A National Town Meeting on demand response + smart grid

2016 Agenda


Download a PDF of the 2016 agenda here.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Marriott Metro Center

725 12th St. NW, Washington, DC


Pre-Conference Workshop

Beyond the Meter (sponsored by Nest)

Separate registration required.

5:30-7:30 pm

Welcome Reception

Admission included with National Town Meeting registration or workshop registration. Additional tickets may be purchased for $45.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

8:00 am

Registration Opens

Hot Breakfast for all attendees


9:00-9:30 am

Welcome and Introduction


9:30-10:30 am

ROUNDTABLE #1 – Roadmaps to the Future: Defining the 51st State

The goal of the 51st State is to find multiple frameworks that provide a platform for all stakeholders to participate in our energy future together. Key participants in the 51st State project will discuss the progress, results, and expected outcomes from this visionary process. 

Moderator: Julia Hamm
President and CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Jan Ahlen
Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist, NRECA
Ben Bixby
Director of Energy Products, Nest
Chris Vlahoplus
Partner and Clean Tech & Sustainability Practice Leader, ScottMadden
Allen Mosher
Vice President, Policy Analysis, American Public Power Association (APPA)


10:30-11:00 AM

A Conversation with Phil Moeller

SEPA’s Chief Strategy Officer, Tanuj Deora, will sit down for a candid discussion with Phil Moeller, Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery and Chief Customer Solutions Officer at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). In October 2015 Phil ended his tenure as the second-longest serving commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).


11:00-11:30 AM

Networking Break


11:30 AM-12:30 PM

ROUNDTABLE #2 – Policymakers Talk About Change

Policymakers discuss constructive and balanced ways to deal with the changes in the electricity system.

Moderator: Ron Binz
Principal, Public Policy Consulting

Mike Champley
Commissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission
Willie Phillips
Commissioner, DC Public Service Commission
Phil Jones
Commissioner, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Anne Hoskins
Commissioner, Maryland Public Service Commission


12:30-2:00 PM

Networking Lunch


2:00-2:30 PM

Quick Talk

Can consumer-installed DERs help utilities reap the benefits of distributed energy technologies at a fraction of the cost of a utility-installed asset? Seth Frader-Thompson thinks so. The emergence of DE resources – such as connected thermostats, smart inverters, electric vehicles, and residential energy storage – presents a new opportunity for customers to share value with their utilities by providing critical grid services. Seth will share how the most innovative utilities are already creating ways to incorporate consumer-installed DERs into load management programs today. He’ll discuss how a customer-centric distribution model for DERs drives greater value for the utility and its customers – and offer a vision for the future of connected devices and the smart grid.

Seth Frader-Thompson
CEO, EnergyHub


2:30-3:30 PM

ROUNDTABLE #3 – Utilities Look to the Future

Utility executives discuss changing business models, introduction and acquisition of DER, integration, and customer engagement.

Moderator: Julia Hamm
President and CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Caroline Choi
SVP, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison
Paul Lau
Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Val Jensen
SVP, Customer Operations, ComEd
John Hewa
CEO, Pedernales Electric Cooperative


3:30-4:00 PM

Networking Break


4:00-5:00 PM

ROUNDTABLE #4 – Welcome to the “Shark Tank”

Representatives for demand response, storage, electric vehicles, and rooftop solar will pitch you, the audience of “sharks,” on what will be the biggest disruptive technology in the coming years.  

Moderator: Frank Lacey
SEPA Board Member and Chairman of the SEPA Advisory Council on Demand Response and Smart Grid

Steve Hambric (representing demand response)
SVP, Strategic Sales and Operations, Comverge
Karen Butterfield (representing storage)
Chief Commercial Officer, Stem
Britta Gross (representing electric vehicles)
Director, Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy, General Motors
Tom Starrs (representing solar)
VP, Market Strategy and Policy, SunPower


5:00-7:00 PM

Networking Reception

Admission included with National Town Meeting registration. Additional tickets may be purchased for $65.


7:00-9:30 PM

SEPA Members-Only Dinner

The SEPA Members-Only Dinner will be held following the Reception. It will be in the stately top-floor Rotunda of the Reagan Building, with balcony views up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. Network with fellow SEPA Members and hear from a special guest speaker.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

8:00 Am

Registration Opens

Continental Breakfast for all attendees


At 9:00am, Breakout Sessions will begin with three different tracks – Grid Integration, Emerging Models and Markets, and Consumer Engagement. Feel free to stick with one track for the day, or mix and match the sessions most useful to you.


The Grid Integration Track is presented in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

The Emerging Models and Markets Track is sponsored by Nexant and presented in partnership with Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)

The Consumer Engagement Track is presented in partnership with the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC)


9:00-9:55 Am


Grid Integration – DERMS

Distributed resources can have an unpredictable impact on grid operations. The threat, however, is not inherent in distributed resources themselves but in the approach to managing this technological shift in increasing distributed assets. This session will explore the challenges of grid integration of distributed resources and how a Distributed Energy Resource Management System or DERMS can unify a myriad of numerous dispersed resources into a singular resource with the same visibility and control afforded to utility management of the grid today.

Moderator: Tom Key
Senior Technical Executive, EPRI

Bud Vos
CEO, Enbala
“From foe to friend, the power of distributed energy in utility operations”
Nagarajan Sridhar
Business Development and Marketing Manager, Renewable Energy, Automotive, and Industrial Markets, Texas Instruments
Carlos Romero
VP Presales, Energy Portfolio Management, ABB

Emerging Models and Markets – Latest Developments and Success Stories in Time Varying Rates

Time of use prices, and other forms of time-varying rates, are a top agenda item in many states and countries. This panel discussion will provide peak lead reduction and customer satisfaction results from new analyses as well as include a discussion of key policy issues. The audience will learn the factors that result in high levels of peak reduction and customer satisfaction associated with successful time-varying rate programs, receive practical insights into how to plan for and implement such programs, and hear details on the benefits of time-varying rates in the context of increasing distributed energy resources.

Moderator: Chris King
Chief Regulatory Officer, Siemens Smart Grid

Ahmad Faruqui
Principal, The Brattle Group
Peter Cappers
Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Sahar Mishriki
Strategy and Regulatory Manager, Conservation and Demand Management, Hydro One

Consumer Engagement – Modernizing Communications and Outreach

In all sectors, people are gaining power over institutions by expressing their opinions either in person or using technology and social media. Consumers are increasingly accustomed to sharing their viewpoints and experiences with colleagues, friends, and neighbors, including preferences for communication channels that allow real-time notifications and two-way exchanges. Despite broad generational channel preferences regarding voice phone vs web/email vs mobile, energy worldviews cut across traditional demographic lines creating communication challenges for utilities that must serve everyone. This session will begin with video interviews illustrating common and distinct viewpoints relative to energy use. The panelists will show examples of refreshed online identities and community activities, discuss how they are reaching and listening to diverse customer segments, and explain how their organizations make decisions on the relative cost-effectiveness of personalized, targeted and traditional mass outreach.

Moderator: Cindy Sargent
Owner/Partner, Brainspur

Nathan Shannon
Deputy Director, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative
Melissa Segrest
Manager of Marketing & Communications, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
Lisa Magnuson
Director, Customer Communications, Pacific Gas & Electric


10:00-11:00 AM


Grid Integration - Solar + Storage

Storage technologies are advancing rapidly, and understanding how to leverage their capabilities will be a core focus in 2016 and beyond. This session will dig into how both battery and thermal storage technologies can deliver increased value to the customer and utility through integration of solar, load management protocols, and the provision of grid services.  

Moderator: Kevin Lynn
Director, Grid Innovation, US Department of Energy

Mike Hopkins
CEO, ICE Energy
“Toward Hyper-Efficient Buildings and More Resilient Grids”
Stina Brock
Director of Utility Solutions, Sunverge
“Aligning Consumer & Utility Interests with BTM Solar + Storage”
Matt Owens
Director Business Development, Stem
“The Evolution of the Grid with Intelligent Energy Storage”

Emerging Models and Markets - Benefit-Cost Analysis as it Applies to Grid Modernization Challenges

Utilities and policy-makers are experiencing significant challenges prioritizing among many grid modernization opportunities. To address these challenges, this panel will discuss benefit-cost analysis as it applies to a variety of grid modernization investments, including grid hardening, smart grid and distributed energy resources. Speakers will discuss the importance of reliability and resiliency as an overarching benefit-cost driver that is important to consider for grid modernization investments. You will also learn about DOE’s efforts to develop grid modernization benefit-cost frameworks and hear what the agency is doing to help utilities in this area.

Moderator: Danny Waggoner
Senior Associate, Public Utility Commission Program, AEE

Josh Schellenberg
Vice President, Nexant
“Reliability and resiliency as an overarching benefit-cost driver”
James Bradbury
Senior Advisory, Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy
“DOE’s Development of Grid Modernization Benefit-Cost Frameworks”
Stephen Wemple
Director, Utility of the Future Team, Con Edison

Consumer Engagement - Leapfrog to Advanced Customer Engagement

Over the past several years, we’ve learned that truly effective consumer engagement is dependent on utilities providing and communicating a range of offerings in ways new to the industry. Now that there is a critical mass of AMI deployments in North America, the first tranche of Smart Grid-enabled utilities are moving beyond the typical day one capabilities of outage detection, remote connection/disconnection, and portals showing previous day usage to more robust apps and offerings reflecting expanded introductions of time-variant pricing, prepay, automated and aggregated residential DR programs and support for EVs, rooftop solar, and personal storage.

This challenge means regulators, consumer advocates, and technology companies need to work collaboratively with utilities to ensure there are enabling policies, funding, protections, M&V adjustments, and technologies allowing these new developments to take hold. Even innovative utilities with full deployment of AMI and distribution automation are in the early stages of ACE. The second tranche (SG deployments in process) and third wave (planning stages) of utilities have the opportunity to choose to leapfrog the rollout paths of the pioneers and include implementation of new offerings in their initial deployments. This session will present a framework for ACE to be discussed by utilities representing three different stages and actively involve the audience in ways to generate enthusiasm, increase adoption, and avoid customer pushback.

Moderators: Judith Schwartz, President, To the Point
                         Seth Kiner, Managing Director, Charlotte Street Advisors

Nick Corsetti
Senior Program Manager, National Grid
Marianne McElroy
Energy Resource Analyst, Eugene Water & Electric Board
Angela Strickland
Director, Energy Innovation, Southern Company


11:00-11:15 AM

Networking Break


11:15 AM – 12:15 PM


Grid Integration - Microgrids

Microgrids can provide back-up power, resiliency, and enhanced reliability for emergency needs, utility infrastructure, and a wide variety of consumers, depending on their placement and design. However, prioritizing, designing, and implementing them effectively is not a turn-key process. This session will examine the driving interests in and the potential market for microgrids, as well as the value proposition for utilities, third-parties, and consumers.

Moderator: Larisa Dobriansky
Chief Business and Regulatory Innovations Officer, General Microgrids

Peter Asmus
Principal Research Analyst, Navigant
“A 360 degree view of DC microgrid market potential”
Bill Muston
R&D Manager, Oncor
Ken Kulak
Partner, Morgan Lewis

Emerging Models and Markets - Policy and Regulatory Evolution

Increasingly across the country, Distributed Energy Resources have gone from a novelty with low penetration to a driving force of change for both customers and utilities. In response, regulatory proceedings have become ever-present with different jurisdictions beginning to address either rate reform, valuation studies, or both. This session will dig into how a variety of proceedings have unfolded, and will elucidate the variety of approaches and conversations occurring nationwide.

Moderator: Cristin Lyons
Partner and Grid Transformation Practice Lead, ScottMadden

Virginia Lacy
Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute
Corey Singletary
Program and Policy Analyst, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Ann McCabe
Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission

Consumer Engagement - Consumer-Driven Technology Adoption

Increasing consumer interest in personal and community solar and energy storage, and slow but rising EV adoption rates depend upon smart grid and distribution automation strategies that allow a broad range of distributed energy resource (DER) options. Consumer-savvy and well-funded players are applying pressure in the market by promoting energy management and efficiency products, renewable alternatives and electric vehicle charging solutions directly to the public, often bypassing traditional channels and gatekeepers. This session will examine how and where customer enthusiasm is pushing utilities in new directions. 

Moderator: Katherine Hamilton
Executive Director, Advanced Energy Management Alliance

Thor Hinckley
Senior Program Consultant, CLEAResult
Marc Romito
Director of Customer Technology, Arizona Public Service
Bob Graham
Director, EV Everywhere Challenge, US Department of Energy


12:15 -1:15 PM

Networking Lunch


1:15 – 2:15 PM


Grid Integration - DR+

Though traditional applications for demand response (DR), such as peak shifting, are fairly well-known, this session will highlight particular perspectives that provide value add to the DR landscape. These added benefits could enable ancillary services for access to non-spinning energy reserves, overcome renewable energy intermittency issues, and encourage customer energy efficiency through grid aware products. This session will specifically address some of the following DR+ topics:

  • A standardized approach to DR program design to enable new services for energy trading and transactive energy
  • DR potential using AMI meter data coupled with enabling technologies (e.g. programmable communicating thermostats, direct load control switches, IoT software, Auto-DR) to determine the amount of load shed or take that an end user can supply to the market or to modify load.
  • Using integrated marketing techniques for customer recruitment to today’s grid-aware DR products

Moderator: Derek Kirchner
Principal Supervisor – Demand Response, DTE Energy

Barry Haaser
Managing Director, OpenADR Alliance
“Standardizing Auto DR Programs”
Inia Burginger
Manager, Demand-Side Management, Pepco Holdings
“Recruiting Customers to Today’s Grid-Aware DR Products”
Jennie Potter
Senior Scientific Engineering Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Emerging Models and Markets - Inside Out, Upside Down – RTO Market of the Future

Environmental regulations and cheap natural gas are resulting in a big transition in the energy resource fleet. This is combining with a growth of more intermittent renewable energy supplies at both the wholesale level and behind the meter, representing a potential dramatic shift in what wholesale markets need to achieve to produce reliable operations. Given these trends, markets may appear to be turned inside out and upside down to focus more on flexibility needs than energy supplies. The speakers will discuss the following questions: In this environment, what opportunities exist to evolve wholesale markets to take more direct account of technology advances, including distributed resources and smarter energy management device growth at the consumer level? How should RTOs approach meeting flexibility needs at the wholesale level given varying regulatory constructs at the retail level? Can common approaches be found? If so, what are they? How will markets evolve to provide reliability coordination of highly distributed energy supplies?

Moderator: Allison Clements
Director, Sustainable FERC Project at NRDC

Jeff Bladen
Executive Director, Market Services, MISO
Mark Rothleder
Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration, California ISO
Stan Williams
Director, Performance Compliance and Market Settlements, PJM
Rob Pike
Director, Market Design, NYISO

Consumer Engagement - Using Data Analytics to Improve the Customer Experience

Utilities who have deployed AMI have huge amounts of household usage data available. What is still evolving is how they can use that data to improve the customers’ experience dealing with the utility. This session will focus on different ways “Big Data” can be used to:

  • Proactively reach out to customers before anomalies become problems and protect low-income families;
  • Provide incentives to achieve specific goals, whether it is energy efficiency or load shifting;
  • Target customers for outreach so utilities don’t bother people with irrelevant suggestions and offerings;
  • Transform customer service operations so reps and field personnel can be more responsive and helpful and self-service channels can save time for consumers;
  • Animate in-home automation so set-and-forget experiences are practical for comfort, savings, and carbon footprint reduction objectives that are important to customers.

Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez
Associate Director and Social Science Expert, Navigant

Mark Gately
Data Analytics Manager, Tendril
Gregg Knight
SVP and Chief Customer Officer, CenterPoint
Erika Diamond
VP and GM, EnergyHub


2:15 – 2:30 PM

Networking Break


2:30 – 3:30 PM


Grid Integration - EV Integration

Despite low oil prices, the US plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) industry continues to thrive with annual sales of nearly 120,000 vehicles. This session will focus on approaches to successfully integrate electric vehicle technologies into today’s electricity grid in a way that minimizes load growth challenes while maximizing PEV as a grid asset. The discussion will include a special focus on effective integration strategies for EV metering, communications, and hardware, as well as business model opportunities for workplace charging and intelligent charging networks. Additional focus will be given to the value of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) network interoperability and the future value of EV as a potential demand response storage resource.

Moderator: Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur
Director of Transportation Efficiency, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

Eric Mallia
General Manager, FleetCarma
“Residential Smart Charging Pilot Program: Results of a Utility Controlled EV Charging Pilot in Toronto”
Dave Packard
VP, Utility Solutions, ChargePoint
Tom Ashley
Senior Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Greenlots

Emerging Models and Markets - Distribution Planning Tools

The growing number of distributed assets presents significant challenges for the utility planning process. How can utilities plan around seemingly unexpected and unpredictable proliferation of distributed resources on the system? What is the scope and scale of resources the utility can count on to show up as resources with value for the grid? How can distribution investments be made in concert with expectations about uptake in distributed resources? How can distributed resources be appropriately valued? This session discusses barriers and trends and presents recommendations for planning for a more distributed grid.

Moderator: Alana Lemarchand
Consultant, Nexant

Dan Wilson
Renewable Energy Consultant, Black & Veatch
“Planning the Distributed Energy Future”
Ken Collison
VP of T&D Planning, ICF International
“Locational Assessment of DER Resource Potential for Improved Distribution Planning”
Doug Smith
Director, Power Planning, Green Mountain Power
“Opportunities and Challenges Integrating Distributed Resources”

Consumer Engagement - Innovative C&I Programs

For larger commercial and industrial customers, innovation centers on how the building or corporate campus manages its energy use in order to meet organizational goals (financial, sustainability, performance) and expectations around resiliency. Solutions developed for this arena allow dedicated energy managers to control or automate systems that will avoid demand charges, participate in demand response programs, reduce usage in ways that do not impinge on daily operations, integrate onsite generation and storage, and achieve independence in the face of catastrophic weather or regional grid-failure events.  This session will illustrate perspectives from DR service providers, a utility, and a technology company.

Moderator: Rick Tempchin
Executive Director, Retail Energy Service, Edison Electric Institute

Dennis Elsenbeck
Regional Executive, Western Division, National Grid
Christian Weeks
Senior Director and General Manager of Global Demand Response, EnerNOC
Sunil Cherian

Founder and CEO, Spirae


3:30 PM

Conclusion of the National Town Meeting


For media inquiries, please contact K Kaufmann at 202-379-1637 or kkaufmann@sepapower.org.


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