Committee on Consumer Affairs
Committee on Critical Infrastructure
Committee on Electricity
Committee on Energy Resources and Environment
Committee on Gas
Committee on International Relations
Committee on Telecommunications
Committee on Water
Subcommittee on Education and Research
Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity
Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs
Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure
Staff Subcommittee on Electricity
Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability
Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment
Staff Subcommittee on Executive Management
Staff Subcommittee on Gas
Staff Subcommittee on Law
Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications
Task Force on Innovation
Task Force on Military Workforce Development
Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion
Education and Research
Energy Resources and the Environment
Military Workforce Development
Natural Gas Access and Expansion
Supplier and Workforce Diversity
This agenda is subject to change.
|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:
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
M. Granger Morgan, the 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.
|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.)
|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
|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.”
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
|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
|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:
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
|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:
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
|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
|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.
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
|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
|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:
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
|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
|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
|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