A National Town Meeting on demand response + smart grid

2015 Agenda


Download a PDF version of the 2015 Town Meeting Agenda here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


DER Workshop

Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Separate registration required.

5:30-7:30 pm

Welcome Reception at the National Press Club

529 14th St NW, 13th Floor

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


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

7:30 am

Registration Opens

Hot Breakfast for all attendees


8:30-9:00 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Keynote Remarks

Delegate Voting

Attendees will have an opportunity to let their opinion be known on a number of topics and issues in the area of demand response and smart grid.


9:00-10:30 am

ROUNDTABLE #1 – Policymakers talk about change

The Town Meeting is generally not focused on policy, but this roundtable is. We feature Federal and State policymakers from around the country that are on the front lines of some of the issues and developments that will affect the evolution and shape of the electricity industry. Hear what they have to say, and get a feel for how they go about the challenging job of trying to find a balanced and constructive way to deal with change. What they say may lead you to change your thinking and expectations.

Michael Picker
President, California Public Utilities Commission

Donna Nelson
Chairman, Texas Public Utilities Commission

Bob Burns
Commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission

Nancy Lange
Commissioner, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Devon Dodson
Director, Maryland Energy Administration

Karen Wayland
Deputy Director, Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, US DOE


10:30-11:00 AM

Networking Break


11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Delegate Voting

ROUNDTABLE #2 – The industry talks about changes it faces

On this roundtable, leaders from utilities will discuss the many rapid developments which seem to be leading us towards a very different electricity industry in the future compared to what we have today. You will hear a discussion that combines both vision and practical, here-and-now planning and business operations, as topics like DER, cost-recovery, integration, markets, and customer engagement are discussed.

Calvin Butler
CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Ken Daly
President, National Grid New York

Mary Doswell
Senior Vice President, Retail and Alternative Energy Solutions, Dominion

Caroline Choi
Vice President, Energy and Environmental Policy, Southern California Edison


12:30-1:30 PM

Networking Lunch


1:30-3:00 PM

Delegate Voting

ROUNDTABLE #3 – Technology on the rise

In the horse race between policy, business models, and technology, some say that technology is winning, in that it is developing at a faster pace than the other two. That makes for a dynamic – and perhaps “scary” – scenario in the months and years ahead. On this roundtable, hear from technology executives and government leaders on what is happening in their world and what it can, or will, mean to you.

Mike Carlson
President, Siemens Smart Grid North America

Gary High
Senior Vice President, Sales, Landis+Gyr

Steve Hambric
Vice President, Strategic Sales and Operations, Comverge

Richard Kauffman
Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State

Seth Frader-Thompson
CEO, EnergyHub


3:00-3:30 PM

Networking Break


3:30-5:00 PM

Delegate Voting

ROUNDTABLE #4 – REVving up for change

Since April 2014, New York State has been undertaking an ambitious initiative to reform the state’s energy industry practices and regulatory models. Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is being discussed nationally as one of the most ambitious, forward-looking developments occurring anywhere else in the electricity sector. Is it on track? What will the product of REV look like? What challenges have arisen and how have they been addressed?  Come to this session and you will hear from people occupying different seats at the REV table as they talk about how things have gone so far, what’s happened to date, and what developments may be around the corner.

Jim Gallagher
Executive Director, New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC)

Rich Sedano
Director of US Programs, The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

Laney Brown
Director of Smart Grid Planning and Programs, Iberdrola USA

Carlos Gonzalez
Senior Manager, Grid Engineering Solutions, Solar City


5:00-5:30 PM

Delegate Voting

Closing Remarks


5:30-7:00 PM

Networking Reception

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


7:00-9:30 PM

ADS Members-Only Dinner

The ADS 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 ADS Members and hear from a guest speaker. Sign up for ADS today!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

7:30 Am

Registration Opens

Continental Breakfast for all attendees


This year, in addition to the traditional tracks of breakout sessions on Demand Response and Smart Grid, we’ve added a third track on Consumer Engagement! Feel free to stick to one track for the entire day, or mix and match for what you want to learn!


8:30-9:25 Am

Demand Response Track – Evolution of DR

Many believe that DR is at a point where the DR community needs to look at how it has evolved and how it should evolve in the near and long term. What should the future role of states be? What will the roles of ISO/RTOs be? What does transactive energy mean to DR? Is DR a true distributed energy resource (DER), and should it be viewed in that context? This panel will talk about new ideas, models, and structures for DR that will grow it and make it more institutional.

Moderator: Susan Covino, Senior Consultant, Emerging Markets, PJM

Elizabeth Dorman, Principal Counsel, California Public Utilities Commission
Elizabeth has been on point for the California Commission in its efforts related to the court process dealing with FERC Order 745, where CA is one of the states that has actively been involved in that process. She will talk about California’s thinking and how the legal process has impacted DR thinking and planning in her state.

Henry Yoshimura, Director, Demand Resource Strategy, ISO New England
Henry is the lead at ISO-NE on DR planning and development and is presently focused not just on the evolution of DR, but how it will evolve in the context of DER. He will talk about how ISO-NE is grappling with the challenge of many different types of DR and DER becoming part of the resource mix for his market region and how they can be integrated.

Smart Grid Track – Solar has arrived (in partnership with SEPA)

Contrary to many headlines, utilities are embracing solar and looking at how they can help their customers use it. Utility speakers, from different types of utilities, will talk about their respective approaches to providing solar to customers. Each will discuss the strategy that drove them to select their model, and what unique challenges they faced integrating the model into utility operations.

Moderator: Julia Hamm, President and CEO, SEPA

Sonja Cox, SVP, Financial, Economic and Employee Services and CFO, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)
The coop utility sector was out front in the case of advanced metering and other new technologies. They are now looking at how they can use solar as a resource as well as how they can provide solar options to their customers in a continuation of the sector’s emphasis on customer engagement and service. Sonja will tell us how SMECO is going about that.

Carmine Tilghman, Director – Renewable Energy Resources, Tucson Electric Power
Anyone in the electricity sector knows that Arizona is one of the hot areas right now (no pun intended). The solar penetration is already high and the resource potential is also high. Some say the state may set the precedent for how policymakers, utilities, customers, and solar companies find new policy and business models. Carmine will talk about how his company has approached solar energy, both as a utility-scale resource and as a roof-top customer-based resource and customer option.

Tanuj Deora, Chief Strategy Officer, Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is the national group that has formed and continues to grow the solar “community.” It includes both utilities and solar companies and providers and brings both sectors together in a variety of ways to funnel the needs of both into constructive channels for understanding and action. Tanuj will talk about what it is like to blend the needs of his members and what the major challenges are that SEPA is currently working on.

Consumer Engagement Track – When are smart grid and DER good for low income customers?

Technology is only as valuable as how it is used—or strategically not used—and if the funding structures behind proposals also consider benefits to consumers, society at large, and the environment. Panelists will debate under what circumstances distributed energy resources and smart grid technology create positive opportunities for low-income consumers. The discussion will encompass consumer protections and effective low-income program designs, applications such as supersaver pricing and flexible payment arrangements, budgeting and behavioral science, economic opportunities such as community solar and aggregated residential DR, and implications for using technology to avoid disconnections and enable rapid reconnection. The audience will also be invited to pose questions to debaters.

Moderator: Janine Migden-Ostrander, Principal, The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

Highlighting risks and concerns:

Laurence Daniels, Director of Litigation, DC Office of the People’s Counsel

Stacia Harper, Girls in Science and Technology, Inc.

Marty Cohen, Founder, MRC&A

In favor of the motion:

Judith Schwartz, President, To the Point

Diane Munns, Senior Director, EDF


9:30-10:30 AM

Demand Response Track – Dealing with the duck: How utilities are using pricing to address projected solar impacts (in partnership with the ADS Pricing Working Group)

If you don’t know what the “Duck” is, you need to learn. Panelists will discuss the efforts to expand time-of-use (TOU) and move peak periods as a result of the forecast California duck curve. They will also discuss the current state of value of solar tariffs and how those tariffs can be used to send the right price signal to customers and solar installers.

Moderator: Evan Pittman, Business Development & Strategy Associate, Comverge   

 John Goodin, Regulatory Policy Manager, California ISO
John will begin his presentation with a summary of CAISO’s duck curve and the implications it has on electricity pricing throughout California. Most notably, to mitigate the impacts of distributed solar generation, California will need to significantly modify and expand TOU rates. John will talk about a TOU study, which in collaboration with the CPUC and CEC, is exploring new TOU rate structures that address over and under generation concerns from increasing solar penetration.

Greg Mandelman, Manager – Demand Response & Distributed Generation Research, Pacific Gas & Electric
One of the utilities in CA and in the country that has worked hardest to try to integrate time-based pricing is PG&E. The company has learned a lot in its efforts to date, which has included the introduction of default time-based rates for some of its customers. Greg will present on all of that and how PG&E is looking at pricing in light of all the changes underway in CA, including rising levels of customer-based solar.

Josh Schellenberg, Principal Consultant, Nexant
As Chair of the ADS Pricing Working Group, Josh is a thought leader in how to use pricing to appropriately incentivize the adoption of distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar. His presentation will summarize the current state of value of solar tariffs and how those tariffs can be used to send the right price signal to customers and solar installers. Josh will also talk about how these types of tariffs can be applied to other distributed energy resources in the future.

Smart Grid Track – Integration of Electric Vehicles

We all realize at this point that EVs are not just about moving people and goods from point to point. EVs are going to be about storage, DR, DER, transactive energy, and all sorts of other aspects of the modern grid and utility system. In this discussion, the speakers will present on how fast things are coming on and what to expect in the near and long terms.

Moderator: Mike Hoover, Director, State Regulatory Affairs, SCE

Brett Hauser, CEO, Greenlots
The integration of EVs as a grid resource seems to be inevitable. But what does that mean? What are EVs really capable of in that sense? Greenlots is becoming known for its work with utilities and auto companies to make EVs into a DR/DER resource. Brett will present on how that is working and what the potential may be.

Darren Hammell, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Princeton Power
Princeton Power is a company that has many different facets to it, all of which are hot these days. It is involved in storage, microgrids, EVs, and the integration of all of these into the grid. Princeton Founder, Darren Hammell, will talk about a variety of different projects in these areas.

Consumer Engagement Track – Design session on critical consumer protections

Vulnerable and low‐income consumers are not a monolithic group, nor are the risk profiles the same in every climate. Eric Lightner, Director, Federal Smart Grid Task Force, US Department of Energy, will introduce the session by identifying the top priorities that have surfaced in workshops conducted by DOE followed by a concise presentation by Peter Cappers, LBNL, citing data from the SGIG Consumer Behavior Study results illustrating the variability of responses and bill impacts across customer demographics (e.g., elderly vs. not elderly, low-income vs. higher income, renter vs. owner, single family vs. multi-family, education level).

Judith Schwartz, To the Point, and Cindy Sargent, Brainspur will offer several distinct profiles reflecting a range of low-income consumers to be used to inform scenario creation for the design exercise. Breakout teams will delve into nuances to describe guiding principles, specific consumer protections for segments with different needs and priorities, and what additional research is needed to validate and test assumptions. The exercise will invite teams to delineate lines of contention and policies “acceptable” to advocates, regulators, and utilities that suggest opportunity for common ground.


10:30-10:45 AM

Networking Break


10:45 – 11:45 AM

Demand Response Track – DR as a DER option

If you do not think about DR in a DER context yet, along the same lines as microgrids, storage, etc, you need to start. Many say that the new emphasis on distribution platforms should bring new opportunity for DR and its DER siblings. Speakers in this session will talk about projects underway and how they see DR playing a DER role going forward.

Moderator: Derek Kirchner, Supervisor – Demand Side Management, DTE Energy

Todd Sankey, VP and Chief Architect, Enbala
Enbala has achieved notice for its efforts related to application of DR to provide ancillary services to grid markets. It is now also focused on how other types of DER can be introduced and integrated to serve that type of market as well as others. Todd will talk about what the company has learned via its work in Canada, its home country, and in the US.

Paul Grod, President and CEO, Rodan Energy
Rodan is another Canadian company that has had a major impact on the introduction of DR into markets there, particularly in Ontario. Paul will talk about how that has gone, and what lessons have been learned in Canada that those of us in the US community may not know about but ought to, including in the area of distribution platforms.

Mathias Bell, Manager, Electricity Practice, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
The optics between solar as a threat or opportunity for utilities are rapidly evolving. Some utilities seem to be viewing distributed solar as a bridge to new business models while others may be viewing it as a bridge to a less desirable destination. Mathias has been investigating all of this and has pulled together a picture of where things might be headed, which looks at how other technologies will complement or conflict with solar, what the resilience “factor” is and how solar can be used for DR.

Smart Grid Track – Microgrids

2014 was the year when Microgrids came on the DER scene in gangbusters fashion. States jumpstarted projects with funding. Utilities started to embrace them, if not develop them themselves. Communities got in the game. Technologies improved. The momentum has not stopped. Come hear from speakers that come at Microgrids from different angles and approaches and see what they say about where things go from here.

Moderator: Howard Smith, Manager, Resource Planning and Demand Response Operations, Alabama Power

Micah Kotch, Director of NY Microgrid Prize and Strategic Adviser for Innovation, NYSERDA
Many view New York State and California as the two states moving forward on all possible fronts simultaneously. In NY, the REV process is getting most of the attention for its work on distribution platforms and market rate design. But the state has recognized microgrids for their special status as a DER option and resource, to the point of creating the “NY Prize” funding competition for microgrids that is currently underway. Micah will tell you all about that prize and the hoped-for contribution of microgrids to NY’s energy future.

Dave Dobratz, Supervisor – Direct Install and Load Response, Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities/Nstar)
The state that is acknowledged as being out front in providing state funding for microgrids is CT, especially the type known as community microgrids. With microgrid development presenting both challenges and opportunities for utilities, Dave will talk about how the prevailing view and industry best practices for adoption and integration of microgrids are impacting utilities in the state in his presentation, “Connecticut Microgrid Initiatives, Results and Opportunities.”

Neal Bartek, Distributed Energy Resources Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric
Borrego Springs Microgrid

Consumer Engagement Track – New technology options to enable successful prosumers

The Grid of the Future is evolving from a Smart Grid and Demand Response emphasis to more of a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) framework, as new trends, products, and technologies become available. Energy efficient buildings are proving key to crossing the technology adoption chasm with commercial customers embracing a range of alternatives. While early residential adopters tended to be high-income green consumers, we are now seeing other segments participating in greater numbers. This session will explore how these new tools allow residential and commercial customers to monetize their energy use, personal data, and obtain value from shared generation, storage, and efficiency resources. The conversation will include how we can involve low-income communities in these collective opportunities and how innovations in transactive energy might counteract energy poverty.

Moderator: Becky Harrison, CEO, GridWise Alliance

George Koutitas, CEO, Gridmates Inc.

Alex Zheng, Senior Product Manager, SilverSpring Networks

Chris King, Global Chief Regulatory Officer, Siemens Smart Grid


11:45 AM -12:45 PM

Networking Lunch


11:45 AM -12:45 PM

ADS Issue Working Group Meetings

Members of the ADS Consumer Engagement, Business Case/Issues , VVO, Microgrids, and Pricing Working Groups are invited to join their fellow working group members at reserved tables in the Atrium for lunch meetings to discuss action items and deliverables for 2015.


12:45-1:40 PM

Demand Response Track – Case Studies

You ask for them each year, and each year we bring them to you. Hear and see presentations on what practitioners have encountered and accomplished, and what they have learned along the way.

Moderator: Wayne Harbaugh, Director, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Tim Roughan, Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, National Grid
National Grid has operations throughout New England and New York, and has two states (NY and MA) active on a DR & SG agenda. One of the innovative things the company has done recently is pursue a DR-based non-wires solution in areas where it would otherwise have to add to its distribution network. Tim will talk about that as well as other DR projects and programs underway.

Sim Zirkiyev, Manager, Commercial Demand Response Programs, ConEdison
Having tripled participant incentives in the last year, Con Edison is working hard to grow its commercial DR resources. Come hear Sim present on the DR programs he has responsibility for and what the overall picture is at ConEd for DR in his presentation “Distribution Demand Response 2.0.”

Renee Castillo, Senior Director, Customer Experience Services, Salt River Project
SRP’s M-Power program is the largest prepay program in North America. In fact, it generates and average of 12% energy savings to customers participating. You won’t want to miss Renee’s explanation of M-Power and the other innovative programs SRP has going on.

Smart Grid Track – DER – the coming platform for plug and play resources?

It seems clear to most people that the distribution level is where DER will play out and where all of the different resources will be integrated. Some are viewing it as the emergence of distribution-level platforms where resources can “plug and play” and where transactive energy and prosumers will emerge. Hear all about the present situation and the future scenarios.

Moderator: Christopher Gillman, Director, Demand Resource Operations, Duke Energy

Amanda Stallings, Energy Specialist, Ohio Public Utilities Commission
Amanda has been lead on a working group within the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) that has produced the most recent report on what states should consider in terms of policy developments related to integration of DER.  She will talk about what that report contains and how the process went to develop it.

Mike Hopkins, CEO, ICE Energy
Storage has a clear and firm seat at the DER table. Nowhere is that more clear than in CA, where a major procurement of storage by utilities recently took place. The storage involved was not just utility-scale varieties but distributed, behind-the-meter types. Mike will talk about that statewide effort, how storage can be integrated into the grid and what the challenges and opportunities are for storage in general.

Consumer Engagement Track – Big data + segmentation insights = great ROI on targeted outreach

Organizations obtain better value from marketing research and data analytics when they selectively use customer volunteered information, behavioral data, and segmentation insights to inform their analysis, planning, and budgeting for targeted outreach campaigns. This panel will present examples of where this has been done successfully, what was learned from the SGIG Customer Behavior Studies about consumer choice, and how to find and apply different data sources. The breakout discussion will focus on what the potential impact can be if new innovations are incorporated into our thinking.

Moderator: Patty Durand, Executive Director, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative

Seth Kiner, Founder, Charlotte Street Advisors

Matt Duesterberg, CEO, OhmConnect

Nancy Hersh, VP Analytics, Opower

Pete Cappers, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, LBNL


1:45-2:45 PM


Demand Response Track – More case studies

The only thing better than one breakout session featuring case studies is two of them! Come hear people talk about their lessons learned and decide for yourself whether the way they have done something might be a best practice for you.

Moderator: Jim Spiers, VP of Technology, Engineering and Economic Analysis, NRECA

Cory Welch, Director, Navigant
An area of the country that doesn’t always get the notice it should in the DR community is the Pacific Northwest, where things are truly viewed and acted upon on a regional basis, including by the Northwest Council. The latest effort there is the development of a new set of tools for the Council to use in assessing resource trade-offs, including how DR can face-off against both generating facilities and traditional energy efficiency. Cory will present on this developing process.

Matt Plante, CEO, EcoFactor
Demand response is a notoriously difficult resource to get right. Traditionally it has been a trade-off between load shedding/shifting and retained participation over time. In the case of one utility’s (NV Energy) DR program, it ran 28 events in 2013 and 26 events in 2014 and still reported high participation and satisfaction among its customers. Matt will present on what the program was, what the results were, and how things went overall.

Jeff Shaw, Environmental Programs and Energy Conservation Manager, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)

Smart Grid Track – A conversation with DOE

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is coming off a tremendous run in terms of moving grid modernization forward. The Smart Grid Demonstration Grants and the Smart Grid Investment Grants have been evaluated and they are showing impacts and yielding important research data. So what is next up DOE’s sleeve? What technologies do they have in their sights? What will the budget look like for smart grid in the near term? Where will they attempt to have the next impact? This session will feature three of the DOE Smart Grid team, each with point responsibility for different areas, and they will present on what has happened and what their visions are for next steps.

Moderator: Ward Camp, Sr VP, Regulatory and Alliances, Innovari

Chris Irwin, Smart Grid Standards & Interoperability Coordinator

Eric Lightner, Director of the Federal Smart Grid Task Force

Joe Paladino, Senior Advisor

Between the three of them, Chris, Eric, and Joe represent most of the existing and emerging areas of smart grid when it comes to DOE programs and planning. They were heavily involved in the design and implementation of the DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant program (SGIG) and the Smart Grid Demonstration Grant program (SGDG), as well the management of the many projects funded under each program. Now they are working to try to identify and plan for the next phase of DOE’s efforts on the smart grid front. They work together but also represent different areas and sometimes find themselves in friendly competition as advocates for those areas. Hear their reports, their thoughts and their visions as to where DOE – and smart grid in general – are going.

Consumer Engagement Track – Big data and alternative customer satisfaction metrics

Today’s consumers have different and more demanding expectations. The panel will explore what is needed to supplement traditional customer satisfaction metrics to measure brand perception, satisfaction with performance, relationship engagement, and customer experience on an actionable basis for each transaction. We will identify social media and loyalty measurements used routinely in other industries that can and should be leveraged. For the breakout exercise, the teams will use a framework created for a recent study to discuss what barriers and silos need to be overcome so data can be shared within organizations.

Moderator: Lisa Magnuson, VP Global Marketing, Silver Spring Networks

Jamie Wimberley, CEO, DEFG

Deidrea Miller, Manager, Digital Communications and Strategy, New York Power Authority

KC Boyce, Director of Custom Research, Chartwell Inc.

Ashish Agarwal, Sr. Director of Customer Solutions, Tendril 


2:45-3:00 PM

Networking Break


3:00-4:00 PM

Roundtable #5 – ISO/RTO Round-Up

It isn’t often that you can hear from five ISO/RTO CEOs sitting on the same panel. In fact, you may never have had or will have this opportunity anywhere else other than here, in the last Roundtable Session at the Town Meeting. Come listen to their views on all the challenges they and the electricity industry face, and come armed with your questions for them.

Terry Boston
President and CEO, PJM Interconnection

Gordon van Welie
President and CEO, ISO New England

Steve Berberich
President and CEO, California ISO

Steve Whitley
President and CEO, New York ISO

Bruce Campbell
President and CEO, IESO


4:00 PM

Conclusion of the National Town Meeting


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