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The FRI is excited to announce the
National Regulatory Research Institute's (NRRI), Principal Researcher of Energy and Environment, Kenneth W. Costello as the 2017 recipient of  the FRI Crystal Award for Distinguished Contribution!

The FRI Crystal Award was created to recognize an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the design, implementation or analysis of public utility regulatory policy. Formal presentation of the award to Mr. Costello will take place during the 2017 FRI Symposium on September 20th.  

The FRI is also pleased to acknowledge the official sponsor of the 2017 FRI Crystal Award for Distinguished Contribution, the American Petroleum Institute (API). The support received from API makes it possible for the FRI to recognize excellence and achievement across regulated public utilities.  

To learn more about the award and the nomination process please visit

Kenneth W. CostelloMr. Kenneth W. Costello is Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment, at the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). NRRI serves the state public utility commissions throughout the U.S. Accordingly, Mr. Costello’s work focuses on how commissions through their policies and practices can best advance the public interest.

Mr. Costello has conducted extensive research and written on a wide variety of topics related to the energy industries and public utility regulation. His research has appeared in books, technical reports and monographs, and scholarly and trade publications. These publications include the Cato Journal, The Electricity Journal, Energy Journal, Energy Law Journal, Public Utilities Fortnightly, Regulation, Resources and Energy, Utilities Policy and Yale Journal on Regulation. He has authored over 80 articles and 100 technical reports. These publications range from a statistical analysis of the selection process for state utility commissioners to the development of a cost-benefit framework for utility energy-efficiency programs.

Mr. Costello has provided training and consulting services to the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, the Central and Eastern European countries, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Japan, the Newly Independent States, and Russia. He led a team that trained the personnel of the first independent utility regulatory agency in South America, Ente Nacional Regulador de Gas of Argentina. Mr. Costello has also participated in on-site training and educational forums held by 29 state commissions.

Mr. Costello has made presentations before several organizations, including the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the White House Workshop sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology, the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry of Japan, the Estudios de la Actividad Regulatoria Energetica of the University of Buenos Aires, the Bolivian Ministerio de Energia, the conference on the future of utility regulation at the University of Chicago, and the symposium on electricity and federalism at Princeton University.

Topics of Mr. Costello’s most recent research include multiyear rate plans, customer engagement in the electric utility sector, methane emissions from the natural gas system, R&D and new technologies in the utility sector, vertical arrangements for gas procurement, the “death spiral” phenomenon, distributed electricity generation, recent developments in the U.S. electric industry, combined heat and power, alternative rate mechanisms, formula rate plans, future test years, and demand charges.

Mr. Costello is on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Electricity Journal and is a columnist for Public Utilities Fortnightly. He is also on the faculty for the Basics Course held semiannually by the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University. He received BS and MA degrees from Marquette University and has done doctoral work in economics at the University of Chicago. He grew up in the Chicago area and now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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