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Energy Exactions

August 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10663

Issue: 8

Author: Jim Rossi and Christopher Serkin

New residential and commercial developments often create costs in the form of congestion and burdens on municipal infrastructure. Citizens typically pay for infrastructure expansion associated with growth through their property taxes, but local governments sometimes use cost-shifting tools to force developers to pay for—or provide—new infrastructure themselves. These tools are forms of “exactions”—demands levied on developers to force them to pay for the burdens new projects impose. But local governments often ignore an additional cost: the burdens growth presents for energy infrastructure. This Article argues that energy exactions are normatively desirable, evaluates how they can help improve land use and energy regulation, and assesses the legal implications and limits of their use. It details two different forms of energy exactions: one that imposes pre-set prices on anticipated kilowatt energy demand and one that is focused on how the timing of a development affects energy infrastructure development (often called “concurrency”).

Jim Rossi is the Judge D.L. Lansden Chair and Associate Dean for Research, Vanderbilt University Law School. Christopher Serkin is the Elizabeth H. & Granville S. Ridley, Jr. Chair in Law, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Vanderbilt University Law School.

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