Wednesday November 20

Taste of Texas Continental Breakfast

8:00–9:00 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

Registration Open

8:30–11:30 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

Concurrent Sessions Section C

9:00–10:00 a.m.

Lone Star A

C1 Ex Parte Communications: the Rules of the Game and Pitfalls to Avoid

This session has been submitted for CLE Ethics credits. A separate sign-in form and certificate will be located inside the room if needed.

This panel discussion will highlight various state ex parte statutes and rules, and compare state ex parte requirements or limitations to those at the federal level. The presenters will provide anecdotal information as to how ex parte problems have arisen in various states. Additionally, presenters will highlight pitfalls to avoid when practicing before or with a state PUC, including the potential hazards of inadvertent ex parte communications.


Rosemary Chiavetta, Esq. Secretary, Pennsylvania

Debrea M. Terwilliger, Assistant General Counsel, Nevada

Lone Star B

C2 The Dynamic Role of Commissions in Addressing Infrastructure Resilience

The role of state commissions in the discussion about resilience for energy, water, and communications infrastructure is often limited to the scope of their authority in defining, measuring, and regulating resilience. However, commissions play an important role as a convening entity, ensuring utilities and asset owners are working closely with state government partners to maximize their ability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and rapidly recover from major disruptions. Given new technologies and services as well as evolving threats like cyberattacks, hurricanes and floods, wildfires, and extreme heat, the commission's role in aligning utility regulation and resource planning, energy assurance, and emergency operations is essential to ensuring grid resilience. This panel will explore how commissions can lead productive collaboration among multiple stakeholders to improve resilience at least cost to ratepayers.

Attendees will

  • Gain an understanding of how commissions approach energy and water resilience
  • Learn about the role of commissions, utilities, and other state entities in resilience planning.
  • Understand how changing technology, threats, and customer demands influence resilience.

Moderator: Hon. Jay Balasbas, Washington


Frank Almaraz, Chief Administrative & Business Development Officer, CPS Energy

Jonathon Monken, Senior Director, Electricity Infrastructure Policy, PJM Interconnection, LLC

Jay Morrison, VP of Regulatory Affairs, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Paul Stockton, Managing Director, Sonecon, LLC

Lone Star C

C3 Advances, Challenges, and Opportunities with Comprehensive Electricity Planning

The NARUC-NASEO Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning (, announced one year ago, is a multi-year initiative envisioning how to better align distribution, resource, and transmission planning processes. Sixteen pairs of state utility commissions and energy offices have met twice in robust working sessions to iterate on opportunities to improve planning. During this session, attendees will hear about progress made to date, plans for the coming year, and key issues Task Force members are discussing as they develop roadmaps that could serve as starting points for any state.

As planning moves from process design to implementation, identifying needs, setting criteria for solutions, and prioritizing investments become paramount. Panelists will discuss emerging thinking on applying energy optimization approaches to planning as planners weigh numerous distributed and centralized options for meeting grid needs. The discussion will also include an overview of modeling tools that can be useful to aide in these efforts and of new investments being made to support planning-related decision making.


Moderator: Hon. Jeff Ackermann, Colorado


Carl Linvill, Principal, Regulatory Assistance Project

Samir Succar, Director, ICF

Johanna Zetterberg, SEE Action Network, U.S. Department of Energy





Networking Break

10:00–10:15 a.m. • Room TBD

Closing General Session

10:15–11:30 a.m. • Lone Star DEF (2nd Floor)

AI....It's a Thing!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are cutting-edge technologies that are quickly transforming industries around the world. These technologies present several opportunities for utilities to achieve efficient operations and cost savings.  However, the proliferation of these technologies raises concerns about the viability of the human workforce, safety, privacy & ethics, among other considerations.

Attendees will:

  • Learn what AI and AR are; including types and uses
  • Learn how AI and AR are transforming the utility industry;
  • Hear about benefits, if any, to consumers; 
  • Hear why commissions need to know about this technology as it relates usage by utility companies;
  • Learn about challenges with AI and AR: including workforce, safety, and privacy concerns

Facilitator: Hon. Willie Phillips, District of Columbia


Mark Holtermann, Vice President, Technology, American Water

Suzanne Russo, CEO, PecanStreet

Jordana Temlock, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Bidgely

Harshal Upadhye, Program Manager for Artificial Intelligence, EPRI

NARUC/DOE Resilience Workshop

1:00–5:00 p.m. • Republic BC

Regulating for Resilience

As states, utilities, and other stakeholders seek to reduce the consequences of disruptions to the electric power sector from threats such as severe weather, cyber-attacks, and accidents, the need for regulators to consider how resilience can be properly internalized is coming into sharp focus. States, utilities, municipalities, and customers are increasingly taking steps to improve our communities’ resilience, yet are doing so without the benefit of an established, clear and comprehensive set of planning considerations for grid resilience.

The goal for this facilitated workshop is twofold:

  1. To present and discuss work to date on overcoming critical barriers to development of a structured resilience framework, including:
    1. Developing a concise and accepted definition of resilience as it pertains to the grid
    2. Quantifying resilience in a way that works within various planning frameworks
    3. Balancing resilience benefits against other goals and requirements
    4. Threat-informed vs. threat-agnostic resilience frameworks
  2. To explore commission experience and needs related to important resilience topics, including:
    1. Setting grid resilience objectives
    2. Coordinating roles and responsibilities among policymakers, regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders
    3. Understanding the line between resilience investment and “gold plating”
    4. Performance-focused versus technology or program-focused regulation (e.g. resilience performance vs. microgrids)
    5. Strategy implementation considerations

Insights captured during this workshop will inform the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity in addressing commission needs related to electric distribution system resilience.

NARUC Supercritical CO2 Tour at Southwest Research

12:15–3:00 p.m.

Limited to 25 commissioners and commission staff.

There is no fee to attend. Look for an email with details on how to sign up.

Supported through the DOE-NARUC Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Partnership