This agenda is subject to change.

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