Daily Agenda

Final Program  (Using agenda content available as of June 25, 2016) 

Return to the Compiled Agenda

This agenda is subject to change.

Tuesday, July 26:

General Session

Location: Legends Ballroom
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Getting from Data to Intelligence

Moderator: Hon. Brien Sheahan, Illinois

Panelists:
Alex Laskey, President & Founder, Opower

Tim Healy, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, Co-Founder, EnerNOC

Eric Dresselhuys, Executive Vice President, Silver Spring Networks

Linda Sullivan, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, American Water

Dave Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board

In the past decade, companies that gather and understand data have transformed the global economy in almost every sector. Meanwhile, regulated utility industries operate the most extensive, interconnected networks on the planet. They are platforms for the creation and transmission of data, but they tend to lag behind other industries in putting that data to innovative use.

Unfortunately, many regulators have no idea of the practical implications of this. IoT. SaaS and PaaS. IT and OT convergence. Data analytics. Machine learning. The Cloud. What on earth does any of that really mean, and what does it have to do with me, you ask?

This panel has answers. The panelists explain in simple terms what is already possible, and what might be possible in the future as data is leveraged to improve the operating efficiencies of utilities and the experience of their customers.

Panelists will also discuss policy questions including the lack of standardization that hampers the use of data in utility applications, regulatory barriers that deprive regulated parties of the incentive to transition to the age of “big data” as other industries have, privacy and the ownership of data, and security concerns.

View Presentations 

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Who Will Do The Work?: North American Utility Workforce Supply vs. Demand

Presenter: Mark Bridgers, Principal, Continuum Capital

The last decade has seen a massive expansion in the volume of utility construction work.  Looking forward, Mark Bridgers, a consultant to the design and construction industry, forecasts that the capacity of the energy and utility construction workforce to meet forecasted needs is in question. 

Attendees at this general session will:

  • Obtain a picture of the current capacity of the combined utility and contractor workforce in the gas, electric, water/sewer, and telecom sectors.
  • Review a forecast indicating where and when demand will exceed industry construction capacity.
  • Learn the implications of the forecasted shortage in workforce supply, for ratepayers, Public Utility Commissioners, utility firms, and contractors.

View Presentation 

 

Networking Break (10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.)

 

Committee on Electricity

Location: Broadway E                             
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Net Metering: The Debate Continues

Joint session with the Energy Resources and the Environment Committee.

In December of 2015, Public Utilities Fortnightly published an article entitled "Solar Battle Lines," by Dr. Charles Cicchetti (former chair of the Wisconsin Commission) and Jon Wellinghoff (former chair of FERC). In February, Ashley Brown (former Ohio commissioner) challenged many of the Cicchetti/Wellinghoff assertions in a lengthy response that prompted a rebuttal by Cicchetti. In this panel, Brown and Cicchetti will explain their opposing positions and continue the debate about the costs and benefits of net-metering. Afterwards, three committee members will provide "responses from the trenches."

Moderator: Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina

Panelists:
Dr. Charles Cicchetti, Pacific Economics Group and Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California

Ashley Brown, Harvard Electricity Policy Group

Respondents:
Hon. Beverly Heydinger, Minnesota

Hon. David Noble, Nevada

Hon. Audrey Zibelman, New York

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Carbon-Free Baseload Power: The Nuclear Options

Joint session with the Nuclear Issues Subcommittee

Are Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) the future of nuclear? SMRs are small -- 300 megawatts or less -- compared to a typical 1,000-MW nuclear power plant. They can generate emission-free electricity in remote locations or provide process heat to industrial applications. Their "modular" design means they can be manufactured completely in a factory and delivered and installed at the site in modules. What's happening on the advanced nuclear front? Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TVA and EPRI will overview SMR and advanced nuclear technology, research and prospects. TVA's Watts Barr Nuclear Plant Unit 2 began start up in May, and TVA submitted an Early Site Permit application with the NRC to build a new, smaller type of plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Moderator: Hon. Ann McCabe, Illinois

Panelists:
Dr. Phil Ferguson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Director of Fusion and Materials for Nuclear Systems Division

Tina Taylor, Director of External Affairs -- Nuclear, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Jeffrey Perry, Program Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority

View Presentations 

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

Business Meeting

Committee Chair: Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina

Consideration of Resolutions

Updates:
Hon. Beveryly Heydinger, Minnesota

Janet Sena, Ex. VP, NERC

Chris Mele, Legislative Director, NARUC

Katrina McMurrian, Ex. Dir., Critical Consumer Issues Forum

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

What's Up in Ohio?

The Buckeye State is ground zero in the debate about competitive electricity markets, at-risk base load plants, retail competition, and the limits of State jurisdiction. In March 2016, the Ohio Commission approved applications by FirstEnergy and AEP for power purchase agreements that would allow their generation fleets to benefit from "non-bypassable surcharges" imposed on retail customers. By late April FERC rescinded the two companies' waivers of affiliate power sales restrictions. Back in Ohio, rehearing requests and new proposals add to the confusion. Two former Ohio commissioners with different perspectives will explain the fast-paced goings-on. Our third panelist will discuss how State efforts to drive generation decisions lead to State-Federal conflicts.

Moderator: Hon. Audrey Zibelman, New York

Panelists:
Steven Lesser, Sr. Counsel, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Todd Snitchler, Principal, Vorys Advisors LLC

Ari Peskoe, Sr. Fellow in Electricity Law, Harvard Law School

Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

Location: Broadway G/H                                       
10:45 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

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

NEM PART I Brown/Cichetti Debate

Joint session with the Committee on Electricity - Broadway E

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

NEM PART II - Broadway G/H

ERE continues the net metering conversation with a moderated panel discussion, led by Rich Sedano of the Regulatory Assistance Project.  This panel of innovative thought leaders will reflect on what they heard in the NEM Part I panel, and then engage in a robust discussion about the form, function and future for net metering and alternative policies.

Moderator: Rich Sedano, RAP

Panelists:
Lena Hansen, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

Barbara Lockwood, Vice President of Regulation, APS

Bill Malcolm, Senior Legislative Representative, State Advocacy and Strategy, AARP

Tom Starrs, Vice President for Global Market Strategy and Policy, SunPower

Lisa Wood, Executive Director, Institute for Electric Innovation, Vice President, The Edison Foundation

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

Going Green and Doing More for Le$$: Energy Efficiency Financing Models

While improving energy efficiency or adding renewable energy technology in buildings can save consumers money, a significant barrier is financing the upfront capital costs.  Upgrading a chiller, installing a solar PV system, or improving the efficiency of an entire building, requires upfront investments, followed by multi-year payback through savings in energy bills. This panel will explore options for overcoming those barriers,  exchange lessons learned from private financing that might be translated to utility programs, and discuss the role of utility commissioners in helping consumers save money through energy efficiency.

Moderator: Jim Gardner, Commissioner Emeritus

Panelists:
Cisco DeVries, CEO, Renew Financial

Jeff Eckel, President and CEO, Hannon Armstrong

Deborah Lebl, Program Strategy, Policy & Evaluation MA Department, National Grid

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Who’s TED and why is he talking about an all electric world?

Welcome to ERE’s version of TED Talks, a panel devoted to sharing ideas on Technology, Electrification, and Distributed energy and exploring the implications of a fully electrified economy.  Leah Parks will outline the vision for an electric transportation sector as consumer demand for electric vehicles accelerates.  Britta Gross will explain the regulatory and commercial hurdles faced by electric vehicle manufacturers. Anda Ray will discuss electrification in the transportation, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.  Robert Bryce will explore the continuing need for traditional fuels such as oil and gas to maintain reliability, a diverse portfolio, and baseload generation.

Moderator: Hon. Donna L. Nelson, Texas

Panelists:
Robert Bryce, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Britta Gross, Director GM Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy

Leah Parks, co-author of All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future

Anda Ray, Senior Vice President, Energy, Environment and External Relations, Electric Power Research Institute

Committee on Gas

Location: Broadway F                                      
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Natural Gas Pipeline Locators -- Safety and Damage Prevention Power in Cooperation

This TED talk panel will feature recent cutting edge happenings/technologies to ensure the quality, efficient, safe, and innovative locator solutions are in place to protect our natural gas infrastructure and critical assets. Audience members will get to see up close and personal the actual cooperative partnership efforts to ensure that we are doing all we can to increase safety and damage prevention. 

Moderators:
Hon. Julie Fedorchak North Dakota

Hon. Kara Brighton, Wyoming

Panelists
Rob Tullman,  CEO of USIC

David Chislea, Pipeline Safety Program Manager, Michigan for National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives

Bob Demarinis, VP of NY Gas Maintenance & Construction and COO for NY Gas Operations, National Grid

Kevin Hopper, Executive Director, Dig Safely NY

N. Jonathan Peress, Air Policy Director -- Natural Gas, Environmental Defense Fund

View Presentations 

1:15 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. 

Business Meeting

Approval of Minutes from Winter Meeting

Resolutions Presented by Gas Resolutions Working Group Team

  • Kara Brighton, WY
  • Diane Burman, NY
  • Sherina Maye Edwards, IL
  • Dianne Solomon, NJ
  • Swain Whitfield, SC

New Business

Moderators
Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota

Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York

1:40 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

DOE Update

Update from DOE and Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership.

PresenterJames Bradberry, DOE

1:50 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

One Potato, Two Potatoes 

Round table fast paced discussion where we will have an interactive session with the Commissioners and audience on hot topics.  We will have invited speakers making quick presentations on topics of interest and we will have a discussion of hot topics that people are interested in but didn’t make it on to a panel but people want to discuss and perhaps engage on future panels.  Discussion among participants is encouraged but the hot potato holder will be focused on getting rid of it quickly so another participant can talk. 

Sample of Some of the Topics to be discussed:
Pipeline Safety Reauthorization Update, ISO Gas Related Issues, 27th World Gas Conference 2018, State of the Industry Happenings, Electric-Gas Coordination, Workforce Development Initiatives, Gas Storage and other Hot Topics.

ModeratorHon. Nick Wagner, Iowa

2:30p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

PHMSA Nuts and Bolts Part Two-Stakeholder Engagement Discussion

Increases in U.S. natural gas production, usage and commercialization of natural gas are changing the regulatory landscape for the U.S. natural gas industry and its customers.  The safe, reliable and cost effective operation of the natural gas pipeline infrastructure in critical to our economy and security.   The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline Hazardous Material and Safety Administration’s mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. To do this, PHMSA’s stated mission is to establish national policy, set and enforce standards, educate, and conduct research to prevent incidents. PHMSA also prepares the public and first responders to reduce consequences if an incident does occur.  In this two part Nashville moderated series we will explore all that is happening at PHMSA specifically as it concerns the proposed regulations and rules surrounding the safety of natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines.  This two part series is very timely as stakeholder comments will have just been submitted in accordance with the July 7th comment period.  Attendees will be provided with the framework and tools necessary to explore and understand their respective roles and responsibilities in ensuring the delivery of natural gas to our communities safely, reliably, responsibly and affordably.  Part Two complements the Part One discussion held Monday July 25th 1:30 pm – 2:15pm laying the groundwork for this moderated discussion.  Attendance at Part One is not mandatory to understand Part Two.

Facilitated Discussion with:
Committee on Gas Members PHMSA Working Group

Panelists
Marc Huestis, Senior Vice President, Gas Operations, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

Lindsay Sander, Sander Resources

Joel Kanvik, Esq., Director, U.S. Law, Enbridge Energy

View Presentations 

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Transform the Energy Industry with New Gas-fueled Technologies

In a TED type talk this group of dynamic speakers will explore new gas technologies from concept to marketplace helping to transform the energy industry.  Over the past few decades the natural gas industry has transformed into one of the most technologically advanced industries in the United States. New innovations have reshaped the industry into a formidable technology leader. This TED talk will discuss the role of technology in the evolution of the natural gas industry, focusing on technologies that can have a profound effect on the potential for natural gas and what some of the challenges have been in Research and Development and in manufacturing.  The natural gas industry works with government agencies and laboratories, private research and development firms, environmental technology groups and manufacturers to ensure new technologies emerge in the natural gas space.  This collaboration helps to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental soundness of the natural gas industry.

Moderators:
Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Illinois

Swain Whitfield, South Carolina

Panelists:
Mark Bishoff, President & CEO, Lorax Systems Inc.

J. Scott Kleppe, President and CEO, SENSIT Technologies, LLC

Daphne D'Zurko,Vice President of Research, Development and Demonstration, Northeast Gas Association

James Marean, Senior Program Manager, Gas Technology Institute

Nate Gorence, Technology-to-Market Advisor at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)

View Presentations 

Committee on Telecommunications

Location: Broadway A/B                                      
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

From Local to Nationwide Telephone Number Portability – What Are the Policy Implications for Federal & State Regulators?

On May 16, the North American Numbering Council submitted its “Report on Nationwide Number Portability” that recommended the FCC proceed with an Public Inquiry to address the technical and policy initiatives needed to implement porting of wireless and wireline telephone numbers on a nationwide basis without regard to state and local political boundaries, LATA, area or NXX code boundaries or other geographic or technical boundaries.  This Panel will address what are the policy decisions that must be made by the FCC and state regulators in order to transition to Nationwide Number Portability, such as:

  • What are the timing considerations to implement NNP in the context of the ongoing transition of the nation's telecommunications infrastructure to IP technology?

     

  • Whether a uniform nationwide ten digit dialing plan is required to implement NNP?

     

  • How to ensure that the implementation of NNP will not adversely impact the provision of 911/NG911 emergency response services?

     

  • Whether the service providers benefitting directly from providing NNP to customers should bear the full responsibility for ensuring that NNP does not impose implementation costs to the customers of other service providers?

     

  • What are the respective roles of Federal & State regulators in implementing NNP?

     

  • What will be the impact of NNP implementation on state and local taxes, fees, surcharges, tariffs and tolls and what are the remedies?

Moderator: Hon. Scott Rupp, Missouri

Panelists:

Mark Lancaster, Numbering Management Support; AT&T

Helen Mickiewicz, Assistant General Counsel, Office of Rate Payer Advocates; California Public Utilities Commission

Michele Thomas, National Director – State Regulatory Affairs & Numbering Policy; T-Mobile USA

Richard Shockey, Chairman, SIP Forum

View Presentations 

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Rate of Return Reform Order - Who's getting what and why in rural telecom?

The panel will provide a basic over view of the order and how it will change the way money is distributed in high cost areas.  Discussion will highlight pros and cons of the order and how it changes the game for the industry.

Moderator: Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska

Panelists:

Carol Mattey, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau

Keith Oliver, Home Telecom

Jeff Reynolds, Reynolds Schultheis Consulting

Lynn Follansbee, USTelcom

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Special Access

The FCC made a “new start” in designing a regulatory framework for “Business Data Services” (BDS).” The panel will examine the four principles the FCC applied: competition, technology neutrality, commitment to IP-based technology, and the FCC’s anticipation of “tomorrow’s” marketplace. How will the FCC “de-regulate where competition exists” and regulate where it doesn’t? What hurdles does the FCC face in testing markets for competition? What are the implications of the FCC’s finding that all BDS providers are “common carriers”? How does the BDS Order relate to the recently upheld Open Internet Order? What questions should state regulators ask given that the FCC is silent about their role under its new special access regime?

Moderator: Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California

Panelists:
Mark Cooper, Research Director, Consumer Federation of America

Pamela Hollick, Associated General Counsel, State Public Policy, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Level 3

Steven Morris, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, NCTA

Lyndall Nipps, Vice President, State Government Affairs

Frank S. Simone, Vice President Federal Regulatory, AT&T

Charles McKee, Vice President Government Affairs Sprint

4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Committee on Telecommunications Business Meeting

Chairman: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota

Co-Vice Chairman: Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho

Co-Vice Chairwoman: Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California

Conversation with Alison Kutler, Bureau Chief, FCC Bureau of Consumer Governmental Affairs

Committee on Water

Location: Broadway C/D                                       
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Small, but a Mighty Challenge:  Small Water Utilities

Small water utilities often face difficult circumstances including deteriorating infrastructure, environmental compliance issues, minimal rate base, and limited access to financing among others.  How have regulators approached these issues?  Are there unique approaches that balance the interests of the utility and its customers? 

Moderator: Hon. Daniel Y. Hall, Missouri

Panelists:
Hon. Art Graham, Florida

Kathy Pape, President, Pennsylvania American Water

Marc Lucca, Vice President of Production, Aqua America

View Presentations 

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

To Acquire or Not to Acquire?  That is the Question

Challenged water systems often do not have the resources to address the issues they are facing.  Due to those challenges, those systems are not attractive for acquisition by utilities with greater resources to address the challenges.  Some jurisdictions have implemented policies and practices intended to ease and even encourage acquisition of challenged water systems.  

Moderator:  Hon. Kenneth C. Hill, Tennessee

Panelists:
Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Illinois

Hon. Doug Little, Arizona

Shawn Bradford, Vice President, Corporate Services, EPCOR Water

View Presentations 

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

Commissioners' Roundtable

The Commissioners’ Roundtable is an opportunity for Commissioners to have an open discussion regarding current issues, water utility trends, and ideas for the future of water utility regulation.  Commissioners are also invited to suggest topics for upcoming meetings.

Moderator:  Hon. Alaina Burtenshaw, Nevada

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.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 Winter Meetings. Additionally, updates from the various partners of the Water Committee will be given, including NAWC, NARUC, WRF, NRRI, 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 Information Services

Location: Cumberland 1
10:45 p.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Using video technology to defy distance and time for Commission meetings

Polycom will discuss and demonstrate how video technology can be used to connect Commissioners and other officials to important meetings from any location, using almost any device, including PCs, tablets, and videoconference endpoints. Additionally, Polycom will demonstrate how meetings can be recorded, live streamed for the public, and archived for future viewing.

Presenters:
Frank Crone, Government Account Manager, Polycom

Russ Colbert, Director of Global Government Solutions, Polycom

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m The progress of Information Technologies at State Commissions   (continued)

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

Do you have front-page news in your applications backlog?

A committee member will review a recent case in Washington State, where a state department missed many chances to correct a software defect that resulted in weeks of news stories, multiple resignations, and on-going political embarrassment. We’ll review how this happened, the State government’s response, and what state agencies learned from these events. Are you able to say this couldn’t happen in your organization ?

Presenters:
Mike Kretzler, Applications Manager

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m Wrap up Roundtable Discussions and plan future meeting

Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety (closed)

Location: Cumberland 1
10:45 p.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Using video technology to defy distance and time for Commission meetings

Polycom will discuss and demonstrate how video technology can be used to connect Commissioners and other officials to important meetings from any location, using almost any device, including PCs, tablets, and videoconference endpoints. Additionally, Polycom will demonstrate how meetings can be recorded, live streamed for the public, and archived for future viewing.

Presenters:
Frank Crone, Government Account Manager, Polycom

Russ Colbert, Director of Global Government Solutions, Polycom

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m The progress of Information Technologies at State Commissions   (continued)

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

Do you have front-page news in your applications backlog?

A committee member will review a recent case in Washington State, where a state department missed many chances to correct a software defect that resulted in weeks of news stories, multiple resignations, and on-going political embarrassment. We’ll review how this happened, the State government’s response, and what state agencies learned from these events. Are you able to say this couldn’t happen in your organization ?

Presenters:
Mike Kretzler, Applications Manager

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m Wrap up Roundtable Discussions and plan future meeting

Commissioner Only Luncheon (11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.)

Commissioner Emeritus Luncheon (11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.)

 

Networking Break (2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.)

 

Networking Break (3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.)