Jonathan Lesser

Dr. Jonathan Lesser is the President of Continental Economics, Inc., and has over 35 years of experience working for regulated utilities, government, and as an economic consultant. He has addressed critical economic and regulatory issues affecting the energy industry in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, including gas and electric utility structure and operations, cost-benefit analysis, mergers and acquisitions, cost allocation and rate design, asset management strategies, cost of capital, depreciation, risk management, incentive regulation, economic impact studies, and general regulatory policy.

Dr. Lesser has prepared expert testimony and reports in cases before utility commissions in numerous states; before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); before international regulators in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico; in commercial litigation cases in Arizona, Vermont, and Washington State; and before Congress and numerous state legislative committees on energy policy and regulatory issues. He has also served as an arbiter in cases involving disputes between regulators and regulated utilities, as well as disputes regarding the value of electric generating assets. Dr. Lesser has also designed economic models to value nuclear, fossil fuel, and renewable generating assets, as well as long-term power contracts in the presence of market, regulatory, and environmental uncertainty. He is the coauthor of three textbooks: Environmental Economics and Policy (Addison Wesley Longman, 1997), Principles of Utility Corporate Finance (Regulatory Economics Publishing, 2011), and the widely used textbook, Fundamentals of Energy Regulation, 3d ed (Regulatory Economics Publishing, 2020), as well as numerous academic and trade press articles.  Dr, Lesser previously served as one of the “Deans” for education programs with the Energy Bar Association, and has taught seminars on rate regulation for utility regulators and new attorneys.  Since 2013, Dr. Lesser has been an Adjunct Fellow with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and prepared reports and commentary on a variety of energy policy topics.  Dr. Lesser is also an Editorial Board member for Natural Gas & Electricity. Dr. Lesser earned a B.S degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of New Mexico, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Washington.  He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer teaching undergraduate and graduate classes at Saint Martin’s University, the University of Vermont, and at the University of New Mexico.

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