Compiled Agenda

PDF of the Program:

This agenda is subject to change.

Saturday, November 11


Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Closed Session: States Issues Updates & Planning

12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (On Own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

State Reverse Pre-emption

Federal law allows States that choose to do so to regulate pole attachments and rights-of-way access (the “reverse preemption”).  Regulating attachments and rights-of-way access are critical in deploying new technology and facilities needed to provide mobile service, 4G today, and 5G in the near future. The attachment of these new technologies and facilities, in turn, raises issues concerning information on local topography and conditions, public policy, health impacts, and the economics of deployments. The panelists will discuss reverse preemption and the policies and solutions needed to address the concerns being raised.

Moderator: Teresa Ferguson, Colorado


Chris Witteman, California

Joe Tiernan, Massachusetts

David C. Bergmann, Principal, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers

Russell Frisby, Energy and Telecommunications Attorney, Stinson Leonard Street

Paul Glist, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Lifeline ETCs – What are the states doing/requested to do/should be doing? (e.g. outreach, enforcement)  

A recent FCC Order replaced State designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation, a function that the States perform under Section 214 of federal law which is required before a carrier can receive federal support, with a novel FCC designation for Broadband Lifeline Providers. While that matter was under appeal, the FCC requested the court to remand the matter back to the FCC. The Court agreed and the FCC is currently considering the FCC designation process. In the meantime, however, the Broadband Lifeline program has continued to roll out in the States. This ongoing implementation has given rise to concerns with consumer awareness and education about these new programs and rules, how to verify what consumers are eligible under the new rules, and what agency will address the inevitable consumer complaints about quality of service as they arise. The panelists will examine what is underway at the FCC and what the states are or could be doing to address these issues.

Moderator: Greg Doyle, Minnesota


Cary Hinton, District of Columbia

David C. Bergmann, Principal, Telecom Policy Consulting for Consumers

Danielle Frappier, Partner, Chair, Communications Practice, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 

Geoffrey Why, Counsel, Verrill Dana LLP

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Networking Break

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Resolution Introduction – Industry Input


Subcommittee on Education and Research

12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Key 9
12:00 p.m. - 01:00 p.m. 

Closed Session

Working Lunch for Committee and Staff Subcommittee members only

01:00 p.m. - 01:05 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Hon. John (Butch) Howard, Subcommittee Chair, South Carolina

01:05 p.m. - 01:10 p.m. Approval of Minutes
01:10 p.m. - 01:20 p.m.

ICER and Other Items of Interest

Hon. Jack Betkoski, III: President, NARUC; Vice Chairman, Connecticut

01:20 p.m. - 01:30 p.m.

NRRI Update

Dr. Rajnish Barua, Acting Director, NRRI

01:30 p.m. - 01:40 p.m.

University Annual Report - Wisconin Public Utility Institute (WPUI)

Lori Sakk, Director, WPUI

01:40 p.m. - 01:50 p.m.

Update on Subcommittee Projects

  • 2018 Summer Internships (NARUC)
  • New Commissioner Regulatory Orientation
  • Other

Erin Hammel, Director, International Programs, NARUC

01:50 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Review of Applications for Support

  • Applications for Consideration

Erin Hammel, Director, International Programs, NARUC

2:00 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.

Scholarships Report

Sue Daly, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Education and Research

2:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (CCRE) Update

Dr. Jan Beecher, Director, Institute of Public Utilities, MSU

2:20 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. New Business



Sunday, November 12

NRRI Board of Directors Breakfast Meeting (7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., closed meeting) 

Location: Blake Room


Registration Open (8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Location: Key Foyer


Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Chairwoman, NARUC Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity, and Commissioner, Illinois

9:05 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.

Panel: Hispanic-Americans in Energy

By 2016, the U.S. Latino population reached nearly 58 million and was the principal driver of U.S. demographic growth, accounting for half of the national population growth since 2000. However, the Latino population's representative in this industry does not reflect these statistics. This panel will discuss how to tackle the barriers of engaging more Latino communities into this industry, the obstacles that Latinos are facing with getting a seat at the table, and the challenges of trying to change the culture of a business. 


Hon. Sadzi Oliva, Illinois


Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director, National Latino Education Institute

Mario E. Dominguez, Associate, Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy, LLP

Martin Montes, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Commonwealth Edison

Jose L. Perez, Chairman and CEO, Hispanics in Energy

10:05 a.m. - 11:05 a.m.

Roundtable: Reflecting on the Past, Strategizing for the Future

As terms come to an end and we welcome in the new, we must reflect on our past to ensure we move the needle forward. This panel will discuss how Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity leaders and members have advanced the subcommittee's goals, the vision for this subcommittee, and how to ensure its continued success. 


Hon. Ronald A. Brisé, Florida

Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Illinois

Nikki Hall, Director of Regulatory Strategy & Services, Pepco Holdings, Inc.

11:05 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Update: Workforce Diversity Toolkit

The Workforce Diversity toolkit was formally launched at the NARUC Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Today we will receive information regarding tools to promote workforce diversity and an update of the status of data collection.


Laurie Dowling, Executive Director, National Utilities Diversity Council

11:20 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Subcommittee Business and Closing Remarks


Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 8
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint with Staff Subcommittees on Electricity and Electric Reliability

Next Level Demand Response

Demand Response (DR) programs are now familiar offerings in electric utilities nationwide, with many programs offering to place load control technologies like smart thermostats in customers’ homes and businesses to control loads and reduce peak demands. Is there room for DR programs to also provide other grid support services by using energy storage? This panel will explore different types of Storage DR programs, such as the shared ownership model in Vermont, contracts for peak demand reductions in New York and California, and the "reverse DR" pilot in Arizona. Discussions will focus on how customers and utilities are sharing dispatch control of their storage systems, what kinds of customer-specific benefits are realized by these programs, and whether the greater distribution grid is indeed benefiting from this next-generation form of DR. Additionally, the panel will explore how these DR programs may be transferrable to other types of DER technologies, beyond energy storage.

Moderator: Wally Nixon, Commissioner’s Legal Advisor, Arkansas Public Service Commission


Robert Dostis, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and New Products, Green Mountain Power

Ted Ko, Director of Policy, Stem

Virginia Lacy, Principle, Rocky Mountain Institute

Damei Jack, Manager of Targeted Demand Management Programs, Con Edison

Kent Walter, Manager of Customer Technology, Arizona Public Service

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Water

Voluntary Climate Action Practices: Implications for Utilities and Commissions

With the recent hiatus in U.S. federal actions on climate change, more attention is focused on States; local governments; large corporate customers; markets affecting smaller customers; and the many actions they are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate future problems, and better adapt to climate instability and climate extremes. This panel summarizes several of the most impactful voluntary climate actions, and contemplates how those actions at each level might affect regulated utilities. Included are representatives from efforts that are focused on changes in energy and water use policies and practices.

Moderator: Jon Kucskar, Senior Advisor to the Maryland Public Service Commission


James Bradbury, Mitigation Program Director, Georgetown Climate Center

Adella Crozier, Director of Regulatory Affairs, DTE Energy

Sue Gander, Director, Environment, Energy & Transportation Division,
National Governors Association

Alice Kennedy, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Green, Healthy and Sustainable Homes, City of Baltimore


Staff Subcommittee on Water

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 8
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

Voluntary Climate Action Practices: Implications for Utilities and Commissions




Staff Subcommittee on Electricity

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8 / Key 2 / Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint With Staff Subcommittees on Energy Resources and the Environment and Electric Reliability - Key 8

Next Level Demand Response 

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability - Key 2

Believers and Skeptics: A Debate About Distributed Energy Integration on the Distribution Grid

We’ve heard about the need to modernize the distribution grid to accommodate more solar generation. Some say grid modernization would allow more value to be extracted from intermittent and variable renewable energy sources, and that it would allow the batteries on electric vehicles, as well as hot water heaters, to be accessed to support overall grid operations. The future could include distribution system operators (DSOs) – organizations that would facilitate transactions but would not themselves provide energy, capacity, or related services. This vision of the future grid raises some fundamental questions:

  • If we want more solar energy, wouldn’t it be more efficient to interconnect large solar farms to the transmission grid, as opposed to installing rooftop solar on the distribution grid?
  • Should all electricity customers be forced to pay for distribution system upgrades and DSOs that are needed because of DER? 
  • Hasn’t the communications technology needed for demand response existed for decades without the so-called “smart grid”?
  • What about cyber risks of the so-called “smart” distribution grid?

Two skeptics and two believers will share their views, then we will open up the mic for audience participation.


Kimberly Jones, Chair, NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Electricity and Director of Clerk and IT Services with the North Carolina Utilities Commission


John Farber, former staff with the Delaware Public Service Commission

Mike Hyland, American Public Power Association

Bob Schulte, Schulte Associates LLC, former utility executive

Chris Villarreal, Energy Consultant and former Chair of NARUC’s Rate Design Staff Subcommittee, former staff with the California and Minnesota Commissions

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Joint with Committee on Critical Infrastructure - Key 6




Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8 / Key 2 / Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint with Staff Subcommittees on Electicity and Energy Resources and the Environment - Key 8

Next Level Demand Response

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Electricity - Key 2

Believers and Skeptics: A Debate About Distributed Energy Integration on the Distribution Grid

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Joint with Committee on Critical Infrastructure - Key 6


Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Holiday 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Mobile Broadband, Wireless Propagation & the 706 NOI

The FCC’s Section 706 Report previously stated that consumers were not adequately served with advanced telecommunications unless those consumers have access to wireline and wireless broadband.  The availability of high quality wireless service for voice, video and data can vary due to distance, physical geography, and structures, among other issues. Wireless carriers use propagation analysis and models to predict coverage and inform the engineering of the wireless towers and networks. At the same time, federal and State legislators and regulators rely on the coverage information provided from the telecom carriers in determining the existence of competition and the need for ongoing subsidies. This session is intended to educate the audience on the concept, models and variables of wireless propagation models. The panel will then discuss related issues and positions in the 706 NOI.

Moderator: Lynn Notarianni, Colorado


Joseph Witmer, Pennsylvania

Adam Nelson, Senior Consultant, Federal Engineering, Inc.

Gerald J. Duffy, Partner, Blooston Law

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Wireless Resiliency

In December 2016, the FCC issued an Order aimed at promoting wireless resiliency. The Order adopted a voluntary framework that reflected earlier discussions with the wireless industry. The FCC recently issued a Wireless Resiliency notice on August 3, 2017 at DA 17-732 in Docket 11-60 seeking public input on how to address a voluntary framework in light of the December 2016 Order. The deadline for comments was September 3, 2017, 30 days after issuance of the Wireless Resiliency notice. The panelists will outline what they have volunteered to do and who has volunteered. They will also discuss what issues have been raised and remain in that docket, and what the States’ role may be going forward.

Moderator: Joseph Witmer, Pennsylvania


Hon. Johann Clendenin, USVI

Ben Aaron, Director, State & Regulatory Affairs, CTIA

Alvaro Pilar, Chief Executive Officer ViYA

Brent Struthers, Senior Strategist, State Government Relations, Neustar

11:45a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on own)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The State of FirstNet

FirstNet recently selected ATT to be their partner in the development of FirstNet, a network and service designed to facilitate nationwide First Responder interoperability. Verizon has recently stated that they intend to compete and compliment the FirstNet/AT&T network and are requesting full interoperability. The panelists will provide an update on the FirstNet deployment, and what Verizon’s role as a potential alternative provider could play in the delivery of a nationwide interoperable First Responder communications network.

Moderator: Cullen Robbins, Nebraska


Don Brittingham, Vice President Public Safety Policy, Verizon

Andrew Delaney, Government Affairs, FirstNet 

Edmond Vea, Director of Interoperability,  Rivada Networks

Gregory Rohde, President, e-Copernicus

2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Networking Break
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


The FCC’s universal service fund now supports voice and broadband networks and services. The FCC’s universal service assessments to support those services, however, are limited to voice services. There has been considerable discussion over a number of years on what, if any, reforms to the funding mechanism are needed to reflect the federal emphasis on voice and broadband networks and services. The panelists will address where the contributions issue stands and what, if any, issues the FCC and the States should consider when it comes to supporting voice and broadband networks and services. 

Moderator: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota


Labros Pilalis, Pennsylvania

Rick Cimerman, VP External & State Affairs, NCTA

Joe Gillan, Consultant, Gillan Associates

Mike Romano, Senior Vice President of Policy, NTCA

Allison Ellis, Sr. VP Regulatory Affairs, Frontier Communications

3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Resolutions Discussion – Staff Final Disposition


Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 9

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.




How the Sun is Shining in Low Income Communities
In the past few years, solar has become more affordable for even the average electric customer. But, how is access to solar options faring for low income customers and communities? This panel will explore some interesting programs and alternatives that are helping the sun shine in low income communities.
Moderator: Charlene Ketchum, Policy Advisor & Legal Counsel to Commissioner Maida Coleman, Missouri PSC
Sandra Mattavous Frye, Esq., People’s Counsel, DC Office of the People’s Counsel
Alison Kling, Project Specialist, Demonstration & Pilot Projects, Con Edison   
Taresa Lawrence, Deputy Director, Energy Administration, Department of Energy & Environment
Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Program Director, Low-income Solar Access, Vote Solar
Ingrid Schwingler, Policy & Regulatory Coordinator, GRID Alternatives
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Networking Break


10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Is Net Metering Dead?

Utilities and some regulators say that current net metering of rooftop solar customers results in a subsidy paid by all other utility customers to the solar customer. Some states have never allowed net metering while others are beginning to move away from it. The solar industry and environmental groups say there is no subsidy and that the system attributes of rooftop solar are not being recognized by the utilities. This panel will explore these opposing viewpoints and seek to find common ground. 

Moderator: Phil Boyle, Consumer Services Manager, Oregon Public Utility Commission


Sean Gallagher, VP of State Affairs, SEIA

Ted Kelly, Assistant Counsel, New York Department of Public Service

Bill Malcolm, Senior Legislative Representative, AARP

Nathan Phelps, Program Manager DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar

Joelle Steward, Director of Rates & Regulatory Affairs, Rocky Mountain Power



Task Force on Military Workforce Development

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 12
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Helping Veterans, Helping Ourselves - Part 2

The Task Force will continue its discussion of the benefits utilities and State commissions gain from hiring veterans and examples of successful veterans' hiring programs.

Moderator:  Hon. Judith Williams Jagdmann, Virginia


Jim Kibler, President, Virginia Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas

Michelle Rostom, Director of Workforce Development, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure

10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Tilghman
10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The Subcommitee will meet in closed session.  The meeting will be led by Chair Lynn Costantini (NJ) and Sharon Thomas (NARUC). 


New Commissioner Forum and Luncheon (10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., new Commissioners only)

Location: Ruth


Washington Action (closed meeting)

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Blake
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Closed Meeting. Agenda distributed at meeting.


Committee on Critical Infrastructure

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 6
1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Opening Remarks


Hon. Richard S. Mroz, New Jersey

1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Partner Updates


Matthew Duncan, Program Manager, DOE

Joseph H. McClelland, Director, Office of Energy Infrastructure and Security, FERC

2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Enhancing Grid Resilience: Strategic Insights

A recent report, mandated by Congress and sponsored by DOE, details a broad range of threats to the resilience of the electric grid in the U.S.  Dr. Morgan will share key findings and recommendations for stakeholder consideration.


M. Granger Morgan, Distinguished Chair, Committee on Enhancing the Resiliency of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System, National Academies of Sciences

2:45 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.


2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Toward Infrastructure Resilience: An Industry Perspective

The threat of high impact physical and cyber events continue to pose significant risk to power systems. Rapid response and recovery to such events is critical.   During this session, experts will discuss challenges to grid resiliency and activities underway to overcome them.


Hon. Swain Whitfield, SC


Scott Aaronson, Executive Director, Security and Business Continuity, EEI

David Huff, Electrical Engineer, Office of Electric Reliability, FERC

Andrew Phillips, Director, Transmission, Distribution and Substations, EPRI

3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Resilience Priorities and Practices from the Field

Improving physical and cyber security remains a high priority for infrastructure owners and operators.  During this session, the costs and benefits of third party engagement in these resilience efforts will be examined.

Moderator:  Hon.  Sadzi Martha Oliva, Illinois


Peter Grandgeorge, National Security and Resiliency Programs Advisor, MidAmerican Energy Company

Dominic Saebeler, Director of Cybersecurity and Risk Management, Illinois Commerce Commission

Jamey Sample, Executive Director, Americas Advisory Services,Power and Utilities Cybersecurity Leader, Ernst & Young

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Resilience Metrics and Monitoring

Resilient infrastructure will depend on a combination of policy, practice, tools, and technology.  Significant investments have already been made and more will be required.  The question of how much is enough remains.   This panel explores potential means and methods of answering that question.


Sue Gander, Director, Environment, Energy & Transportation Division, NGA

David Miller, Regulatory Sector Coordinator, EIS Council


Committee on Consumer Affairs

1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Location: Key 2
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Business Meeting (closed session)

2:00 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. 

Not in My Backyard

A dynamic discussion exploring the complex issues surrounding utility and merchant transmission line projects including: federal versus State jurisdiction; federal, State, and utility eminent domain authority; utility easement rights; and the potential environmental impacts associated with high voltage transmission lines.


Hon. Colette Honorable, former FERC Commissioner, Partner with Reed Smith LLP Global Energy and Natural Resources


Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas PSC

Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies, LLC

Arturo Hernandez, Gibbs Pool and Turner, P.C. 

3:10 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Utilities United Against Scams

A brief update on the work of over 100 electric, water, and gas utilities' consumer education efforts on imposter scam awareness and its 2017 Utility Scam Awareness Week Campaign (Nov. 13-17).


Sheri Givens, Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams and President, Givens Energy


Committee on International Relations

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 12
2:30 p.m. - 2:35 p.m.

The Wide World of NARUC – Welcome and Introductions

 Hon. David Danner, Chair, IRC, Washington UTC

2:35 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Approval of minutes/resolutions

Hon. David Danner, Chair, IRC, Washington UTC

2:40 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Remarks by Terry Barnich Award Winners

The Terry Barnich Award is presented annually by the International Relations Committee to commissioners or staff in recognition of outstanding efforts to further international cooperation among utility regulators and to promote professional regulation. This year winner will deliver brief remarks.

Moderator: Hon. David Danner, Chair, IRC, Washington UTC

Panelists: Mr. Andreas Thanos, Massachusetts DPU

2:50 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Rural Electrification and Global Cooperation

Dan Waddle of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association will describe NRECA’s extensive programs around the globe. With assistance from more than 300 US electric cooperatives, NRECA International has brought electricity to more than 120 million people in 43 developing countries. Mr. Waddle’s presentation will include an overview of NRECA’s work and its interactions with regulatory agencies in the countries in which it works, as well as a discussion of some of the challenges and issues it encounters. This is an opportunity for NARUC members who have done international work to exchange thoughts and ideas with an organization engaged in similar efforts.

Moderator: Hon. David Danner, Chair, IRC, Washington UTC

Panelist: Mr. Dan Waddle, Sr. Vice President, NRECA International

3:45 p.m.  - 4:00 p.m. Networking Break
4:00 p.m. - 4:40 p.m. 

An Update from Mexico: Energy Reforms, WFER, NAFTA and Other Matters

The International Relations Committee has been following the implementation of energy reforms in Mexico. That country’s chief energy regulator will provide a progress report. Chairman Garcia also will preview the 2018 World Forum on Energy Regulation, which will be held in Mexico next year, and discuss the potential impact of NAFTA renegotiation on North American energy markets.

Moderator: Hon. David Danner, Chair, IRC, Washington UTC

Panelist: Hon. Guillermo García Alcocer, Chairman, Energy Regulatory Commission of Mexico

4:40 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Report on NARUC International Programs

Ms. Erin Hammel, Director of International Programs, NARUC



Staff Subcommittee on Executive Management

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Blake

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

For Commission Staff Only.


Discussion items

  • From Blue to Black Skies – Preparing for Large Scale and Long Term Power Outages
  • Protecting Information – Being Transparent versus Being Secure
  • Operational Challenges – Roles and Responsibilities
  • State Legislative Updates – What’s Hot and What’s Not
  • Roundtable

Future Meetings/Adjournment


Task Force on Innovation

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Importance of Innovation in the Energy Sector; Setting the Stage for the Future of Digital Utility Transformation

There is a technical foundation for innovation support: complex “networks” are evolving that potentially connect electricity, gas, heat, water, telecommunications, and transportation/mobility, i.e., the “Integrated Energy Network.” Electric utilities are deploying sensors and smart communications technologies to provide greater intelligence on cost-effective, real-time performance across multiple infrastructures. State regulatory models may not provide support for these combined services in which utilities are an integral component.


Hon. Brien J. Sheahan, Illinois


Anda Ray, Senior Vice President, External Relations and Technical Resources, EPRI

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Perspectives from Regulators and Consumer Advocates


Hon. Brien J. Sheahan, Illinois


Hon. Lorraine Akiba, Hawaii

Hon. Kara Brighton, Wyoming

David Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board

2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Break & Networking
2:50 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Perspectives from Innovators 


Hon. Brien J. Sheahan, Illinois


Dawn Lippert, Co-Founder, CEO, Elemental Excelorator

Jiong Ma, Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures

Michael Polsky, Founder, President & CEO, Invenergy LLC

Elena Vasconi, Acting Managing Director, Itron Idea Labs

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Roundtable Discussion & Roadmap


Hon. Brien J. Sheahan, Illinois


All speakers from Innovation Session

During this roundtable discussion, all of the presenters from the Innovation Session will gather on stage and open up a dialogue with the audience. The participants will answer questions from the moderator, the Task Force Members, State commissioners, and other audience members. Participants will also take questions from NARUC members using the NARUC app. This will be an interactive session using multimedia tools to create a roadmap for the future.


Staff Subcommittee on Gas

3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 2
3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

History and Understanding of R&D Funding for Natural Gas in the United States

A history of U.S. Collaborative natural gas R&D from 1976 to today: benefits, costs, enabling decisions, challenges of the competitive marketplace, and prospects and needs for future R&D.


Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas


Ron Edelstein, Director, Regulatory and Government Relations, Gas Technology Institute

3:55 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.

Natural Gas Price Transparency in the Next Decade  

The U.S. natural gas market may be the most transparent in the world, but some are worried about declining levels of voluntary price reporting. An expert on the natural gas market with years of commercial experience and policy interpretation provides her perspective on price index reporting in the natural gas market and why participants may be reporting less.


Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas


Jennifer Fordham, NACD Governance Fellow, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Natural Gas Supply Association 

4:25 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.
Update on Liquefied Natural Gas Export Permitting and Office of Oil and Natural Gas Research & Development
It has been almost two years since Asia Vision, the first LNG tanker filled with domestically produced LNG, left the Sabine Pass facility for Brazil.  A U.S. Department of Energy representative will provide an update on the LNG export permitting process and DOE supported natural gas R&D.


Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas


Amy Sweeney, Director, Division of Natural Gas Regulation, DOE Office of Oil and Natural Gas



Welcome Reception (5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Location: Holiday 6


Monday, November 13


OPSI Breakfast Meeting (invitees only) (7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.)

Location: Latrobe


Board of Directors Breakfast Meeting (7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.)

Location: Johnson


Registration Open (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Location: Key Foyer


Committee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Universally Affordable Broadband – What are the Barriers and How to Define Success

This panel explores options to bring the “next generation” of wired and wireless broadband solutions to disadvantaged areas and high cost areas. Areas that will be covered include the role of USF, infrastructure investment (private, federal, and State), opportunities for partnerships, the reasonableness of a gigabit for everyone regardless of price, and the potential benefit of the FCC pending auction process.

Moderator: Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho 


Benjamin Aron, Director, State Regulatory and External Affairs, CTIA-the Wireless Association

Joe Gillan, President, Gillan and Associates

Roy Lathrop, Senior Director, State Government Affairs, NCTA-The Internet and Television Association

Arthur Martinez, Vice President of State Govt. Relations, CenturyLink


Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana 

Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana 

10:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m.

On the Ground & On the Horizon: How to Bring Broadband to Remote America

Millions of Americans still lack access to broadband service, and millions more only have access to speeds that are below the FCC definition of broadband and doesn’t meet their needs. New and innovative technologies and methods are needed to bring these essential broadband services to rural communities. This panel will hear from experts who are doing just that—finding new ways to meet the needs of rural communitiesfrom harnessing TV whitespaces for wireless connectivity to innovative programs to connect unserved communities with carriers willing to deploy robust networks.


Moderator: Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska


Ryan Harkin, Microsoft

Christopher Murphy, Viasat

Mike Romano, Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Business Meeting


Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 12
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Is it Time for TOU rates?

There has long been tension around time of use (TOU) rates. On one hand TOU is a rate structure that may help reduce peak loads, lower electricity bills, enable emissions reductions, and encourage renewable energy deployment. On the other hand, TOU rates may harm customers who lack flexibility to shift energy use times, cannot afford home technologies that facilitate load-shifting, or cannot afford unpredictability on a bill, and may reduce the amount of offset credits for rooftop solar customers that utilize net metering. This panel will explore the new potential for broader consideration of this rate design, as well as a process for doing so that can ease longstanding tensions between utilities and customers. This year, a group of electricity rate experts representing consumer, low-income, and clean energy advocacy perspectives collaborated on a joint paper detailing common ground on TOU rates to guide utilities commissions on the matter and explored the timely question: if done carefully, should the implementation of TOU rates be on the rise?

Moderator: Hon. Andrew Place, Pennsylvania


Ashley Brown, Executive Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group

Rick Gilliam, Program Director, DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar

Marcel Hawiger, Staff Attorney, The Utility Reform Network

Douglas Jester, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy

Ellen Zuckerman, Senior Consultant, Schlegel & Associates 

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Business Meeting

Introductions: Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota and Hon: Carla Peterman, California

Commissioner Roundtable: This roundtable will continue the TOU discussion started in ERE's morning session.  Committee Members will share the rate design changes being considering in their states, and their response to the TOU panel discussion.


Research Updates:  Ron Edelstein, GTI; Barbara Tyran, EPRI; and Tom Stanton, NRRI.

Mary Kilmarx Award


Committee on Electricity

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Millennials and Boomers: Centuries Apart?

Millennials, known for their love of Instagram, avocado toast, and heartlessly killing beloved classics, recently overtook baby boomers as the country’s largest generation. However, while utilities are evolving to meet millennial needs, they must also continue appealing to the baby boomers who have been reliably paying electric bills for decades. Just how different are these two groups, and how do their differences drive their electricity habits? What services do they demand? How will utilities respond? This moderated panel will explore how millennial and baby boomer needs and attitudes will impact electric utility programs, investments, and planning.

Moderator: Hon. John Rosales, Illinois


Martin Burns, Director of Campaigns, AARP

Nathan Shannon, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Molly Bauch, Manager of Customer Utilities Practice, Accenture

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Business Meeting
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Federal-State Jurisdictional Tensions

Several cases have been decided by courts weighing in on the issue of Federal versus State jurisdiction and whether or not a State’s action has intruded into the scope of Federal jurisdiction over wholesale sales of electricity. This panel will update attendees on: the Illinois Federal District Court decision that dismissed all claims against the State’s zero emission credit (ZEC) program, the NY Federal District Court decision dismissing all claims against the State’s ZEC program, and a D.C. Federal Circuit Court decision regarding State conditions giving native-load priority to certain wholesale customers and not others. Tony Clark will discuss his recent white paper addressing issues in the nation’s electricity markets. The speakers will also be invited to comment on the DOE's proposed Grid Resiliency rule, which is pending before the FERC.

Moderator: Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina


Tony Clark, former FERC Commissioner, Sr. Adviser with Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Ari Peskoe, Harvard Law School’s Environmental Policy Initiative

Marc Spitzer, former FERC Commissioner, Partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP


Committee on Gas

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint session with Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion and Committee on Consumer Affairs

Uncovering the Opportunities for Natural Gas Access and Expansion Initiatives

The energy challenges facing the nation are enormous and the possible solutions are multifaceted. Many State energy regulators are actively looking at ways to smartly modernize and expand their natural gas infrastructure. In recognition of these regulatory efforts, in April 2017, NARUC established a Natural Gas Access and Expansion Taskforce with the goal of examining, during its eight-month tenure, the development of best practices and recommendations regarding natural gas service for underserved and unserved areas of the country, including, but not limited to rural communities. These regulatory decisions are generally centered on ensuring safety and reliability at just and reasonable rates for consumers. Such natural gas expansion opportunities, if successful, can help leverage necessary benefits such as energy security; economic growth; community development and sustainability; increased energy efficiency; environmental goals; and lower costs for consumers. This moderated discussion will explore the real-life examples from several successful ongoing initiatives and share the status of the Taskforce review. As such, it is an important discussion for State regulators who may be interested in spearheading their own natural gas expansion efforts.


Hon. John Coleman, Pennsylvania

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota

Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi


Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa 

Robert Beard, President and Chief Executive Officer, UGI Utilities Inc.

Michael German, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corning Natural Gas Corporation

Bill Senter, Division VP Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Atmos Energy

David Terry, Executive Director, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)


 10:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Business Meeting, Committee on Gas

Gas Leadership Team:
Hon. Stan WiseGeorgia

Hon. Diane X. BurmanNew York

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, N. Dakota



Hon. Robert F. Powelson, FERC Commissioner 

Vince Parisi, VP Finance and Regulatory Affairs, Columbia Gas of Ohio

Travis Fisher, Senior Advisor, Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, US DOE

Gas Committee Updates Discussion

Other business as may come before the committee

 10: 55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Methane Emissions Management and the Natural Gas System

Low-cost, abundant supplies of natural gas, along with highly-efficient NGCC plants, have enabled natural gas to become the largest U.S. fuel source for electricity generation in 2016.  While natural gas offers environmental benefits relative to other traditional sources of electricity generation, it is composed primarily of methane, a greenhouse gas; thus, these environmental benefits are predicated upon responsible management practices across the natural gas value chain.  This panel will consider methane emissions management practices undertaken by the oil and natural gas industry and will explore related environmental considerations.


Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York


Susan Blevins, Climate Policy Planning Senior Advisor, ExxonMobil

Deanna Haines, Director, Gas Engineering, Southern California Gas Co

Ron Edelstein, Director, Regulatory and Government Relations, Gas Technology Institute

Mark Brownstein, Vice President, Climate and Energy, Environmental Defense Fund




Committee on Consumer Affairs

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Location: Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint session with Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion and Committee on Gas

Uncovering the Opportunities for Natural Gas Access and Expansion Initiatives


Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Location: Key 6


9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint session with Committee on Gas and Committee on Consumer Affairs   

Uncovering the Opportunities for Natural Gas Access and Expansion Initiatives


Committee on Water

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 9
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Getting to Unleaded: Challenges and Solutions in Facilitating the Removal of Lead Service Lines

The identification, removal and replacement of lead service lines is among the most pressing public health priorities. The nature of who constructs, owns, and controls different portions of a service line pose challenging operational, legal, and ratemaking policy obstacles to line removal and replacement. Adding to the challenge is that many service lines have a bifurcated ownership between the water purveyor and the customer. In this circumstance the water utility and customer are often responsible for ownership and maintenance of portions of the same pipes that may contain the lead causing health concerns. This panel of experienced practitioners will share their perspectives on the nature and scope of the operational, legal, and ratemaking obstacles to efficient removal and replacement of lead service lines. Attendees will learn about potential solutions to these legal, operational, and regulatory policy problems. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s March 2017 decision in Petition of York Water Company, the first time a State public utility commission attempted to address and overcome obstacles to facilitate an accelerated lead service line replacement program, will be discussed. Attendees will learn if the PA PUC succeeded and if this approach will work for other States regulating or overseeing water purveyors.

Moderator:  Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey


Stephen Genzer, Partner, Saul Ewing, LLP

Jay L. Kooper, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Middlesex Water Company

Howard J. Woods, Jr., General Manager, Howard J. Woods & Associates, LLC

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Business Meeting

Items of Business of the Water Committee will be covered including discussion and action on Resolutions and approval of the minutes from the Summer Policy Summit. Additionally, updates from the various partners of the Water Committee will be given, including NAWC, NARUC, and NARUC's Rate School. Members of the Committee will also have time to brief the Committee on activities of interest in their State.


Staff Subcommittee on Law

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Chase
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Agenda to be distributed at meeting.


Regulators Luncheon (Commissioners, Commission Staff and Commissioners Emeritus) (11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.)

Location: Key 8

Commissioners, Commission Staff and Commissioners Emeritus are invited to participate in the Annual Regulators Luncheon (pre-registration required). 

Attendees will assemble hygiene packages for The Baltimore Station (TBS). The Baltimore Station is an innovative therapeutic residential treatment program supporting veterans and others who are transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency. Over the course of their 28-year history, TBS has maintained a positive reputation for providing high quality services to homeless veterans. 

Jim Kibler, President, Virginia Natural Gas, will explain programs they have implemented to hire U.S. military personnel.


Opening General Sessions featuring Officer Elections and Terry Barnich Award

1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Welcome to the NARUC 129th Annual Meeting and Education Conference

Opening by the Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut

National Anthem, Nico Sarbanes

Welcome Remarks by The Hon. Catherine Pugh, Mayor, Baltimore

Deputy Secretary of Energy, The Hon. Dan Brouillette, will discuss the Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability and the NOPR for the Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.

Election of 2017-2018 Officers and Confirmation of Board Members

Elections facilitated by the Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana

Nomination of NARUC President

Hon. Katie Dykes, Connecticut

Second Nomination of NARUC President

Hon. Thomas Forese, Arizona

Nomination of NARUC 1st Vice President

Hon. Mike Huebsch, Wisconsin

Second Nomination of NARUC 1st Vice President

Hon. Maida Coleman, Missouri

Nomination of NARUC 2nd Vice President

Hon. Lib Fleming, South Carolina

Second Nomination of NARUC 2nd Vice President

Hon. Dallas Winslow, Delaware


Presentation of Terry Barnich Award

The Terry Barnich Award recognizes the ongoing commitment of NARUC members to futhering regulatory best practices around the globe. 


Networking Break (3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.)


General Session

3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom


3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Shooting the Bull… What Regulators Need to Know to Understand Wall Street

This general session will be an engaging and edgy discussion with ‘Wall Street Insiders.’ Participants will share their insights and thoughts on what Wall Street really looks for when they are reviewing commission decisions and actions in the regulatory landscape. Attendees will learn valuable information on how commissioner and commission staff actions (and statements) may affect the financial health of the industry. Attendees also will learn how industry performance, financial trends, and regulatory initiatives are used in rating utilities. Discussion will also touch upon Wall Street assessments post recent hurricanes and tropical storms.

Moderator: Hon. Diane Burman, New York


  • Joyolin Brown, Managing Director - Sr. Global, Duff & Phelps Investment Management
  • Heike Doerr, Principal Analyst, S&P Global Market Intelligence
  • Anthony Ianno, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Greg Gordon, Senior Managing Director, ISI Group LLC
  • Leslie Rich, Managing Director, Equity Analyst, JP Morgan Asset Management



MACRUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Poe


NECPUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Johnson


MARC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Ruth


SEARUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Paca


Western Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Latrobe


Board of Directors Dinner (Board Members Only) (7:00 – 9:30 p.m.)

Location: Designated Hitters Room at Camden Yards


Tuesday, November 14


Registration Open (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Location: Key Foyer


General Session

8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter!

The utilities industry has been facing disruptors coming from within the industry for many years now. We have talked about new business models and ways to increase demand and create new customers/revenue streams, but are we prepared for the disruptions to the industry from a force indifferent to the very existence of the industry? Recently, three major hurricanes have had severe impacts on the energy, water, gas, and telecommunications sectors. Some areas with total destruction are looking at starting from scratch. This session will feature a Regulator, Consumer Advocate and high level representatives from the electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications industries.

During this timely session, attendees will:

  • Understand how utilities were prepared for this kind of disruption.
  • Learn how utilities will change their preparation for future natural disasters.
  • Identify the role of the regulator in these circumstances—before, during, and after.
  • Discuss expectations of consumers.

Moderator: Hon. Ron Brise, Florida


Hon. Jeremy Oden, Alabama

Stephanie Brand, Director, NJ Division of Rate Counsel

Calvin Butler,Jr., CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Joy Ditto, President and CEO, Utilities Technology Council

Christopher Franklin, President and CEO, Aqua America and NAWC Chairman

Pierce Norton, CEO of OneGas and AGA Board chairman


Remarks by:

M. Granger Morganthe Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He holds appointments in three academic units: the Department of Engineering and Public Policy; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the H. John Heinz III College. 

He currently chairs the Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System. 

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System


9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Networking Break : Holiday Foyer
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter! Continued

(See the description above.)


Networking Break (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)


Concurrent Sessions Section A (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

Location: Key 9
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A1

The Bold and the Dutiful

Changing economics, ratepayer needs and expectations, renewable resource strategies, and distributed generation are just a few of the hot topics regulators and the utility industry are navigating today. As the pace of innovation and change in the energy landscape accelerates, regulators and utilities are being asked to think more strategically – and more short term.  Attendees will hear how regulators and utilities balance their core tenants: reliable service to consumers, affordable rates, sound risk management plans, and transparent processes in this new environment. Participants will answer the following: how do regulators see the balance of innovation vs the level of risk and ratepayer impact? How is innovation utilized without exposing companies to regulatory turbulence? How can innovation be effected without a substantial rate increase? Are these changes needed and cost-effective to the ratepayer?

Moderator: Hon. Brien Sheahan, Illinois


Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota

Paul Bonney, Sr. VP, Legal & Regulatory Strategy, Pepco Holdings

Tiffany Menhorn, EnerNOC, Inc., Wholesale Procurement

Lisa Wood, Executive Director, Institute for Electric Innovation


Location: Key 6
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A2

Is A Cyber 9/11 In Our Future?

In August, the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) unanimously approved a 45-page report that found the federal government and the private sector are “falling short” in protecting critical systems. The report also states that the nation faces “a pre-9/11-level cyber moment, with a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity to coordinate our resources effectively.”

Attendees will:

  • Receive an overview of the NIAC report and its specific 11 recommendations to address vulnerabilities.
  • Hear experts discuss their reactions to the report.
  • Learn what actions are being taken to secure critical infrastructure networks from cyberattacks.

View/download the text of the report (a PDF).

Moderator: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania


Caitlin Durkovich, Leadership, Toffler Associates

Robert H. Mayer, Senior Vice President – Cybersecurity, USTelecom Association

Nick Santillo, Jr.,VP Internal Audit & Chief Security Officer, American Water


Location: Key 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A3

Weathering the Storm: Communications Network Resilience

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Superstorm Sandy, and the Derecho taught us many lessons. Changes in response time, resilience measures to the network, and mutual assistance procedures were just a few measures examined in some regions.  During this session, regulators will discuss how measures implemented from previous experiences impacted recent restoration efforts and timelines and what lessons were learned this time around.  


Moderator: Hon. Julie Brown, Florida


Hon. John Clendenin, Virgin Islands

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia


Location: Key 7
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A4

The Battle for Peak Capacity: Batteries vs. Gas

The United States electric grid is expected to need more peaking capacity resources, both to replace retiring units and to integrate higher levels of variable generation. Natural gas-fired power plants are the dominant technology providing peaking capacity. But for how long? Rapid and significant cost declines in battery energy storage have some proponents arguing that it can substitute for the gas peaking equipment. This session will debate whether battery storage can really compete with gas peakers.

Through an interactive Jeopardy-style experience, attendees will:

  • Learn innovative ways regulators are approaching planning and procurement of new peaking capacity.
  • Learn what the benefits are (if any) to consumers.


Moderator: Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas


Mikael Backman, Regional Director, North America, Energy Solutions, Wartsila Corporation

Praveen Kathpal, Vice President, AES Energy Storage

Chris Villarreal, President, Plugged-In Strategies


Location: Key 12
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A5

From the Joneses to the Jetsons! Smart Communities and Infrastructure

If communities are getting “smarter,” regulators must stay ahead of the curve. Utilities are investing in a smarter electric grid that benefits customers and are working on projects in ‘smart communities’ to establish programs to bring more resilient and sustainable options to customers. As the smart technologies advance, industry, stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers should be on the same page.

Attendees will participate in a dynamic discussion that will address:

  • How 'smart communities' are defined and how the emerging technologies will affect utility customers.
  • What regulators may see in future proceedings and what investments utilities are making.
  • Stakeholder perspectives on how ratepayers may be affected, along with privacy and cyber concerns.
  • How financing these new programs will affect ratepayers in the near and far terms.
  • Benchmarks and metrics to assess performance.


Moderator: Hon. Odogwu Linton, Maryland


Donna Cooper, President, Pepco Region for PHI

Brigham A. McCown, Nouveau, Inc

Michael Murray, President, Mission:data

David Owens, Retired Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute

Russ Vanos, VP Global Software, Services & Smart Cities, ITRON


Annual Officer Installation Luncheon and Innovation Awards (12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.)

Location: Holiday Ballroom 


Concurrent Sessions Section B (1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)


Location: Key 2
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B1

Power to the Market

The need for traditional sources of baseload electricity has taken the spotlight recently, particularly with the Department of Energy’s filing of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking directing FERC to "accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency." Because coal and nuclear generate half of the nation’s electricity, some believe that these sources are necessary to ensure grid reliability, resilience and fuel diversity.  Others believe the concept of baseload is outmoded and challenge the need to modify the rules or market.  What is not in dispute is the large amount of traditional baseload generating capacity that has retired with more on the horizon.  This panel will discuss: the future role of coal and nuclear; whether reliability and resiliency are being valued now and if not, whether they should be; what attributes should be valued; and what changes, if any, are needed to ensure just and reasonable rates?   

Moderator: Hon. Ellen Nowak, Wisconsin


Hon. Kara Brighton, Wyoming

Paul Bailey, CEO, ACCCE 

Kathleen Barron, Senior Vice President, Competitive Market Policy, Exelon

Martin (Marty) J. Durbin, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, API

Steve Herling, Vice President - Planning, PJM


Location: Key 6
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B2

Frenemies and Free Riders

Who doesn’t want a free ride? Utility poles are in place but are they available to anyone? A recommendation from the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) on pole attachments is expected in early November. This report will likely include major changes to the rules governing pole attachments, conduits, and rights-of-way. The report may also suggest pre-emption of State and local authority.

Attendees will:

  • Become better informed about the recommendations of the BDAC.
  • Hear reactions to the realities on pole attachments and the BDAC’s recommendations from the panel of experts representing telecommunications and electricity providers, regulators, and local governments.

Moderator: Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut


Hon. Wendy Moser, Colorado

Hon. Karen Charles Peterson, Massachusetts

Allen Bell, Support Manager, Georgia Power

David Don, Vice President, Regulatory Policy, Comcast NBCUniversal

Mitsuko Herrera, Dept. of Technology Services, Montgomery County, Maryland


Session Materials:

Guide to Public Hearings for Antenna Attachments to Utility Poles

Motion to Take Administrative Notice (Fairfield CT SC5)



Location: Key 12
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B3

Charging Ahead: Part II

As sales of electric vehicles continue to rise, commissions are increasingly being presented with proposals from utilities to allow financial recovery for charging infrastructure investments.  Building upon last year’s panel, where regulators learned about electric vehicles and rate design, this session will examine developments that have occurred over the last year.  Specifically, regulators will learn about recent State commission decisions on whether to finance electric vehicle infrastructure through general customer rates or other means.  The application of traditional rate setting concepts, such as fairness to consumers and distribution of benefits, will also be explored.

Moderator: Hon. Rachael Eubanks, Michigan


Hon. Daniel Hall, Missouri

Max Baumhefner, NRDC

Phil Dion, Vice-President, Technology Business Development, AEP

Sandra Mattavous-Frye, People's Counsel, Office of the People's Counsel, District of Columbia






Location: Key 9
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B4

Upstream with A Paddle

The water industry is grappling with challenges that require significant financial investment, technical expertise, and technological innovation. These challenges are exacerbated by widespread fragmentation. There are more than 52,000 community water systems where 83 percent of the water systems serve less than 3,300 people. Many small and mid-sized water utilities lack resources needed to surmount the critical issues they are facing. State legislatures have instituted legislative and regulatory solutions that encourage acquisition of struggling waters systems and incentivize investment. This panel will explore legislative and regulatory options to help ensure that water can be safely, reliably, and affordably provided to consumers.

Attendees will be presented with:

  • Ideas to manage market fragmentation.
  • Solutions to improve troubled water systems.
  • Incentives to encourage long-term infrastructure investment.


Moderator: Hon. Sadzi M. Oliva, Illinois


Mayor Michael Cherepko, City of McKeesport, PA 

Deborah Dewey, President, Indiana American Water

Ellen Tarquinio, Environmental Protection Specialist, EPA

Richard Verdi, Senior Equity Research Analyst-Water, Atwater Thornton


Location: Key 7
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B5

Myth Busters... Family Feud Style 

Reliability for wind and microgrids have been put to the test! Wind has earned a reputation for beating to its own drum – but does that make it unreliable from an operator’s perspective? Is a low or no carbon grid possible? Are microgrids a reliability silver bullet? This session will explore some of the research and experiences people in the industry have to share about familiar antidotes to today’s grid issues. Some say that wind is intermittent and therefore unreliable, while an operator may know something different. Some say that a low or no carbon grid is absolutely possible and that we should get a move on it already. Is that reality and what do others have to say about it? Microgrids might be a perfect fit for one campus, but should they be adopted everywhere? This session will break down some of the common, general questions and themes we are hearing.

Welcome to Family Feud. Our goal is to make this educational and entertaining. See our panelists go head to head to guess the top answer from a survey question. The winner gets to pass or play, stake their claim first, or wait and rebut the others' claim. We'll then closeout the board by panelists guessing the rest of the survey answers. Three strikes and the other team can steal the board with a correct guess! Plan to join us for a fun and informative discussion. The winners won't get to play fast money, but they'll have NARUC bragging rights.

Moderator: Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa


Hon. Michael Huebsch, Wisconsin

Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies, LLC 

Bruce Rew, Vice President, Operations, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. 

Susan L. Satter, Public Utilities Counsel, Office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Illinois 

Matthew Wald, Senior Communications Advisor, Nuclear Energy Institute

Don Wingate, Vice President –  Utility Sales, Strategic Customers and Microgrid Solutions, Schneider Electric


Location: Ruth 
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

NARUC Research Lab MegaModel Mini Demo

NARUC has developed an interactive Excel-based game to teach regulators, legislators, advocates, and other decision-makers about utility business models and regulatory regimes. Explore performance-based and cost-of-service regulation in vertically integrated and restructured environments. Attendees will hear more about the game and take a test drive.


Kerry Worthington, Senior Manager, NARUC Research Lab

Kiera Zitelman, Program Officer, NARUC Research Lab

For more information: MegaModel Mini Demo flier


NRRI Colloquium

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

Telecommunications Oversight 2017: A State Perspective

This presentation takes a look at the findings of the 2017 NRRI Regulation Survey. It addresses the ways in which State Commissions continue to oversee critical communications services to protect consumers, ensure competition, and support the public good, despite reduced regulation and the transition to new technology.

Presenter: Sherry Lichtenberg, NRRI

3:20 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.

Electrification: The Link Between Markets, Consumer Behavior, and Public Policy

Presenter: Ken Costello, NRRI

3:40 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Water Distribution System Improvement Charges: 20 Years in Review

Presenter: Kathryn Kline, NRRI

4:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

IRP from Both Sides Now: Planning and Implementing Distributed Energy Resources

Combinations of DER are proving cost-effective in many circumstances, so actions to adopt DER options are being taken by policy-makers, regulators, utilities, and customers. This presentation reviews the major types of actions, looking at early case studies to identify lessons learned. 

Presenter: Tom Stanton, NRRI


Board of Directors Meeting (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Location: Johnson


Wednesday, November 15

Registration Open (8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

Location: Key Foyer


Concurrent Sessions Section C (9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

Location: Key 9
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. C1

To Know or Not to Know: That is the Ethical Question

Scenario: A State Right-to-Know (RTK) requester was the Appellant in ongoing litigation he filed against a State utility in a court proceeding. The RTK requester asked the State public utility commission (PUC) for e-mail exchanges between counsel for the PUC and counsel for the utility regarding the PUC’s strategy and participation as amicus curie in that court proceeding, as well as disclose the exchange of draft legal arguments. Because these communications were an attorney-client work product between the Commission’s attorneys and the utility’s counsel and were PUC counsel’s legal strategies and consultations in furtherance of representation of the PUC’s legal interest, those communications were withheld as confidential attorney-client and attorney work product.

The RTK requester appealed and the State Office of Open Records (OOR) ordered the disclosure of the communications. The OOR determined that because no confidentiality agreement existed between the PUC attorneys and the utility’s counsel, and the Commission was only an amicus party, the Commission waived the privilege. OOR created a new separate standard for government attorneys when only the State Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the practice of law. No such requirement of an agreement exists when attorneys share the same litigation position. The OOR also ignored the ethical dilemma placed upon the attorneys by granting the RTK requester and his attorney access to privileged documents that could never be obtained under the Canons of Ethics. The ethical question was also raised for attorneys acting as solicitors for municipal governments, which are subject to the RTK Law in that State.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how to identify information and certain types of records to determine if the record fits the definition of a State’s RTK Law.
  • Review how to determine if a record is a public document or if it is protected by exemption from disclosure.
  • Participate in a discussion on the ethical responsibility to protect certain types of information balanced against transparency of government operations and the public’s right to know.


Hon. David Sweet, Pennsylvania 

Rosemary Chiavetta, Secretary, Pennsylvania



Location: Key 11
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. C2

Water and Electric Cybersecurity: Stakeholder Perspectives and Partnerships

During this panel we will explore cybersecurity approaches that are being used in the water sector as well as how coordination is conducted with the electric sector, which has common control systems. Speakers will discuss the controls and programs that water companies use to avoid being hacked, including how recent cyber incidents were prevented such as WannaCry, Petya, and more. We will also hear the regulatory perspective on the potential adverse impacts caused by cyber incidents in water and electric systems, including health threats, as well as how these threats are managed at the state level. Lessons from Indiana's recent cross-sector exercise, CritEx, will be shared. Additionally, we will learn about the role that partnerships can play in resiliency and cybersecurity, including lessons learned from Indiana’s strategic approach in developing cross-sector partnerships through the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity. 

Moderator: Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana


Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

John Lucas, Vice President, Citizens Energy Group

Michael Luu, CIO & VP, Customer Service, California Water Service

Chetrice Mosley, State of Indiana Cybersecurity Program Director

Nick Santillo, VP Internal Audit & CSO, American Water



Location: Key 8


9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.  C3

Oh, What a Beautiful ‘Site’? New Realities in Siting

Multiple State and federal agencies are involved in transmission planning and siting. States are being asked to evaluate non-traditional projects, and economic and reliability projects are being proposed by a number of parties through integrated resource planning and other planning processes. New ways of thinking about electricity resources are affecting traditional transmission planning and siting, cost allocation, and the roles of State officials, utilities, and consumer advocates in these decisions. Siting discussions now include independent transmission owners and multiple local, State, and federal organizations, in addition to traditional utilities.

Attendees will:

  • Hear the perspectives of State agencies as they navigate the changing transmission siting landscape.
  • Learn processes for identifying infrastructure corridors on private and public lands.
  • Tune into the State-level process challenges.

Moderator: Hon. Betty Ann Kane, District of Columbia


Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

Patrick Donlon, Executive Director, Ohio Power Siting Board and Director, Rates and Analysis, PUCO

Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to Chairman Obi Linton, Maryland 

Fred Hoover, Senior Program Director, NASEO

Tanya McCloskey, Acting Consumer Advocate for Pennsylvania and Executive Committee Member of NCEP.


Networking Break (10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

Location: Holiday Foyer


Closing General Session

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Happy First Anniversary! and NARUC Business Meeting

The General Session will begin with the NARUC Annual Business Meeting. Commissioners are requested to take seats in the front of the meeting room. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has designated the third Wednesday in November as Utility Scam Awareness Day. This year, we recognize it on November 15. Today, or on any given day, utility customers are receiving calls from people falsely asserting they represent a utility company. Callers are threatening to disconnect electric, water, or gas service, if immediate payment isn’t made. These villains target vulnerable populations, including senior citizens and non-native English speakers. They use sophisticated tactics, including caller identification spoofing technology and recordings of the utility company’s telephone menu messages. Utilities United against Scams (UUAS) is comprised of more than 100 (and growing) electric, water, and gas utilities, along with their respective trade associations in North America. The aim of UUAS is to educate customers about scam tactics in the hopes of ultimately putting an end to these types of crimes.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how these scams have a negative financial, fear-inducing effect of fraud on utility customers.
  • Learn the vital role that regulators play in working with utilities to protect consumers from scams.
  • Learn the types of phone, in-person, and Internet scams utility customers are currently experiencing.
  • Learn tips to share with constituents/consumers to avoid falling for utility impostor scams.
  • Explore solutions adapted for websites, social media, and in-person outreach events/town halls.
  • Hear about steps utilities and their partners have taken to educate consumers on these scams.

Moderator: Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut


Bryan Batson, SVP, Southern Operations, Southern Company Gas

Sheri Givens, Author,  Consumer Scam Awareness Guide & Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams 

Kristin Keckeisen, Director, AARP Campaigns

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut

Maureen Westbrook, VP Customer & Regulatory, Connecticut Water Company

Session Materials

AARP's Fraud Watch Network