12th Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange, Sept. 19-21, 2018 in Aspen, Colorado
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12th Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange Agenda

Looking for presentations from the 11th RMUE? Visit the Archive.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
7:30 - 9:00 am

Breakfast Buffet and First-Timers Orientation in Doerr-Hosier Building
Buffet breakfast with opportunity to network.

Mary Weiner, Holy Cross Energy Mary Wiener
Holy Cross Energy
Joy Manning, High West Energy
Joy Manning
High West Energy
9:00 am

Welcoming Remarks

Mary Weiner, Holy Cross Energy Mary Wiener
Holy Cross Energy
Ryland French, City of Aspen Ryland French
City of Aspen
9:15 am

Roundtable Discussion with Utility and Government Agency Introductions

Michelle Hurst, Xcel Energy Co-Chair Michelle Hurst
Xcel Energy
Bryce Brady, Platte River Power Authority Co-Chair Bryce Brady
Platte River Power Authority

Utility / Government Representatives
Brief introduction by a designated representative from each utility and government agency present on the one topic they would most like to discuss during the roundtable and the one item that they would most like to learn or share during this event (such as new programs being considered or launched, etc.)

10:15 am Refreshment Break
10:30 am

Understand Together: A Roundtable Discussion
Facilitated discussion of ways utilities and allies can work together to solve problems on topics identified in advance and during the earlier session, such as:

  • Engaging Hard-to-Reach/Nonparticipating Customers
  • Keeping Pace with Early Adopting Customers (at the Risk of Being Left Behind)
  • Balancing Community and Business Commitments to go 100% Renewables; consider Storage, Off-grid, etc.
12:00 pm

Lunch Buffet in Doerr-Hosier Building
Buffet lunch with opportunity to network

 

General Session 1 Co-Chairs

Mary Weiner, Holy Cross Energy Co-Chair Mary Weiner
Holy Cross Energy
Ryland French, City of Aspen Co-Chair Ryland French
City of Aspen
2:00 pm

Opening Keynote Presentation
Settling for More: How Your Demands Define the Future of Energy

Anne Dougherty, Founder, Illume Advising

Anne Dougherty, Founder, Illume Advising
We talk about "energy innovation," which implies that we are moving in new directions, at a pace that keeps up with market changes. Illume’s Anne Dougherty challenges us to think about whether our research is comprehensive enough, and whether our strategy and planning is integrated enough, to be able to innovate. If we set a low bar for research, strategy and planning, then we settle for mediocrity. When we begin with the view of serving the customer first, how does that change the way we procure and buy research to deliver exceptional programming? Utilities, it starts with you, and your approach to procuring the expertise you need to get you through key inflection points on your road to innovation. Excellence begins with utility buyers setting a higher standard for their consultants and pushing them to think beyond the silos of market research, evaluation, and planning.

Anne is a looked-to expert and sought-after speaker on the human dimensions of energy technologies and resource management. Drawing on social science informed methods, Anne is known for her rigorous yet empathetic research approaches to research that creatively meld multiple empirical methods to answer our client's most vexing questions. She has led multimillion dollar research studies that leverage big data analytics and rich ethnographic research to create people-centric strategies to improve energy technology, program, and marketing strategies.

2:30 pm

Strategic Opportunities for Beneficial Electrification
Keith Dennis, National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association with Kent Singer, Executive Director, Colorado Rural Electric Association
This roundtable conversation will explore the concept of "environmentally beneficial electrification," or the electrification of energy end uses such as space heating, water heating, agricultural pumping, and transportation (electric vehicles) to create environmental and economic benefits. Beneficial electrification provides the opportunity to displace the direct combustion of fossil fuels such as diesel, gasoline, propane, fuel oil, and natural gas and to reduce GHG emissions. With a focus on emissions efficiency, rather than just on conventional energy conservation, promoting beneficial electrification can help meet GHG reduction goals while providing a wide variety of other economic and environmental benefits to local communities and the nation.

3:00 pm

The State of Energy Consumers Today
Nathan Shannon, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative
What are the needs and wants of energy consumers today? And how can electric utilities and their partners effectively reach them and engage them in programs and services? Distilling insights from all of Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative's 2017 consumer research projects, this session will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of how U.S. consumers think about and engage with smart energy, their energy providers and the various products and services this broader energy ecosystem enables. Attendees will also hear actionable takeaways on what today's consumers want and real-life examples of consumer engagement successes.

3:30 pm Refreshment Break
 

General Session 2 Co-Chairs

Ron Horstman, Western Area Power Administration Co-Chair Ron Horstman
Western Area Power Administration
Robert Love, Longmont Power & Communications Co-Chair Robert Love
Longmont Power & Communications
3:45 pm

A Resource Guide for Utility-Led Distributed Solar Programs
John Powers, Extensible Energy; Jill Cliburn, Cliburn and Associates; with Odette Mucha, US Department of Energy
The Community Solar Value Project, co-funded by the US DOE SunShot program, has produced a first-of-its-kind guide to developing solar-plus-storage programs – either as community solar or as other utility-led distributed solar projects. This presentation will review recent relevant case studies from utilities in multiple areas including the Rocky Mountain West. Fort Collins Utilities and the Platte River Power Authority both served on the project’s Utility Forum, which oversaw the project’s progress in addressing issues of specific interest to utility program designers and implementers. The Guide will be made available to Utility Exchange members, and the presenters will walk attendees through a simple checklist in order to make the most of this valuable resource.

4:15 pm

Front Range Utilities Unite to Reach More Customers and Reduce Costs
Brian Tholl, Fort Collins Utilities with Michelle Hurst, Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy and Fort Collins Utilities have formed a collaboration to streamline our common customer’s participation in several incentive programs. With the two utilities sharing customers within a service territory, both utilities recognize the that leveraging each other’s brands and resources could increase participation to programs at a reduced cost. This presentation will summarize the efforts to align program deliveries in the residential, commercial, and multifamily segments using common vendors to deliver programs and services. Examples include an aligned midstream cooling program, multifamily program collaboration, commercial audit programs, and new eCommerce marketplace with shared costs.

4:45 pm

Plugging into Community Climate Action: Defining and Advancing Emerging Priorities
Chris Menges, City of Aspen; Ryland French, City of Aspen; and Laura Armstrong, City of Aspen
Communities are setting ambitious carbon reduction goals and developing climate action plans for achieving them. Program managers from utilities and local governments are being asked to lead or participate in these efforts. Aspen updated its climate action plan (CAP) through an extensive stakeholder process that leveraged energy data, program insights and regional expertise. The new CAP prioritizes 45 actions across 6 sectors for implementation over 3 years. This session will discuss developing the CAP and explore prioritized actions related to energy supply, efficiency in residential and commercial buildings, and electrification. Aspen’s CAP shows what’s possible at the community scale, and quantifies the potential impacts of each objective. Session attendees will discover tools available to advance their own climate action planning processes, gain an understanding of what it takes to develop a CAP, and examine how utilities, NGO, and private-sector partners can expect to play a role.

5:15 pm Sponsor Showcase Lightning Round
Lightning-fast round of introductions to companies that offer leading-edge technology and service innovations.In this 15-minute session you will hear from several of our sponsors about the essence of their solutions. The presentations are vetted and help the sponsors get their key messages compressed down to 3 minutes. Sponsors will offer specific examples of how they provide value. 
  • Jamie Mascarin, AM Conservation
  • Francois Lebrasseur, A.O. Smith
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Networking Reception with Poster Session and Family-friendly Activities

Christmas Wharton, Grand Valley Power Co-Chair Christmas Wharton
Grand Valley Power
Tracey Hewson, City of Loveland Co-Chair Tracey Hewson
City of Loveland
  • Connecting Benchmarking with DSM Participation
    Patrick Schmitz, XCEL Energy with Kirk Longstein, Fort Collins Utilities

  • Increasing Hispanic Participation in Energy Efficiency Programs
    Michelle Hurst,  Xcel Energy;  Paola Trejo, CLEAResult; and Phoebe Romero, CLEAResult

  • Customer Empathy Mapping
    Ann Kirkpatrick, Xcel Energy with Melanie Wemple, E Source

  • Beyond the Audit: Nurturing Customers to Deeper Savings
    Meghann Goddard, Franklin Energy with Megan Nyquist, Franklin Energy

  • Cross-promoting Programs to Drive Customer Engagement and Value
    Rob O’Connell, Xcel Energy

  • HERS to Homes: Taking the Report to the Customer
    Katie Parkinson, Apex Analytics with Jared Geiger, Atmos Energy

  • Energy Rated and Added Comfort: Energy Efficient Window Attachments
    Emily Phan-Gruber, The Attachments Energy Rating Council; Katherine Cort, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Stacy Lambright, Hunter Douglas

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018
7:30 - 9:00 am

Breakfast Buffet in Doerr-Hosier Building
Buffet breakfast with opportunity to network

 

General Session 3 Co-Chairs

Megan Moore-Kemp, Yampa Valley Electric Association Co-Chair Megan Moore-Kemp
Yampa Valley Electric Association
Alantha Garrison, Gunnison County Electric Association Co-Chair Alantha Garrison
Gunnison County Electric Association
9:00 am

Energy Efficiency as a Distributed Energy Resource
Matt Golden, Open Energy Efficiency
OpenEE CEO Matt Golden explains how a new approach to metering and calculating energy savings can transform the industry and turn efficiency into a true grid resource. This presentation is designed to address fundamental barriers to the scaling of efficiency by deploying a platform that encourages consumer-facing innovation through competitive energy efficiency aggregation markets, while allowing energy savings to be fully valued as a grid and carbon resource.

9:30 am

Consumer-Centric Program Design
David White, Poudre Valley REA
What would your utility learn if you could do a deep dive with a few of your members about their motivations, goals -- and frustrations -- and use it to develop products and services for your members? Poudre Valley REA in Colorado is piloting an approach to help every department at the co-op design programs that offer the greatest value to its members. Get an overview of a method that has been used successfully in other industries and that is now being tested at utilities. Hear the results from the co-ops' ethnographic research.

10:00 am

Enabling New Rate Structures with Grid Edge Applications
Joey Alexander, Landis+Gyr
As utilities introduce more time of use and residential demand rates, it is critical to offer simple, affordable, and convenient tools to help consumers better manage their energy consumption. Utilities are meeting this challenge by utilizing a distributed application running on consumers’ billing meters, continuously monitoring instantaneous demand and forecasting future demand. As forecasted demand approaches a pre-set customer configured demand threshold, the application autonomously manages—in-real-time—the load on high consuming devices such as HVAC, electric water heaters, or pool pumps. Load shedding is achieved using a priority order defined by the consumer via web portal or mobile app. With 30-second waiting periods to evaluate the impact of the initial shed, shedding commands are sent to additional devices until the forecasted demand is below the threshold. As power consumption drops, the loads are brought back on to the system without exceeding the demand target.

10:30 am Refreshment Break
10:45 am

The Compact of Colorado Communities: Building Organizational Capacity for Effective Climate Action
Steve Skadron, City of Aspen, Mayor and Founder of the Compact; Dan Kreeger, Compact of Colorado Communities; Ashley Perl, City of Aspen with Representatives from Compact Communities and Utility Partners
The Compact of Colorado Communities focuses on building capacity in local governments to rapidly scale up and advance climate action planning. In doing so, Colorado communities can accelerate the implementation of solutions related to preparedness and resiliency; clean energy; transportation and mobility; job creation and economic development; and, public awareness and engagement. Currently, 28 local governments in Colorado are Compact members. Several of those members are also historic attendees of RMUE. This session will provide current members with an update on Compact activities while providing prospective members with an overview of the organization and its value. The session will focus heavily on where current members are (geographically), which utilities serve them, what goals those members are setting vis-à-vis energy and efficiency, and the implications for members and utilities. Specific examples from the RMUE community will be highlighted. For example, Breckenridge's recent commitment to 100% renewable energy and their work coordinating with both a cooperative and investor-owned utility.

11:15 am

Opportunities for a Customer-centric Energy Transition in the West

Bryan Hannegan, CEO, Holy Cross Energy Bryan Hannegan
CEO, Holy Cross Energy
Mark Dyson, Rocky Mountain Institute Mark Dyson
Rocky Mountain Institute

The landscape for Western utilities is changing quickly and dramatically. Increasing wholesale market access, low-cost renewable energy, and battery energy storage are changing the calculus around utility resource planning, while distributed energy resources (e.g., rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries, electric vehicles) present new opportunities for customers and utilities alike. Utilities that fail to adapt to this changing landscape risk being left behind as customer-led resource adoption and third-party service providers threaten to erode energy sales; however, recent examples from Colorado of renewable procurement (e.g., Public Service Company of Colorado), long-term low-carbon planning (e.g., Platte River Power Authority), and customer-focused distributed energy business models (e.g., Fort Collins Utilities) suggest a way forward for utilities to leverage emerging trends. This presentation will lay out some of the fundamental risks and opportunities facing Western utilities today, and offer recommendations for no-regrets, near-term actions that utilities can take to meet customer needs and sustain their business in the coming decades.

Bryan Hannegan is President and CEO of Holy Cross Energy, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative utility providing electricity and energy products and services to more than 55,000 customers in Western Colorado. Prior to joining Holy Cross in July 2017, Bryan was the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he co-founded the US Department of Energy's Grid Modernization Initiative and started up the successful Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), a unique "distribution grid in a box" enabling utilities, entrepreneurs and consumers to work together on cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy systems. Earlier in his career, Bryan served in multiple executive roles over seven years at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), leading power sector industry R&D programs in environmental science, energy analysis, fossil generation and renewable energy. From 1999-2006 Bryan was an active high-level contributor to U.S. and global energy and environmental policy, first as Staff Scientist to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, then as Associate Director for Energy and Transportation (and later Chief of Staff) for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). He also served as acting Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, helping to formulate the Advanced Energy Initiative and to implement the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Bryan holds a Doctorate in earth system science and a Master of Science in engineering, both from the University of California, Irvine; and a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Mark is a principal with the Electricity Practice at Rocky Mountain Institute, where he has worked since 2008 and currently leads RMI research and collaboration efforts around the roles that distributed energy resources can play in grid planning and investment. At RMI, Mark has led cutting-edge research projects on the value that renewable energy, demand flexibility, and storage offer customers and the grid, and has advised clients including large utilities, regulatory commissions, oil majors, and clean-tech companies on distributed energy topics.

12:00 pm

Lunch Buffet in Doerr-Hosier Building
Buffet lunch with opportunity to network

Breakout Sessions

Track A – IoT/Technology

Brian Tholl, City of Fort Collins Co-Chair Brian Tholl
City of Fort Collins
Gary Myers, Tri-State Co-Chair Gary Myers
Tri-State
2:00 pm

Smart Meters and Breakers Panel:

Put a Meter on it! Connected, Low-cost Submetering
Amy Jiron, U.S. Department of Energy; Mike Lowell, U.S. General Services Administration; and Dylan Cutler, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Despite documented widespread market demand, technology for submetering has been cost-prohibitive at approximately $1,000/point, keeping many building loads out of reach for both building operators and utility programs.  Recently, however, DOE announced the launch of a wireless submeter at $100/point with additional product development underway to support new electric submeters (and sensors) at less than $10/point. GSA and DOE began field testing of the new low-cost submeter by Meazon at the Denver Cesar Chavez Memorial Building in March 2018.

Smart Energy Management Circuit Breakers, Grid of the Future?
Gary Myers, Tri-State G&T with Joseph Childs, Eaton
Managing the load is becoming just as important as managing energy at the source. To keep costs down and service levels up, consumers become a critical piece of the energy puzzle. Demand response programs, in order to better manage energy usage, require actively engaged consumers and highly connected homes. Early advances in smart home technology have done a lot to open our members minds to new ways to increase their comfort while saving them money and energy. Inspired by the success of companies like Nest, the smart home market has been surging in recent years. The Pilot project Tri-State has been involved in over the past 1+ year, with EPRI and Eaton has further opened our eyes individual device data collection with 18 devices currently deployed on many different devices within Colorado/ New Mexico. Our Wi-Fi devices are collecting data from solar gardens, electric automobile charging stations, heating, cooling, and plug load. The Dashboard provides voltage, amperage, power factor, and wave form of connected devices in real time educating our members! Interested, see what all of us have learned???

2:30 pm

Smart Meters and Breakers Panel:

Lessons Learned From New Rocky Mountain Cooperative Smart Thermostat Programs 
Utility Representatives with Brad Davids, Google (Nest )
During the summer of 2018, two Colorado cooperatives launched new smart-thermostat demand response programs working with NRTC and Nest. This presentation will provide a "real-time" report from the initial summer dispatch season, covering both challenges and successes.

Alexa, it's Getting Hot in Here — Voice for Utilities
Gerardo Galdamez, Entergy Arkansas; Sarah Colvin, ecobee, and Keith Canfield, CLEAResult
The emergence of far field voice and the connected home provides a brand-new avenue for utilities to engage with customers.  But in what way?  How?  Where do you start?    With a platform of voice connected smart home products, ecobee has been collecting a wealth of information about how customers think and interact with their devices.  This data is incredibly useful in understanding not only how customers interact with their utility (or want to!) but how they think about the home and more.  Among the leading utilities in the voice space are Entergy Arkansas and ComEd who are using voice assistants to foster deeper customer engagement — but is it working?  Hear what’s gone well, what hasn’t and the surprises along the way.  It’s time to start the conversation.

3:00 pm

Connecting with Customers Through the eCommerce Experience
Colin Lamb, Xcel Energy
During just the first 6 months of operation, nearly 200,000 customers visited the Xcel Energy Store. Xcel Energy will discuss how it has used its marketplace to successfully increase customer participation in programs, improve program cost effectiveness and overcome barriers to delivering downstream instant rebates to customers through both on-line and brick-and-mortar channels. Highlights will include lessons-learned from the groundbreaking in-store rebate launch with Lowe’s, current store offerings, retail partnerships, impacts of various marketing strategies on driving customer conversions, overall customer satisfaction results and future strategies.

Track B – Customer Engagement

Joy Manning, High West Energy Co-Chair Joy Manning
High West Energy
Alan Stoinski, Cheyenne Fuel, Light and Power Co-Chair Alan Stoinski
Cheyenne Fuel, Light and Power
2:00 pm

Customer Centricity: Prioritizing Customer Experience in Innovative Program Design
Jeana Swedenburg, Cadmus
With the future of lighting savings in question, utilities across the country are looking for previously untapped savings opportunities through customer-focused program concepts. During this presentation, we will explore case studies of new and innovative programs that reach across departmental lines (e.g., corporate marketing, billing, information technology) to prioritize customer engagement while capturing energy savings and driving market transformation. A sampling of the customer-centric programs discussed during the presentation include: small business smart thermostats, utility loyalty programs, proactive energy alerts, and demand-shifting electric vehicle pricing options.

2:30 pm

Smart Consumers Not Smart Meters: Empowering Energy Consumers
Christopher Craig, Montana State University Billings
Climate trends and extreme weather events are putting strains on consumer energy use in their homes and on the aggregate utility generation infrastructure. Many utilities and implementers turn to smart technologies as the answer to help consumers become more energy efficient in homes. However, research has demonstrated that there is a rebound effect that occurs when consumers "perceive" that they are using less electricity. Further, others have shown that outside rich feedback mechanisms following efficiency - or smart - upgrades, the same rebound effect can occur. Drawing from a residential case study of a billing complaint from Northwest Energy, the proposed presentation will: (1) discuss the challenges that consumers face, including mis-information from utility companies and inaccurate billing, in their homes, (2) outline important characteristics of energy consumers, and (3) discuss best practices utilities and implementers can use to craft strategies and messages that inform and engage consumers.

3:00 pm

Giving Customers Control via Education and Gamification
Dave Hatchimonji, Boulder County with Matt Wilmoth, CLEAResult
Customers want to be in control of their comfort, expenses, and impact on the world. Utilities and communities are in a position to empower their customers to have this control when it comes to energy use and sustainability. However, this can be challenging due to the limited amount of time and attention that many customers are able to dedicate to these topics. By putting additional emphasis on customer education, our industry can empower more customers to actually join the conversation. More and more customers are using websites and mobile devices to stay informed and connected. This presentation will focus on an online platform that serves to educate, guide, and reward customers as they strive to understand energy efficiency, improve their homes, control their comfort/expenses, and ultimately thrive.

3:30 pm Refreshment Break

Track A – Energy as a Service, Not a Product

3:45 pm

Targeting Individual Homes for Beneficial Electrification
Adam Stenftenagel, Radiant Labs
Utilities as well as State and City governments are faced with the need to dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. As electric utilities switch to renewables, the need to electrify space heating and transportation becomes increasingly important. The City of Boulder, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and Radiant Labs have partnered to develop a sophisticated targeting tool that harnesses the power of publicly available data and combines it with NREL's ResStock platform. The tool unlocks extremely useful information that cities and utilities have previously not utilized to perform an hourly energy model on each individual home in a community, effectively pinpointing individual homes that are the best candidates for all forms of beneficial electrification as well as traditional energy efficiency improvements. The City of Boulder is deploying this platform to power a series of pilot programs focused on beneficial electrification that range from air source heat pump adoption to microgrid implementation and electric vehicles. Adam will present lessons learned from the Boulder pilots as well as detail how Radiant Labs' platform is helping target the ideal candidates for this effort.

4:15 pm

Electric Vehicles: Customer & Employee Input on Program Planning
Allie Marshall, Cadmus
With the electric vehicles (EV) on the rise, utilities across the country are looking to develop EV programs that increase customer adoption of EVs and promote the use of EVs in the workplace, thus setting the foundation for market transformation. During this presentation, we will explore recent California utility research results using focus groups and conjoint analysis to investigate the influence of charging station locations and charging pricing strategies on the purchase and use of EVs.

4:45 pm

Longmont Power & Communications' NextLight, Colorado's First Municipal-owned Broadband Utility
Anne Lutz, Longmont Power & Communications; Chuck Finleon, Longmont Power & Communications; and Robert Love, Longmont Power & Communications
Learn about how a small energy services group at a municipal electric utility unified their energy efficiency programs and renewable portfolio by adding broadband and phone services. By using our expertise and community connections as well as our key account program, we added on a call center to serve our residential customers’ needs. Our key account managers have learned to perform site surveys for commercial customers and sell the broadband services we offer. We have learned the world of MDUs (multifamily) and have thousands of apartment units and condos connected as well, as well as incorporating specialized sales and billing software into our processes.

Track B – Reaching Hard to Reach Customers

3:45 pm

The Country’s First Cannabis Cultivator Engagement, Energy Use & Management Program
Mary Wiener, Holy Cross Energy with Eric Stern, Cultivate Energy Optimization
Currently permitted in 30 states, cannabis cultivation is one of the country’s most energy intensive industries, accounting for an estimated 1% of all U.S. energy use and 4% in Colorado. Thousands of indoor cannabis businesses must manage the significant monthly energy costs of 24-hour lighting, constant HVAC operation, humidification management, irrigation needs, and other varying energy demands – presenting unique challenges to both owners and the utilities that serve them. In the spring of 2018, Holy Cross Energy, in partnership with Cultivate Energy Optimization, created the country’s first and most significant cannabis cultivation energy use and management program – offering its indoor cannabis growers resources and tools to better understand and manage their energy costs. This session will present the unique approach created by Holy Cross to not only engage with their cannabis customers but to also provide them with specialized on-site technical assistance and guidance. Please join us for a fascinating look at how cannabis growers use and manage energy in Colorado, and how one local utility responded with action.

4:15 pm

AOG/OG&E Weatherization Program and the Arkansas Consistent Weatherization Approach
John Ware, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. (Summit Utilities/Colorado Natural Gas) with TBD Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company
The AOG/OG&E Weatherization Program was launched in 2011 and is jointly implemented by Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation (a natural gas utility) and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (an electric utility) to weatherize severely energy inefficient homes in their overlapping service territories in western Arkansas. This highly successful program improves comfort and reduces energy costs by upgrading the thermal envelope of qualified homes and installing other common energy efficiency measures - all AT NO COST to the customer. The customer-centric program exhibits cross-fuel cooperation that results in a comprehensive weatherization program with lower administrative costs. Through the efforts of the Arkansas Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC), the Arkansas Public Service Commission ultimately adopted the AOG/OG&E Weatherization Program model in its quest for a statewide consistent weatherization approach, which is currently utilized by all investor-owned utilities in Arkansas.

4:45 pm

Water Panel:

I’ll Head Your Way: Meeting Customers in the Middle
Dr. Liesel Hans, Fort Collins Utilities
Last year we told the story of a web portal and how some customers were using it (and how the majority were not). The takeaway? It’s not surprising that customers aren’t coming to a utility website to understand their use and what actions to take. This story continues with how we’re trying engage and educate customers: we’re finding out where customers are, working to meet them in the middle, rather than asking them to come to us. This talk will showcase examples where we used customer feedback to adapt our approach. Examples include co-piloting different communication tactics, giving customers what they want, making utility events fun… plus a few things that didn’t work. Conservation and efficiency goals and customers both benefit when we take time to solicit input and try new approaches.

Postcards: The Ultimate Conversation Starter
Abbye Neel, Fort Collins Utilities
A leaking toilet can waste over 3,000 gallons in a few days. Irrigation leaks can add up even faster. In the fall of 2017 Fort Collins Utilities began exploring methods to communicate abnormally high-water use, which can be indicative of a leak, to commercial customers. While phone calls were initially made, man-power and volume limited the number of customers that could be reached. To contact more customers Fort Collins Utilities began sending postcards to customers identified as having continuous water consumption for over 24 hours. Customers with odd-numbered accounts received postcards that discussed the impacts continuous water use had on natural resources. Customers with even-numbered accounts received postcards that discussed the impacts continuous water use had on monthly bills. This presentation will explore lessons learned, the postcard campaign’s ability to reduce the number of customers with wasteful use, and which message was most likely to elicit a reaction.

6:30 - 7:30 pm Networking Reception at Hotel Jerome

 

Friday, September 21, 2018
7:30 - 9:00 am

Breakfast Buffet in Doerr-Hosier Building
Buffet breakfast with opportunity to network

Workshop 1

9:00 am
Electrifying Transportation: Developing Integrated Charging Networks for Electric Vehicles

Christian Williss, Colorado Energy Office Christian Williss
Colorado Energy Office
Zach Owens, Colorado Energy OfficeZach Owens
Colorado Energy Office
Chris Nelder, Rocky Mountain InstituteChris Nelder
Rocky Mountain Institute

With assistance from: representatives of Holy Cross Energy; CAMU; LPEA; GCEA, Xcel Energy, Navigant, and MJB&A

The Colorado Electric Vehicle (EV) Plan establishes a goal of nearly 1,000,000 EVs in Colorado by 2030. Achieving this goal will require thousands of new Level II and DC fast-charging stations. This session will explore the role of utilities and government in electrifying the transportation sector, including planning, policy, grant programs, utility rates, and ownership models. 

CEO will present policy and program updates including the Colorado EV Plan, REV West MOU, VW Plan, and grant programs to electrify highways and communities. CEO will share updates about its DC Fast-Charging Transportation Corridor grant program, and partnerships with cooperatives, municipal utilities, and investor-owned utilities in developing and continuing to refine program and policy offerings will be highlighted. 

Speakers will present on their recent market studies and highlight current market trends including advances in technology and challenges with utility ownership strategies and rate structures.  Participants will be asked to share proposed strategies, programs, and experiences that expand on the literature concepts.

A discussion among IOUs, Coops, and Municipal utilities on current and planned efforts will highlight opportunities and challenges facing Colorado utilities and identify areas for future collaboration at state and local levels. 

Download the draft agenda for the workshop.

Workshop 2

9:00 am
Customer Experiences Workshop:Journey Mapping

Ann Kirkpatrick, Xcel EnergyAnn Kirkpatrick
Xcel Energy
Melanie Wemple, E SourceMelanie Wemple
E Source

Customer journey mapping provides a framework that can break down departmental barriers that limit us and our programs’ potential, resulting in increased internal collaboration, program participation and higher customer satisfaction.  What is it like to be Craig, a 39-year-old customer, interacting with your utility? What pain points become apparent?  Each workshop participant will represent a different contributor in “our” utility during the workshop.  We will identify Craig’s pain points, attitudes and emotions; brainstorm possible ways to improve Craig’s experience with us; get “real” and then do some planning.  You’ll hear one utility’s experience with the process, and some of the CX improvements that have resulted.  You’ll have some fresh ideas about how to improve CX in your own company – with less resistance - when the workshop ends.

Workshop 3

9:00 am
Community Goals Meet Utility Realities: Developing Best Practices for an Evolving Landscape

John Cattles, Gunnison County John Cattles
Gunnison County
Chris Menges, City of AspenChris Menges
City of Aspen
Kristen Taddonio, Compact of Colorado CommunitiesKristen Taddonio
Compact of Colorado Communities

This facilitated discussion hosted by the Compact of Colorado Communities 'Utilities Working Group', is an opportunity for local government and utility leaders to communicate directly about understanding and advancing community renewable & energy efficiency goals. We’ll highlight examples of where utilities and communities are working together effectively and cooperatively, discuss what's happening in places where cooperation is less than ideal, and explore what it would take to replicate the successes. Through a series of charrettes, activities and collective brainstorms, workshop participants will shape these answers and assist the Compact working group in its quest to develop a series of best practices for effective community-to-utility (and vice-versa) communication.

More than ever, citizens are asking their elected officials to influence decisions related to energy. Often, these decisions are made by utilities rather than by local government staff. This has created a new dynamic where government staff are reaching out to utilities to represent their constituents. How can both parties effectively communicate so that the relationship is collaborative and so that goals can be pursued in a way that aligns with the utility’s constraints? This workshop seeks to begin answering that question.

12:00 pm

Adjourn