Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

This agenda is subject to change.


Sunday, February 11

Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 
Location: Ballroom Central / Congressional Ballroom
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Building Electrification: When It Makes Sense and How To Do It

Implemented properly, the electrification of end-uses that would otherwise be powered by fossil fuels can provide significant benefits: lowering consumer energy bills, helping utilities better manage the grid, and promoting climate and other environmental goals. Implemented in a policy vacuum, electrification could simply increase energy usage, and add costs and environmental impacts.  This panel will explore the conditions under which electrification can be implemented to produce benefits for consumers, utilities, and society, as well as policy considerations to help regulators evaluate and strengthen programs to improve the delivery of electrification in their states.  Panelists will discuss specific examples of electrification efforts including opportunities associated with controlled water heating, the use of data to optimize program efficiency, as well as other specific initiatives, principles and strategies, and metrics for regulators to consider.


Jon Kucskar, Senior Commission Advisor, Maryland Public Service Commission


Gary Connett, Director of Member Services and Marketing, Great River Energy  

David Farnsworth, Senior Associate, Regulatory Assistance Project  

Gilbert Nunez, Manager Business Support and Development, Alliant Energy

Jonathan Schrag, Deputy Director, Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities 

Austin Whitman, Vice President of Energy Markets, FirstFuel Software 

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

New Utility Business Models for the Purpose of Optimizing DER

In a world of rapid technological change, more distributed and interconnected systems and markets, more insourcing/outsourcing/partnering for the delivery of utility services, what should be the role of the regulated utility when working to optimize distributed energy resources (DER)?  These panelists will present utility business models for the future, share strategic roadmaps forward towards those futures, and discuss what that means for the natural monopoly function(s) and the regulatory compact.


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


Bruce Edelston, Vice President, Energy Policy, Southern Company

Rachel Gold, Manager, Electricity and Buildings Practices, Rocky Mountain Institute

David J. O'Brien, Director, Strategy & Operations, Global Energy Practice, Navigant

3:35 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Joint Session with the Committee on International Relations

Rooftop Solar: Is It Really That Difficult?

(Congressional Ballroom)

Although rooftop solar has been expanding rapidly, the United States is sometimes perceived as lagging behind other developed countries in enabling the growth of solar power. This panel will examine whether that perception matches reality.


Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota


Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer, Sunrun

Varun Sivaram, Council on Foreign Relations

Jens Acker, Counselor, Energy and Climate Policy, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Representative from Australian Embassy (invited)