom’s Video Webinar platform. After registration, participants will receive information about how to attend course sessions. Attendees can participate via computers, tablet devices, smartphones, or voice call. Attendees will not need to pay for a Zoom user account.  Voice call is not recommended because for most sessions I display and point to diagrams, and in all sessions I post a presentation outline.

Course books:  I include books and other materials in the registration fee:

Regulating Public Utility Performance:  The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction (American Bar Association 2013)and

Preside or Lead?  The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators (2013).

We will ship books to all attendees by December 15, 2020 to ensure timely arrival. Registrations that occur after December 15, 2020 will receive their books within 5-10 business days after registration. We provide electronic copies of required readings to attendees if shipping or registration delays occur.

Syllabus and readings: Prior to the first class, I will distribute by email a detailed syllabus with readings.  Like school, reading before class will dramatically increase your learning.

Missed sessions:  While each webinar session occurs live on Monday nights, we recognize that lives are complex:  parent-teacher conferences, hockey games, Monday night football, salsa lessons.  So after each session, we will make a video available for about one week, viewable only by the registered user.  Last year many people used this option.

Questions during the sessions:  Because of the large number of attendees, I cannot take live oral questions.  But I do take written questions during the session and respond via Zoom’s chat function.  And for complex written questions of general interest, I will email answers to all attendees.  I want to help you learn.



Webinar registration:

$495    Government and non-profit organizations

$895    For-profit companies, including trade associations of for-profit companies, and for-profit law firms representing nonprofit clients

The registration fee includes your books. Also, I provide some scholarship seats for non-profit organizations, awarded competitively.  More information below.

Payment options: There are two options for online payment: (1) by using your PayPal account; or (2) by credit or debit card, via PayPal. Option 2 does not require you to have a PayPal account. If your organization prefers to pay by check, please email candis [dot] miller [dot] j [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Registration%2FPayment%3A%20Fundamentals%20of%20Utility%20Law%202021) for address information and to complete a separate registration process.

Registering online for someone else? Type the attendee email address in the text box located in the registration section prior to clicking "Buy Now." You will also have the opportunity to designate a separate email address to receive a copy of the receipt/confirmation. Multiple email addresses should be separated by a semi-colon.

Multiple attendees from the same organization?  Contact me to discuss a group discount.  Last year three separate state commissions registered 15-20 employees each, for a group discount.  I am pleased to repeat that practice. 



Please use the link below to register.  On selecting your applicable "Registrant Type" and entering the appropriate email address(es), you will be re-directed to PayPal for payment. Once redirected, you will have the ability to change the number of registrations if registering for a small group. You can process the payment with your PayPal account or with a credit or debit card.

Registration Type
Email of attendee(s)
Email for receipt/confirmation


To ask substantive questions, email me:  shempling [at] scotthemplinglaw [dot] com (subject: Webinar%20Interest)

To ask administrative questions (about registration and payment) email Candis Miller: candis [dot] miller [dot] j [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Question%3A%20Fundamentals%20of%20Utility%20Law%202021)