Patrice Hunter Named a Top Innovator of 2019 by Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine

Congratulations to Patrice Jones Hunter for being selected as a Public Utilities Fortnightly Top Innovator of 2019.  Ms. Hunter, recently named Chief of the Office of Policy Advancement & Development is responsible for bringing the latest business process improvements to the Public Service Commission.

In 2019, Ms. Hunter developed three major innovations for the Commission. 

  • Energy Supplier Workshop: Ms. Hunter was responsible for the creation of the Energy Supplier Workshop, an online tutorial for electric and gas suppliers to acquaint them with the Commission’s rules, particularly those involving consumer protection.  Each certificated supplier must take the workshop – and pass a test – in order to maintain their authority to provide service in the District of Columbia.  This is a significant step toward eliminating scams in the provision of gas and electric supply services.
  • Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) Portal: Ms. Hunter was responsible for implementing the Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) Portal where individuals and companies can file and certify  applications to become a certified renewable energy generator in the District. The RPS Portal is a convenient and secure online tool for users to submit and track RPS applications.

    The District of Columbia has very aggressive requirements for the deployment of renewable energy sources (100% of electricity supplied to the District must be associated with Tier 1 renewable resources by 2032). In 2018, we processed 1,055 applications for RPS facilities.   Clearly, the number of applications would only increase in 2019.  Ms. Hunter, with members of our application processing staff, and with help from a number of RPS applicants, formed a plan for the electronic filing of applications that would assure that all applications would be filed correctly and completely from the beginning. This decreased the need for staff review and increased the speed and efficiency with which applications could be processed.  The community of renewable energy suppliers in the District benefitted enormously from Ms. Hunter’s innovation.  The processing time for applications has decreased from  30 days to 15 days and the number of applications we are able to process each month has increased accordingly.
  • Integrated Case Management System (ICMS):  Ms. Hunter has taken the lead role in the development and deployment of an ICMS which will automatically track the progress of all Commission Formal Cases and Rulemakings.  Each document filed in the case will be automatically routed to the Case Manager, along with instructions for disposition.  Each employee will automatically receive a daily list of tasks, identifying those matters which are emergent.  Supervisors will be able to track the progress of cases and identify overdue items.  ICMS will be fully operational in October 2019, although we expect that training and development will continue for the rest of 2019.  No longer will managers need to use Excel spreadsheets to track cases, entering updates on a daily basis.  ICMS will replace that task, and provide a greatly improved and useful method for assuring that case deadlines are met.

These three innovations will greatly improve the business processes of the Commission and will make the regulatory experience better for consumers, applicants, employees and all stakeholders. 

Ms. Patrice Jones Hunter is certainly a Fortnightly Top Innovator!