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THE EVOLVING UTILITY BUSINESS MODEL The U.S. Power System: Past, Present, Future SMUD’s Customer Service Business Model The Hybrid Survey Approach at Westar Energy The Evolution of American Power: Reliability, Resiliency, Reinvention





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Westar Expands Outreach with Hybrid Surveys



Meet the New Boss: Your Customers By Roopali Shah,

Drivers & Determinants for Power System Entities

Strategic Market

By Jill Tietjen, P.E.,


President & CEO,

Manager, and Sandra

Technically Speaking,

Kopp, Strategic

Inc., and Russell

Business Planner,

Schussler, P.E., VP,

Sacramento Municipal

System Planning,

Utility District

Georgia Transmission


Discuss Changing Business Model Impacts with RMEL Sections


Utility Business Model Power Data Analytics By Tony Carrino, Manager, Solomon Power Studies


06 Executive Director's Message

42 RMEL Membership Listings

08  RMEL Mission Statement & 12 Key

44  Members: Tap Into Your RMEL Network

Benefits of RMEL Membership

10  Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Directors

12  2 016 Executive Leadership and Management Fall Convention



45 2016 Calendar of Events 46

Index to Advertisers



Letter From the Executive Director


WHAT DOES THE EVOLVING ELECTRIC utility business model look like? RMEL provides a unique opportunity to hear how individuals from all different types of utilities and services and supplier companies envision the changing landscape of the electric energy industry. During one of many member roundtables, I remember participants trying to make heads or tails of some recent legislation. How will utilities pay for this? Is that deadline realistic? What about reliability? One of the attendees said, “You know electric utilities are very bullish. We'll be fine. It’s the customers who will be most impacted by all of this.” From that point on, customers became one of the main areas of focus for RMEL – more so than ever before. I’m not talking about customer service or call center best practices. I’m talking about looking at this industry, at each utility and thinking about how every action, every dollar spent, every system improvement, every piece of new technology has an impact on the customer. I had a similar epiphany during a conference call with session panelists. One of the panelists quickly summarized his thoughts on the utility business model: “In the future, electric utilities won’t provide electricity, we will simply be customer service providers.” Think about that. Even if it may seem extreme, it puts the focus back on the experience of the customers as they work with your company to power their lives. In planning this issue of Electric Energy Magazine, we wanted to look at what’s happening on a large scale, and that’s where Jill Tieitjen and Russell Schussler’s



feature on “Drivers and Determinants for Power System Entities,” provides a great 30,000 foot view of what’s happening to the industry as a whole and what brought us to this point. Bringing it back to the customer, Roopali Shah and Sandra Kopp provide great details about SMUD’s approach to the customer experience and how customer value is being redefined as a new technology. In this issue, Westar Energy also breaks down details about their hybrid survey approach. Rounding out the issue, Tony Carrino, shows a great snapshot of how you can make your analytics work for you as you define your approach moving forward. Thank you to all of the contributors to this issue and all of our members, event participants, volunteers and all of our customers who help move the association forward while keeping with the RMEL mission. RMEL’s Mission: RMEL, through its diverse membership, educational events, and programs, facilitates the discovery of solutions and strategies for vital issues facing the electric utility industry. Please enjoy, and I look forward to seeing you at an RMEL event soon! Sincerely,

Rick Putnicki Executive Director at RMEL

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RMEL Mission Statement RMEL, through its diverse membership, educational events, and programs, facilitates the discovery of solutions and strategies for vital issues facing the electric utility industry.

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12 Key Benefits of RMEL Membership 1 R  EFINE YOUR SKILLS. Lessons learned from colleagues through events, presentations, networking and resources.

2 EDUCATION. Learn best practices, up-to-date processes, procedures and technologies.

3 I NFORMED DECISIONS. Experiences from others to help make the best decisions for you.

4 RELATIONSHIPS. Build your web of business relationships.  5 COLLEAGUES. Make contacts, share information and build  partnerships within the RMEL community.

6 DIVERSE MEMBERSHIP. Utility members from all types of  ownership, large scope of vendor members.

7 VITAL ISSUES. In-depth coverage from Electric Energy magazine, Newsletters, e-Newsletters and events.

8 24.7.365. Comprehensive online education resource library at

9 PERSPECTIVE. Enjoy diversity of opinions and methods from all types of utility ownership and vendors.


11 WORKFORCE. Develop the industry knowledge and skills of your  staff. Use the Career Center and Scholarships.


Your best-in-class education and networking resource at value prices!




RMEL Board of Directors OFFICERS. PRESIDENT Anthony Montoya Western Area Power Administration COO PRESIDENT ELECT Jon Hansen Omaha Public Power District VP, Energy Production & Marketing PAST PRESIDENT Stuart Wevik Black Hills Corporation Group VP, Electric Utilities VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE Tom Kent Nebraska Public Power District VP & COO VICE PRESIDENT, EDUCATION Joel Bladow Tri State Generation and Transmission Assn. Sr. VP, Transmission VICE PRESIDENT, VITAL ISSUES Neal Walker Texas New Mexico Power President, TNMP VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP Scott Fry Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC Managing Director VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES Kelly Harrison Westar Energy VP, Transmission

DIRECTORS. Elaina Ball Austin Energy Interim COO Paul Barham CPS Energy Sr. VP, Energy Delivery Services Doug Bennion PacifiCorp VP, Engineering Services & Asset Management Tim Brossart Xcel Energy VP, Construction Operations & Maintenance John Coggins SRP Sr. Director, Power Delivery Susan Gray UNS Energy Corporation VP, T&D Operations/ Engineering



PRESIDENT Paul Compton Kiewit Sr. VP, Business Development VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE Kent Cheese Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. VP, Sales CHAIR, FUNDRAISING Jim Helvig AMEC Foster Wheeler Director, Power Delivery CHAIR, MEMBER DEVELOPMENT Mike Jones SRP Director

Bob Gresham Zachry Group VP, Engineering Development Kelly Harrison Westar Energy VP, Transmission Barry Ingold Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn. Sr. VP, Generation John Johnson Black & Veatch Corp. VP, Power Generation Services Kevin Noblet Kansas City Power & Light VP, Generation Services

CHAIR, SCHOLARSHIP Karin Hollohan Platte River Power Authority Director, Corporate Services

Scott Heidtbrink Kansas City Power & Light Executive VP & COO

Rick Putnicki RMEL Executive Director STAFF LIAISON James Sakamoto RMEL Coordinator, Analytics and Communications

Mike Kotara Zachry Group VP, Business Development Tammy McLeod Arizona Public Service VP, Resource Management Andy Ramirez El Paso Electric Company VP, Power Generation Deb Schaneman Platte River Power Authority Chief Compliance Officer Dan Schmidt Black & Veatch Corp. Sr. VP, Power Generation Services Ken Wilmot Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. VP, Power Production SECRETARY Rick Putnicki RMEL Executive Director


Foundation Board of Directors

ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2016 Published Summer 2016 PUBLISHED FOR: RMEL 6855 S. Havana St, Ste 430 Centennial, CO 80112 P: (303) 865-5544 F: (303) 865-5548

Kathryn Hail EDITOR (303) 865-5544 Electric Energy is the official magazine of RMEL. Published three times a year, the publication discusses critical issues in the electric energy industry. Subscribe to Electric Energy by contacting RMEL. Editorial content and feedback can also be directed to RMEL. Advertising in the magazine supports RMEL education programs and activities. For advertising opportunities, please contact Susan Wist from HungryEye Media, LLC at (303) 378-1626.


800.852.0857 Brendan Harrington PRESIDENT


(303) 378-1626 Lindsay Burke ART DIRECTOR

Shannon Moore DESIGNER


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113th Annual



JOIN ELECTRIC ENERGY INDUSTRY senior executives for RMEL’s 2016 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention Sept. 11-13 in Summerlin, NV. The theme of this year’s Fall Convention is The Evolution of American Power: Reliability, Resiliency, Reinvention. The Fall Convention will celebrate the strong history of American power while also exploring strategies to continue keeping the lights on affordably and reliably for customers. The RMEL Fall Convention attracts over 300 senior-level utility managers and executives. Find chief executives, company officers, vice presidents, general managers, decision makers and senior management of energy companies at this event. Attendees represent the many utility ownerships


Executive Leadership and Management


including IOU, G&T, municipalities, cooperative and government agencies. The education program will kick off with a keynote address asking, Are You Future Ready? Keynote speaker Ross Shafer is a 6-time Emmy Award Winning Comedian and Writer. In l984, a local TV station saw him and decided to hire him as an on-air host. Ross’ unconventional style was soon spotted by the networks and he moved to Hollywood to host talk/game shows for ABC, Fox, USA, and Comedy Central. What Ross gleaned most from show business was how TV and movies reacted to emerging trends and human behavior shifts. So in l994, he began studying how customer emotional connections affected organizational growth (or extinction). To that end, he has written 14 H.R. training

films on customer service, motivation, and leadership. He is also the author of nine books, including his two newest BEHAVE LIKE A START UP...and SUCCESS: IT’s ON YOU. Today, Ross is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers on the subjects of Customer Empathy, Personal Motivation, Leadership and Business Relevance. Joanie Teofilo, President & CEO, The Energy Authority, will share insights about the main drivers impacting the future of the electric utility industry from her perspective as CEO of one of the nation’s leading energy portfolio management companies. Customer service transactions and customer perceptions are the building blocks of utility cost-to-serve, customer service quality and customer satisfaction outcomes. They are also

the foundation upon which utilities seek to engage customers in smart energy program offerings. Data science applications afford utilities the means to predict customer behaviors and perceptions, allowing utilities to proactively intervene in the customer service life cycle to effectively prevent, deter or redirect habitual customer behaviors and perceptions, as well as promote new ones. Adam Stotz, Chief Technology Officer, TROVE Predictive Data Science, will speak from experience in this area and explore the challenges, opportunities, and value of proactive customer service, and the technological means to achieve it. Pat Egan, Sr. VP, Customer Operations, NV Energy, and Jeff Guldner, Sr. VP, Public Policy, Arizona Public Service, will discuss large customer choice in a changing energy landscape. The CEO Panel will feature Timothy Burke, President and CEO, Omaha Public Power District; Paul Caudill, President & CEO, NV Energy; Doug Hunter, President and CEO, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems; Thomas Husted, CEO, Valley Electric Association, Inc.; and David J. Tudor, CEO & General Manager, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. This

industry has 100+ years of experience delivering reliable, affordable electricity - electricity that powers America’s economy and stands strong behind all of today’s modern conveniences. As consumers seek the newest gadget at any cost, it’s amazing that the electricity powering their way of life comes at such a low cost. Today that low cost and that reliability are being challenged by regulations. Regulatory requirements have become more rigid with faster timelines, impacting customer service and workforce strategies and changing the electric utility business model looks like at their utilities. A brief discussion from each CEO, followed by questions from the moderator and collected questions fielded from the audience, will allow each panelist to convey the outlook for their respective utility. To overcome the growing talent shortage and ensure that the Utility companies have the engineering resources for the future, it is imperative to implement a solution to develop your workforce outside the tried and tested approach of recruiting and internships. EASi has worked with partners in the Utilities industry to develop a successful workforce development model to overcome these challenges. This model complements what the industry is doing with the universities and is customized for the needs of the Utilities industry. The approach reduces overall resource development time (by up to 40% in some cases) while reducing the cost of development, provides proven and capable engineers that fit culturally with the company and frees up your resources to work on capital projects. Presented by Maxim Castelino, Director, Delivery Operations, EASi North America, the model and the best practices will help RMEL’s Fall Convention attendees understand the current talent landscape, the challenges in rapid workforce development and what the can do to ensure their organizations can meet the workforce needs of the future. This year has provided the weirdest and least predictable national political season in memory — and perhaps ever. No one predicted that Donald Trump would be the Republican

nominee. No two candidates for the top office in the land have ever been less highly regarded by the voters. Yet here we are. The best information at the moment will inform a set of predictions about who will win the White House, Congress and key governors’ races around the country. Day 2 keynote speaker Jeffrey Birnbaum, President of BGR Public Relations and a Former Reporter, Editor and Fox News Political Analyst, will also give detailed expectations about how each of the two presidential candidates would deal with energy policy if elected. Some insider-y story telling will ease some of the bad news that surely the speaker will offer. In 2013, the state of Nevada set course for the elimination of coal-fired generation in the state. Kevin Geraghty, Sr. VP, Energy Supply, NV Energy, will detail how NV Energy will plan for and manage the transition which will include renewables and gas, and has done so without raising customers’ rates. Steve Berberich, President & CEO, California ISO, will discuss roles of markets in the West to help integrate renewables and leverage assets across the region for the benefit of customers. Jeffrey Ballard, Vice President, Smart Grids, AVANGRID, will provide an overview of the NY REV proceeding, providing a utility’s perspective and insights into how AVANGRID’s NY utility holdings New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) are preparing to develop the Distribution System Platform of the future. The Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is a three-day event that begins on a Sunday with a golf outing followed by an evening reception hosted by the RMEL Champions. Monday is a full-day of educational presentations ending with an RMEL Champions reception, dinner and the RMEL Foundation Silent Auction. The final day includes a half day of presentations. A guest program, awards presentation and plenty of time to relax and network are also part of the tradition. Go to for more information and registration.

W W W. R M EL .O R G





OVERVIEW Headquartered in Topeka, Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) has provided Kansans with the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes for more than 100 years. The largest electric utility in Kansas, Westar employs 2,400 people, serves nearly 700,000 customers and operates over 35,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines. Its energy centers, which are fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas, generate more than 7,000 megawatts of electricity. Westar’s innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, digital meters and initiatives that are paving the way for electric vehicle adoption.

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Though Westar already has a century-long track record of providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to customers in the eastern half of Kansas, the company is committed to doing what it takes to meet Kansas’ continually changing energy needs and to being the preferred energy provider. In the face of evolving customer demands, new technology and increased competition, Westar is taking proactive steps to better communicate with its customers and understand their mindset to provide a superior customer experience. “For several years, we’d been using an outside vendor and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to conduct annual surveys regarding our customers’ needs and expectations,” said Lorri Putnam, Customer Programs Analyst, Westar. “But interviewing customers only via landline phones was giving us a skewed sample of respondents. We simply weren’t reaching all of our customers.”



After a formal competitive process, Westar chose MaritzCX to make its consumer outreach process more representative and gain insight to the hearts and minds of all of its customers. “We wanted a vendor with a strong reputation in research and solid experience in energy and utilities,” Putnam

RESULTS • Reduced costs and reached a broader base of customers with hybrid (CATI/Web) surveys. • Enabled both online and mobile/handheld deviceoptimized surveys. • Determined the true drivers of customer satisfaction. • Measured customer perceptions of its brand to identify advertising opportunities and effectiveness.

explained, “but we were also looking for a company that would take our vision and help us plot a course to get there instead of imposing something on us. MaritzCX met all those criteria, plus their team presented us with an extremely comprehensive proposal.”


Today, Westar is using a hybrid CATI/Web survey methodology devised with the help of MaritzCX to identify the true drivers of customer satisfaction. Once a year, the company surveys randomly selected customers in three categories: residential, small business and large business. The hybrid process combines live phone surveys (conducted by MaritzCX interviewers) with online and mobile device-optimized surveys. “We were getting a skewed sample when we just did computer-assisted phone surveys. Moving solely to computer-based surveys was concerning, as some customers don’t use computers,” said Putnam. “So a hybrid approach gives us the best of both worlds.”

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The hybrid approach also makes it easy for a mobile device user to take a survey. A survey that is not designed for mobile users is likely to under-represent the heavy mobile user demographic. MaritzCX was able to help Westar optimize surveys for these users, which includes an adaptive design (e.g., device type is identified at the time the survey link is clicked). In addition to overall customer satisfaction among residential and business customers, the Westar annual survey measures attitudes regarding power reliability, prices and billing practices, interaction with the Westar website and contact center as well as programs being offered. “The hybrid methodology was less expensive than telephone-only and allowed us to reach a broader base of customers than we would

have reached, so it was a double win for us,” Putnam said. “It also allows us to control survey content and the fielding process. We’ve been so pleased with the new process that we’re reviewing adding a second survey to provide additional insight.”


After the first round of surveys, MaritzCX conducted true driver analysis and other statistical analyses to capture trends in the data. “We really like being able to measure the impact of variables on customer satisfaction,” Putnam said. “Drilling down into the drivers of satisfaction for differing customer segments helps us with program and service development as well as communications strategies. Having data telling us what really matters

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to our customers is extremely important.” Putnam’s team is also using the survey data to set targets and goals that can measure the effectiveness of programs aimed at improving customer satisfaction. In addition to customer satisfaction, Westar is performing an ongoing study of customer perceptions of its brand. This work allows the company to understand and measure brand attributes, personality and emotions in order to identify marketing and advertising opportunities and effectiveness. Westar is committed to the belief that happier customers translate into real value. Westar looks at customer satisfaction as a competitive differentiator that is critical as it continually strives to serve and meet its customers’ expectations in a fastchanging, digitally-connected world. “Customer satisfaction is important in all business endeavors, and Westar has stepped up by investing in processes that will enhance customer relationships,” said Putnam. “We look forward to acting on our customers’ feedback and to changing internal processes to better serve them.” “The information gathered helps to inspect and report on program progress. It provides us with intelligent data that informs managers and employees and helps define improvement and action plans for Westar’s service delivery and customer interactions.”

Your Daily Challenges and Successes can Fuel Solution-Driven Content ALL MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE SPRING CONFERENCE PLANNING SESSION

Public power is about serving the local community. While private or investor-owned utilities measure success by the profits they send to often distant stockholders, public power utilities measure success by how much money stays in the community.



What’s keeping you up at night? You live in the electric energy world and your daily challenges can drive content at the 2017 Spring Management Engineering and Operations Conference. Join us September 29, 2016, at the Denver Marriott South in Lone Tree, CO. This your opportunity to share ideas for topics covered at next year’s Spring Conference. This collaborative half-day meeting will last from 8:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. All members are invited and encouraged to participate and bring ideas or names of possible speakers. This meeting is crucial in the development of next year’s Conference agenda and topics. Mark your calendar for the 2017 Spring Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, May 21-23, 2017!


Energy Generation Operations program A.A.S. degree in 18 months (104 quarter credit hours) In-person at SCC’s Milford, NE campus Graduates trained to operate Combined Cycle, coal, nuclear, and other electrical and fluid fuel generating plants. Focus areas: Nuclear, Industrial Process Operations and Military. Control Room Simulator only one of its kind at any college in the U.S. (see below) Transfer agreements with Bismarck (N.D.) State College, Thomas Edison (N.J.) State College and Excelsior (N.Y.) College allow SCC graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree. About SCC’s Control Room Simulator:

Replicates control room of a power plant, including realistic time delays and equipment responses to prepare our students for real-life experiences. Students can actually change conditions that will respond in the control room and the VR-simulated power plant in real time. Can simulate virtually any abnormal or emergency condition that can occur at two types of power plants: Combined Cycle (jet engine) powered and coal-fired electric generating. Simulator could benefit employees of power plants in SCC’s area, such as LES and NPPD, as they do not have a training facility like this and are considering using it to train their employees. The goal of this simulator: To prepare students for real-life experiences in a control room at two different types of power plants currently operating in North America. “LES appreciates the foresight at SCC that drove investing the time and resources to bring this program online. Having a local program that Nebraska utilities can help mold to fit their specific needs is a valuable resource that LES is proud to be a part of. The desire to source locally-educated and skilled operations staff for our generation facilities has been met by SCC.” Brian McReynolds, Generation Operations, Lincoln Electric System - 402-761-8394


YOUR CUSTOMERS by Roopali Shah, Strategic Market Development Manager, and Sandra Kopp, Strategic Business Planner, Sacramento Municipal Utility District




VERY ORGANIZATION IS IN the customer service business.

Electric utilities are awakening to that fundamental fact thanks to changes in the energy landscape that are putting customers firmly in control of their energy choices. Customer value is being redefined as new technology, legislation and the availability of information shift the industry’s focus from being utility-centric to customer-driven. Unless utilities can innovate and respond quickly and proactively, revenues, market control and customer loyalty are at risk.

CENTRALIZED POWER: A CENTURY OF STABILITY For more than 100 years, the relationship between electric utilities and their customers was mostly one-way, a one-way flow of electricity and oneway communication. That century-old model is evolving into two-way communication via smart grids and bi-directional flows of power from distributed generation resources, like rooftop solar. Coupled with the presence of non-traditional market entrants, the rock-steady relationship utilities once had with its customers is being turned on its head. And it’s happening quickly. Consider entrants like Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Alphabet owns Nest, the maker of selflearning home automation products, like thermostats that help lower energy use and systems for home safety and security. Nest is part of Alphabet’s ever-expanding ‘Internet of Things’ – of which the smart grid is a component. SolarCity, America’s largest solar provider, has partnered with Nest to include the thermostat in its solar installation package. In a span of a few short years, the once-monopolistic relationship between utilities and their customers has not only grown crowded, the number of players is growing as customers partner with companies (other than their utility) on their energy use, management and generation. And at the center of it all is the new boss − the utility customer.

A NEW DAY, A NEW WAY To provide new choices for the everevolving customer, SMUD recognized

there needs to be a shift in perspective from being a utility-centric business model (one that looks inside out) to one that is customer driven, which requires a deeper understanding of the customer in terms of:  ustomer priorities: What are C customers trying to accomplish? What are their goals and how can we help them be successful?  ommunications: What are cusC tomers preferred communication channels?  ustomer needs: What relationC ships do our customers expect us to establish with them?  ustomer value: What solutions C should we develop that are of value to the customer? SMUD’s ultimate goal is to design and deliver a business approach to strategically engage with customers in a way that aligns our offerings with what customers value, their priorities and needs. SMUD has operated successfully for 70 years, so it was tempting to assume we knew our customers very well. But, we made an important decision to take a highly data-driven approach to better understand our customers’ needs – residential and commercial customers – and design solutions that meet those needs. Central to this data-driven approach is the use of segmentation, not just to profile customers’ energy usage and revenue, but to connect these insights with customer engagement and program development and operational/ process improvement initiatives. These

initiatives will facilitate better alignment and targeting across strategy, marketing and consumer service initiatives. This requires a much more granular and dynamic view of the customer with a focus on future behavior. SMUD’s continued success depends on taking segmentation to the next level – using analytics to dive deeper into specific consumers’ values, utilization patterns and behavior, identifying and addressing clear targets for major initiatives and then effectively executing upon these strategies.

UNDERSTANDING A HIGHLY DIVERSE RESIDENTIAL MARKET Sacramento, California has one of the most diverse markets in the country, not just in terms of race and ethnicity, but also regarding age, income, education, home ownership, etc. In order for us to get our arms around this diversity we used the Nielsen PRIZM segmentation system as the foundation to form our residential strategy. With PRIZM, every household is assigned to an identifiable market segment according to their lifestyle characteristics and behaviors. Furthermore, Nielsen (in partnership with ESource) created a system for utilities where market segments are aggregated into energy groups characterized by demographics (i.e., age, income, homeownership) and by energy-related utilization, behaviors and preferences as they relate to the environment, communication channels, bill payment and solar and electric vehicle adoption to name a few. The use of PRIZM also helps us track future growth of the market so we can see

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which segments are the most predominant as well as which are growing or declining the fastest. With PRIZM assigned to every SMUD household, we’re able to provide an additional layer of insights by marrying projected behavior with our internal historical program participation and load profiling data to identify opportunities and gaps. Examining the residential customer according to these energy groupings allowed SMUD to:




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Deliver the right products and services to the right people. Instead of taking a mass market approach, we’ve begun the shift to market differentiation, ensuring we’re only engaging and marketing to customers with messaging that’s relevant to them and in the channels they prefer. By being smarter about our efforts, we anticipate this will lead to operational efficiencies and better resource allocation, especially by lowering customer acquisition costs, as well as understanding drivers behind customers’ use of high-cost channels.

ADVANCING THE ROLE OF TRUSTED ADVISOR WITH COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS For our commercial customer base, we took a similar approach in grouping customers based largely on size, usage and revenue into four segments: key, major, midsized and small. In late 2014, SMUD embarked on an ambitious strategy to proactively provide holistic solutions that meet key and large customer needs by providing expertise and guidance so they can make the best energy choices for their business. A drastic departure from the way key accounts had previously functioned, the main components of the strategy were to:  rioritize customers of high strategic value (defined P by revenue, low or at risk customer engagement, opportunities and threats) to allow for the preservation and cultivation of relationships that are of strategic importance to SMUD’s financial health. Increase awareness of SMUD offerings and expertise as a result of customer profiling and targeted marketing.



Identify residential segments that have been relatively underserved and need to be cultivated. In doing our gap analysis, one of the things we quickly recognized was that millennials are fairly under-represented in our programs. This tipped us off that we need to address our online services (i.e., web services, online program enrollment), re-examine our digital communication strategy and make this segment a priority for future program and product development.

 etter align with our R&D and Distributed Energy B Strategy groups so that we are innovating in collaboration with our customers.

THREE STEPS DEFINED THE EXECUTION OF THIS STRATEGY: STEP 1: Understand the customer Just like our residential customers, there was a need to better understand SMUD’s key and major customers which ranged from government organizations to private companies, local businesses to national chains, all of which operate and use energy very differently. Consolidating such disparate information required us to combine data from multiple sources, including account plans (and direct customer input) insights, Dun & Bradstreet, internal market research and enterprise databases to develop accurate customer profiles based on industry, activity level and anticipated future behavior. The more critical phase was the all-important human component − personally reaching out to customers to gain their trust, and solve for their needs. STEP 2: Transformation of the account management team into trusted advisors SMUD had to shift its perspective from managing “business as usual” to one that was managing for growth and change with our most important commercial customers. Central to delivering this value proposition was the role of the account manager, who as the guardian of the relationship, needed to develop and cultivate a long-term strategic relationship with the customer for mutual growth, loyalty, trust and innovation. With extensive sales and account management training and a significant team reorg, SMUD was clear in its commitment of ensuring the account manager is part of the value proposition of doing business with SMUD. By improving the quality of account management to deepen the relationship with the customer, SMUD was able to do a better job of capturing customer insights on things like interest in self-generation, expansion plans and quality of relationship with SMUD for each key and major account. Load shape analytics and a combination of qualitative and quantitative factors enabled SMUD to get a better understanding from customers’ point of view and provide highly personalized and comprehensive engagement that extends far beyond energy efficiency.

STEP 3: Get connected throughout the organization (i.e., enterprise integration) Once equipped with training and tools, the account managers were ready to connect with and collaborate with our customers to help them achieve their goals. Most importantly, the account managers now provided the critical link between customer needs and the

full range of services available through SMUD. Irrespective of the touch point through which a business customer may come in contact with us, there is an assigned account manager who is able to bring them the full benefit of all SMUD offerings, including experimental new technologies through SMUD’s Research & Development and Distributed Energy Strategy departments.

Corporate Office 562.220.1450 Corporate Office 562.220.1450 Contact Ezra Jenkinson or Ron Matson Contact Ezra Jenkison or Ron Matson

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“We’re saving 20% on our lighting costs.”

Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s customer ad that was created in support of the campaign.

Amy Lerseth, The Buzz Oates Group of Companies and Jane Agatep, SMUD

Additional organizational efforts in support of this strategy include:

The Buzz Oates Group of Companies partnered with their SMUD Strategic Account Advisor to access energy and money savings. Jane helped Amy save on significant LED upgrades, cutting her lighting energy costs by 20% per year.

 ngoing sales training and coachO ing for the account managers  xtensive ‘journey-mapping’ to E enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint  n integrated, multi-channel A marketing plan under the banner, “SMUD Means Business”

EXTENDING THE PARADIGM TO SMALL/MIDSIZED CUSTOMERS As we solidified our relationship with key and large commercial customers, we recognized that SMUD needed to provide guidance and structure on the desired customer experience for midsized and small commercial customers too. Typically a neglected market segment, the question arose – Could we extend the same level of personalized care to small business customers typically reserved only for the larger ones? Can it be done? And if so, how? Much like our key and major accounts, the historic approach to customer care for small and mid-sized businesses had been reactive, placing singular emphasis on energy efficiency through off-the-shelf products and services, with no personal interaction outside of our call center. To extend the care for key and major accounts, the account management team was expanded to include a customerfacing midsized team. Unlike the key account managers who are assigned to a specific industry, each midsized account manager is assigned to a territory within SMUD’s service area, and responsible for engaging with businesses within that specific geography. Applying individualized service methods to SMUD’s broadest classes of business customers is proving to be transformational. In providing smaller businesses a level of service previously given only to large businesses, we recognize their value to the community apart from merely the economics of scale. That is in keeping with SMUD’s role as a communityowned electric service.



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EMBRACING THE CHANGE Few industries could survive 100 years with the same business model. Change eventually catches up to us all but it’s how we deal with it determines our future. We’re now face-to-face with the future of our industry. Technology, legislation and the growth in distributed energy resources present us with opportunities to transform what we do and how we do it. It’s a chance to:  nderstand our customers at a U deeper level  ngage with customers in collabE orative ways  erve customers more fully by S aligning to their needs Earn customers’ trust and loyalty  chieve outcomes that preserve A the health of our business Change can be hard, but worthwhile things are seldom easy. Putting the customer at the center of all we do is the best thing we can do for our future.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Roopali Shah (left) is the Strategic Market Development Manager at SMUD, where for the last 2 years she has been responsible for developing short and long term strategies for key customer segments. Prior to joining SMUD, she held various strategy and strategic marketing consulting positions in the healthcare industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston University and a Master in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. Sandra Kopp (right) is a member of SMUD's Strategic Market Development Team. Her primary focus is developing short and long term business strategies for residential customers, in light of the changing industry and market environment. Sandra has 20 years of experience in marketing communications, spanning industries from arts and culture to aeronautics and energy. For SMUD, Sandra has also led the marketing strategy for commercial energy efficiency programs and economic development as well as residential programs and smart grid pilots. TURN TO PAGE 28 FOR QUICK TIPS »

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QUICK TIP SUMMARY: Shift perspective from a utilitycentric business model to one that is customer driven. Use segmentation, not just to profile customers’ energy usage and revenue, but to connect these insights with customer engagement and program development and operational/process improvement initiatives. Use analytics to dive deeper into specific consumers’ values, utilization patterns and behavior, identifying and addressing clear targets for major initiatives and then effectively execute upon these strategies. Marry projected behavior with internal historical program participation and load profiling data to identify opportunities and gaps.

Identify residential segments that have been relatively underserved and need to be cultivated. Shift to market differentiation - only engage and market to customers with messaging that’s relevant to them and in the channels they prefer. Commercial customers: - Prioritize customers of high strategic value - Increase awareness of SMUD offerings and expertise - Better align with R&D and Distributed Energy Strategy groups - Transform the account management team into trusted advisors Putting the customer at the center of all we do is the best thing we can do for our future.


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Paul Caudill President & CEO NV Energy Pat Egan Sr. VP, Customer Operations NV Energy Kevin Geraghty Sr. VP, Energy Supply NV Energy Jeff Guldner Sr. VP, Public Policy Arizona Public Service Doug Hunter President and CEO Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems

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HAT FACTORS resulted in our having the power system we have in the U.S. today and what factors will drive future changes to the power system? This piece discusses the motivations and impacts of the various entities that have influence over power supply decisions. Current and evolving rules and regulations as well as historical interactions and relationships between and among these entities will determine what changes we see in the electric grid system in the future in areas such as resource mix, centralized versus decentralized generation, costs, reliability and environmental impacts.


The electric power system in the U.S. traces its history back more than 100 years. Over that time, many changes have occurred in technology, regulation, and environmental concerns. For a significant portion of its history, the electric utility industry was a declining cost industry where each new generating unit installed led to lower costs to deliver electricity to the customer. That is no longer the case. Since the early 1970s, costs have been increasing and federal legislation and regulations have served to modify fuel selection and ownership models for the industry. In 1978, the Fuel Use Act prevented the use of natural gas as a generation fuel and, also in 1978, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act opened up the generation market to third parties. More recently, independent parties have begun building and owning transmission. Today, environmental pressures and public involvement are significant and affect the ability of electric utilities to site and license generation and transmission.


Change has become the watchword of the electric utility industry. Nevertheless, the authors believe that the overall goals of the industry as a whole remain to ensure that the power delivered to consumers is 1) economic, 2) reliable, and 3) produced

in a publicly responsible manner. Each of these three goals is of critical importance and can’t be slighted. Entities differ in the way they weight these three goals and allow for tradeoffs between them. Most entities have other outside drivers as well. The challenge is for all of the involved entities to provide for a power system that provides a reasonable balance among the three goals. Let’s look at the drivers for each of the electric grid entities.

1. Market

The power system we have now is driven by the market and must respond to it. The market includes consumers, resources and options. The market is mostly about economics, but regulation and requirements can weight other goals more heavily.

“For a significant portion of its history, the electric utility industry was a declining cost industry where each new generating unit installed led to lower costs to deliver electricity to the customer. That is no longer the case.” a. Consumers - Individual consumers may be motivated by all three goals. There is strong evidence they care about economics and also, but with greater variance, reliability. Based on voluntary participation in “green” programs, it is likely that a significant percentage of consumers are interested in achieving “public responsibility” through collective rather than individual means. Historically, it has been difficult for consumers to independently meet their energy and power needs. New distributed energy and storage technologies may enable customers to meet their own electricity needs, leading to repercussions in the utility industry. b. Resources – Equipment manufacturers want to sell their products,

and manufacturing technology and availability limits the selection of resource options. Some manufacturers produce equipment that can be used by multiple fuels (oil and natural gas, natural gas and coal), but others push their specific technology to achieve their sales and profitability objectives. Equipment availability and types influence and are influenced by the regulatory environment and other decision makers. In today’s global economy, equipment availability and type is influenced by global issues and decisions made in France or Germany or Brazil, for example, can affect equipment that is offered in the U.S. c. Options – The various fuel purveyors understand that the present and anticipated cost of fuel is a major factor that plays a key role in determining any utility’s resource mix and the new generation additions planned. As with equipment manufacturers, the fuel industry is influenced by and seeks to influence decision makers and is impacted by global influences.

2. Market Participants

Other entities in the power system market are driven by profit motives. These entities include the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Transmission Providers. a. IPPs – These participants in the power system are in business to make a profit. Their income is based on either the economics of the open bulk power market or prices specified in purchased power agreements. b. Transmission – Just as the generation market has been opened to third parties, third parties also participate in the transmission arena. Like the IPPs, their motive is profit based.

3. Utilities

The utility market is actually composed of thousands of entities that can be grouped into four primary categories – investor-owned utilities (IOUs), rural electric cooperatives, municipalities, and federal power marketing agencies. Each has similar as well as differing motivations depending on their funding and regulatory mechanisms.

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a. IOUs – These entities are in business to generate a profit, subject to the oversight of state regulatory bodies. The state regulatory bodies are charged with safeguarding customers’ interests. IOUs have shareholders and are listed on a stock exchange. b. Coops – Rural electric cooperatives strive to minimize costs for their customers and maximize reliability. Their customers are their regulators (although in some states, coops are subject to the regulation of the state commission). c. Munis – These electric providers are an arm of a city and operate within the confines of the municipality model, being overseen by the city council and/or mayor. They may be driven by local politics, sometimes they serve as a source of revenue and cost is a critical factor. d. Federal Power Marketing Agencies are arms of the United States government and operate within that venue entirely. Reliability and costs are the primary drivers.

4. Pooling/Aggregating Organizations

Pooling and aggregation organizations include independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Each operates in accordance with procedures established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and they have many similarities in their responsibilities. In general, these organizations’ primary function is to ensure reliable operation of the electric power system within the prescribed marketing model. a. ISOs – ISOs control and monitor the operation of the electric power system within a single state or across multiple states. ISOs serve as the marketplace for wholesale power although most power is transacted through bilateral agreements and power purchase agreements. b. RTOs – RTOs are basically ISOs with the additional requirement of responsibility for the transmission network. A very significant responsibility for the RTO is the system’s short-term reliability.



“Evidence indicates that the EPA was not greatly concerned with the economic or reliability impacts of the plan. Such concerns were delegated to the states to work out. However, since the primary motivations of many of the other entities in the electric power market are economics and reliability, these conflicting considerations and whatever balance results will be important as the process moves forward.” 5. Electric Regulators/ Overseers

The FERC is charged with regulating the transmission of electricity and wholesale sales of that electricity. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) primary focus is the reliability of the electric power system. That responsibility in practice is carried out through the regional entities. State regulatory commissions have been given the responsibility of ensuring that IOUs do not abuse their

monopoly position. City governments oversee municipal utilities. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers programs that provide infrastructure support to rural communities. a. FERC – Heavily influenced by political considerations, the FERC’s primary purpose is ensuring that interstate commerce occurs unimpeded. b. NERC, Regional Reliability groups – These groups have reliability as their primary focus. c. State Commissions/City

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Governments/RUS – Cost and reliability are strong focuses for these groups although many state commissions and city governments are strong advocates of producing power in a publicly responsible manner (which is often in the 21st century being interpreted as sourcing electricity from “green power” sources).

6. Other Regulators/ Rule Makers

Agencies and organizations at the state and Federal level have authority over electric grid entities in ways that can impact each of the goals of the electric grid entities. a. State environmental agencies – These agencies are charged with overseeing public health through control of the environmental aspects of power projects (generation, transmission and distribution). Their

perspective is primarily on the goal of producing power in a publicly responsible manner with little to no consideration of either reliability or economics. b. Environmental Protection Agency – This federal agency functions much like the state environmental agencies. The authors’ view is that EPA concerns itself primarily with the goal of reducing the impacts of power production without consideration of either reliability or economics. c. Government - Supreme Court – State legislatures, the U.S. Congress and state and federal courts all have decision making powers that influence all of generation, transmission and distribution. With their discretionary powers, each can consider all three of the goals enumerated above and the interactions between the goals.

7. Support/Research/ Standards

A variety of organizations support and supplement the electric utilities in areas ranging from policy to technology research to technical standards. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducts research on issues related to the electric utility industry. The Cooperative Research Network (CRN) is the research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) that works to accelerate technology innovation to benefit rural electric cooperatives. Edison Electric Institute (EEI) represents the IOUs in the U.S., lobbies on their behalf, and provides educational forums. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the professional technical society for electrical engineers. The North American Transmission Forum (NATF) is comprised of electric grid entities across the entire spectrum with the primary objective of promoting transmission system reliability. a. EPRI/CRN – The focus of both of these groups is cutting edge research. In the long run, this goes to all of economics, reliability, and producing power in a publicly responsible manner. Their constituents are challenged at times with overhyped new technologies, seeking balance by engagement with practical concerns where results are achievable within the planning horizon b. EEI – The focus of EEI is to ensure that the interests of the IOUs are expressed and communicated. This focus includes all of the goals with primary attention on reliability and economics. c. IEEE – This technical society advances knowledge and information about technical advances and issues of the electric utility industry. Engineers and professionals who work for entities across the entire spectrum of electric grid entities are members of this organization. d. North American Transmission Forum – The focus of the NATF is primarily reliability.

The Clean Power Plan Much attention is currently focused on the EPA’s Clean Power



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Electric Grid Entities At-a-Glance These are the major players in the electric energy industry, representing different levels of prioritization when it comes to three overall goals of the industry as a whole to ensure that the power delivered to consumers is 1) economic, 2) reliable, and 3) produced in a publicly responsible manner. Drivers of each entity are discussed in within the article.


Consumers Resources Options





Independent Power Producers

InvestorOwned Utilities

Independent System Operators

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

State Environmental Agencies

Transmission Providers


Regional Transmission Organizations

North American Electric Reliability Corporation

Environmental Protection Agency

Municipalities Federal Power Marketing Agencies

Plan (CPP) which may cause sweeping changes in the industry. We will briefly discuss how various electric grid entities have reacted to it and how they are impacted by it. It appears that the primary motivation of the EPA in proposing the CPP was public responsibility (carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation). Evidence indicates that the EPA was not greatly concerned with the economic or reliability impacts of the plan. Such concerns were delegated to the states to work out. However, since the primary motivations of many of the other entities in the electric power market are economics and reliability, these conflicting considerations and whatever balance results will be important as the process moves forward. At the market level, consumers, equipment manufacturers, and fuel purveyors are reacting in conformance with the degree to which they will be impacted. Although the cost impacts are expected to be large, most consumers don’t yet understand that they will likely bear the large cost burdens because of the CPP. In addition, many are enamored




State Commissions/ City Governments Rural Utilities Service

with the manner in which the public responsibility aspects have been portrayed. Equipment manufacturers see retirements of coal units on the horizon with the concomitant need for replacement resources which may provide them opportunities. Those opportunities look even greater for manufacturers of wind and solar equipment. Fuel purveyors, particularly coal producers, have already suffered adverse impacts (bankruptcies, disappearing markets) with the availability and cost of natural gas due to hydraulic fracturing, and the CPP promises more adverse impacts. Most utilities see compliance with federal regulations as a given, regardless of the costs and/or reliability impacts that they and their customers will incur. This doesn’t mean, however, that utilities don’t protect their interests and the interests of their customers. This is the reason for many of the lawsuits that have been filed against enactment of the CPP. Utilities strive to balance economics, reliability and public responsibility. They may be driven by their regulators, though, to modify that balance. An

Government – Supreme Court


Electric Power Research Institute Cooperative Research Network Edison Electric Institute Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers North American Transmission Forum

IOU whose state regulatory commission is primarily motivated to produce power in a publicly responsible manner may be better able to recover the costs expected under the CPP, thus bringing value to its shareholders than an IOU that is pushing for a “better” balance with economics and reliability. Cooperatives are directly tied to their end users. For this reason, many joined the request to the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted in a stay of the CPP. Their testimony shared examples of harm which consumers would see as a result of the CPP. State public service commissions vary in their response to the CPP. This is largely based on the mix of resources and utilities located in their states and the resulting balancing that occurs of the three major goals. For some, the CPP worked to support their goals, particularly of moving in the direction of greater penetration of renewable resources. Some commissions appear to be willing to work aggressively to move in the direction of the CPP whether it is upheld or not. Others are more focused on local concerns and the economics and reliability of the

power supply within their states. Support groups have various positions. Research groups like EPRI promote new technology as it is their purpose for existence. Industry and utility trade groups support their members with those entities seeing significant cost and reliability impacts less likely to support moving forward with the CPP. NERC’s response to date of the CPP may be a result of deference to the FERC and the EPA or a result of its singular focus on reliability. The EPA did not seek guidance from NERC in formulating the CPP. Some stakeholders advocated for NERC to raise concerns about the potential hardships and difficulties the CPP would impose upon the power system. The response of NERC to the CPP was to accept it as a given and focus on its responsibility to ensure reliability. With the current stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the death of Justice Scalia, the biggest player impacting the direction of the CPP at this time is an entity completely outside of the electric power system whose primary driver is also completely different than the three goals enumerated. The courts focus is – “What does the constitution say?” Just as the cooperatives provided testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court emphasizing the economic harm expected to be caused by the CPP, whose voice should be raised describing the reliability impacts? Should and will NERC and the regional entities raise that voice or will they be silent?

Looking to the Future

A key point is that due to the major importance of power supply, any vision of the future will have to deal collectively with the economic, reliability and public responsibility concerns. An imbalance in just one area will lead to undesirable repercussions in the others. For example, focusing solely on the economics of the power system could lead to costly outages and unacceptable environmental impacts that both will result in unacceptably high costs. Temporary concerns with overly ambitious levels of

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reliability may raise costs sufficiently, such that, in leaner times, in order to get back to a more balanced supply, infrastructure and maintenance will be neglected to the net detriment of reliability. Strong economies are associated with increased environmental responsibility. A singular focus on environmental performance of the bulk power system may result in worse environmental damage as the economy is weakened. Furthermore, our modern bulk systems are extremely clean compared to most dispersed options. To the extent that bulk power is not economic and reliable, consumers will seek creative ways to pursue less desirable “energy” alternatives outside of the bulk power system. Whether the CPP is overturned on constitutional grounds or not, we will likely see continued pressures from the various relevant entities as they promote competing visions for the future. We need voices addressing economics, reliability and public responsibility to all speak up and be part of the dialogue. Only if the resulting voices are merged will we arrive at policies that provide for balance. As was the case for earlier rules and regulations affecting the electric

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QUICK TIP SUMMARY: power system, it is important for consumers’ voices to be heard around issues like the CPP. Elected officials need to be aware of the balance between the three goals and the tradeoffs that are required. Our form of government often seems like making sausage, but its value is that all voices are heard and considered in the process of developing legislation and regulations. A presidential election year, a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the actions of the states all will affect the trajectory of the CPP as we move through 2016. Our sincere wish is that all three goals will be considered through this process as a reasonable balance is struck.

The overall goals of the industry as a whole remain to ensure that the power delivered to consumers is 1) economic, 2) reliable, and 3) produced in a publicly responsible manner. Various entities in the industry differ in the way they weight these three goals and allow for tradeoffs between them. Most entities have other outside drivers as well. The challenge is for all of the involved entities to provide for a power system that provides a reasonable balance among the three goals. Today, environmental pressures and public involvement are significant and affect the ability of electric utilities to site and license generation and transmission. Much attention is currently focused on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) which may cause sweeping changes in the industry. Although the cost impacts are expected to be large, most consumers don’t yet understand that they will likely bear the large cost burdens because of the CPP.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Jill S. Tietjen, P.E.(left), the President and CEO of Technically Speaking, Inc., has spent 40 years as a planner and expert witness in the utility industry. She has served as President of RMEL and the RMEL Foundation. Tietjen is an Outside Director on the board of Georgia Transmission Corporation of Tucker, Georgia. She also serves as an Outside Director and Vice Chair of the board of Merrick & Company of Greenwood Village, Colorado. Tietjen is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Russ Schussler, P.E. (right), Vice President of System Planning for Georgia Transmission Corporation, has over 30 years’ experience in power system planning. Russ currently serves on the Planning Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation as well as the SERC Reliability Corporation Engineering Committee. Russ has a BSEE from The Ohio State University, a MSEE from the University of Southern California and is a registered professional Engineer.

ACTION: Whether the CPP is overturned on constitutional grounds or not, we will likely see continued pressures from the various relevant entities as they promote competing visions for the future. We need the voices of each of economics, reliability and public responsibility to speak up and be part of the dialogue. Only if the resulting voices are merged will we arrive at policies that provide for balance. A presidential election year, a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the actions of the states all will affect the trajectory of the CPP as we move through 2016.

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Continue the Discussion of These Best Practices and More with RMEL Sections As the utility business model continues to evolve, RMEL Sections are delivering programs, solutions and networking opportunities to help you take the guesswork out of these uncertain times. Visit and browse Section microsites and the event calendar. If you have topic suggestions for these sections, feel free to let us know at

The Management Section is a community of industry professionals dedicated to sharing, networking and solving all issues related to the management of assets, planning, operations and workforce of the utility industry, including corporatewide critical issues and topics that affect different management levels. Discussion may be technical but in general maintains perspective from a higher management level. This section includes demand-side management, energy efficiency and sustainability. This section also incorporates miscellaneous industry areas and fringe topics not covered in other sections.

The Generation Section is a community of industry professionals dedicated to sharing, networking and solutions of all issues related to energy production and supply in the utility industry, including planning and development. Topics covered include renewable generation.

The Transmission Section is a community of industry professionals dedicated to sharing, networking and solutions of all issues related to planning, engineering, operating and maintaining transmission facilities in the utility industry, including substations.

The Safety Section is a community of industry professionals dedicated to sharing, networking and solutions of all issues related to workplace safety at production, transmission and distribution, and management facilities in the utility industry.

The Distribution Section is a community of industry professionals dedicated to sharing, networking and solutions of all issues related to planning, engineering, operating and maintaining distribution facilities in the utility industry, including distributed generation.

YOUR MEMBER KNOWLEDGE BANK TOOLKIT Reach RMEL’s Network on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter RMEL’s trusted network is now accessible on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Join us by visiting and clicking the social network logos on the top right of the page. Take an In-Depth Look at Section Benefits RMEL has services and content focused on utilities’ top priorities that participants can attend year after year. The core events, electives, RMEL Course Catalog and roundtable events bring a fresh perspective to the RMEL educational experience in each section. ➔ Roundtables – Forums to discuss Your Priorities and Drive RMEL Content ➔ Core Events – Recurring Events Let You Plan Ahead ➔ Electives – New Events Dedicated to Critical Issues of the Day Remember you can also bring an RMEL workshop to your location or region. These are not scheduled events and are specifically designed to custom-fit your needs and timetable. Contact RMEL at (303) 865-5544 for more details. Use Electric Energy magazine to reintroduce yourself to RMEL education, and learn more about RMEL by visiting

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UTILITY BUSINESS MODEL The two most widely used Power Generation cost indicators, $/MW and $/MWh


~ 60


DESCRIPTIVE POWER 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

MW Capacity




DESCRIPTIVE POWER 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

MWh Produced

“ But our plant is different.

Under/overspending can be more precisely judged with EGC

Equivalent Generation Complexity (EGC™)


~ 94

DESCRIPTIVE POWER 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45

Cost Normalized w/EGC 40




you wasting “ Are resources?

You don't have to invest in new technology or hardware. Use the accounting and GADS reliability data you already have to see what you have overlooked in the past.

Risk Risk

Avg. Under Spending



Unreliability/ EFOR

Is cost-cutting a realistic “strategy for success?

If you don’t have a precise measure of cost/spending, how can you judge the relative trade-off between cost and the other two key issues of performance: commercial market opportunity and fuel conversion efficiency (Heat Rate)? Use data analytics to optimize your power generation assets; to re-allocate scarce human and financial resources, and to better manage market performance.



Opportunity Efficiency Expenditures

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tony Carrino joined Solomon Associates in 2003 as a Senior Consultant supporting asset optimization efforts for clients in North America, Latin America, and Europe. He has served as Manager - Solomon Power Studies since 2009. His broad experience in both domestic US and international power sectors includes over 35 years of experience in power generation operations and maintenance, asset management, and management consulting, including business and technical leadership roles.

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Member Listings 1

ABB, Inc.

50 City of Farmington

97 GE Power & Water


ABCO Industrial Sales, Inc.


98 Genscape, Inc.


ADA Carbon Solutions, LLC

52 City of Gallup Electric Department

99 Golder Associates, Inc.


ADA-ES, Inc.

53 City of Garden City

100 Grand Island Utilities

5 Advanced Electrical & Motor Controls, Inc.

54 City of Gillette

101 Grand Valley Rural Power Lines, Inc.

55 City of Glenwood Springs

102 Great Southwestern Construction, Inc.


56 City of Imperial

103 Greer CPW


Alexander Publications

57 City of Yuma


Altec Industries, Inc.

58 Cloud County Community College

104 Gunnison County Electric Association, Inc.


AMEC Foster Wheeler

59 Co-Mo Electric Cooperative

105 Hamilton Associates, Inc.

10 American Coal Council

60 Colorado Highlands Wind LLC

106 Hamon Research - Cottrell


American Public Power Association


107 Harris Group, Inc.


Andritz Inc. (APC Division)

62 Colorado Rural Electric Association

Colorado Powerline, Inc.

13 Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

63 Colorado Springs Utilities

14 Arizona Public Service

65 Commonwealth Associates, Inc.


Arkansas River Power Authority


Asplundh Tree Expert Co.


Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.

18 ATCO Emissions Management 19

Austin Energy

20 AZCO INC. 21

Babcock & Wilcox Company

22 Babcock Power, Inc.

64 Colorado State University 66 ComRent 67 Corporate Risk Solutions, Inc. 68 CPS Energy 69 CTC Global Corporation 70 Culture Change Consultants 71

D.C. Langley Energy Consulting, LLC

72 Delta Montrose Electric Assn.

23 Barton Malow Company

73 DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, LLC

24 Basin Electric Power Cooperative

74 E & T Equipment, LLC

25 Bear Valley Electric Service

75 E3 Consulting

26 Beckwith Electric

76 El Paso Electric Company

27 Beta Engineering

77 Electrical Consultants, Inc.

28 Black & Veatch Corp.

78 ElectroTech, Inc.

29 Black Hills Corporation

79 Emerson Network Power Electrical Reliability Services

30 Black Hills Electric Cooperative 31

Boilermakers Local #101

32 Boone Electric Cooperative 33 Border States Electric 34 Bowman Consulting Group 35 Brooks Manufacturing Company 36 Burns & McDonnell 37 Butler Public Power District 38 C.I.Agent Solutions 39 Carbon Power & Light, Inc. 40 Cargill Industrial Specialties 41 Casey Industrial, Inc. 42 CB&I 43 CDG Engineers, Inc. 44 Center Electric Light & Power System 45 Chimney Rock Public Power District 46 City Light & Power, Inc. 47 City of Alliance Electric Department 48 City of Aztec Electric Department 49 City of Cody


City of Fountain


108 Hartigan Power Equipment Company 109 HDR, Inc. 110 High Energy Inc. (HEI) 111 Highline Electric Assn. 112 Holy Cross Energy 113 Hubbell Power Systems 114 Hughes Brothers, Inc. 115 IBEW, Local Union 111 116 IEC Rocky Mountain 117 IMCORP 118 Incorporated County of Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities 119 Independence Power & Light 120 Intercounty Electric Coop Association 121 Intermountain Rural Electric Assn. 122 ION Consulting 123 Irby 124 Irwin Power Services

80 Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions

125 James Industries, Inc.

81 The Empire District Electric Company

127 Kansas City Power & Light

82 Empire Electric Association, Inc.

129 Kiewit Power

83 Encompass Energy Services LLC

130 Kit Carson Electric Cooperative

84 Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC

131 Kleinfelder

85 Energy Education Council

133 La Junta Municipal Utilities

86 Energy Providers Coalition for Education

134 La Plata Electric Association, Inc.

87 Energy Reps

136 Lamar Utilities Board

88 ESCÂ engineering 89 Evans, Lipka and Associates, Inc. 90 Evapco - BLCT Dry Cooling, Inc. 91

Exponential Engineering Company

92 Fairbanks Morse Engine 93 Finley Engineering Company, Inc. 94 Foothills Energy Services Inc. 95 Fort Collins Utilities 96 Fuel Tech, Inc.

126 Kansas City Board of Public Utilities 128 KD Johnson, Inc.

132 Klute Inc. Steel Fabrication

135 Lake Region Electric Coop Inc. 137 Laminated Wood Systems, Inc. 138 Lampson International LLC 139 Las Animas Municipal Light & Power 140 Lauren Engineers & Constructors 141 Leidos 142 Lewis Associates, Inc. 143 Lincoln Electric System 144 Llewellyn Consulting 145 Longmont Power & Communications

146 Loup River Public Power District

170 Northwest Rural Public Power District

194 Primary Energy

147 Loveland Water & Power 148 Luminate, LLC

171 Novinium

196 PSM (Power Systems Mfg., LLC)

149 Magna IV Engineering Inc.

172 NRG Reliability Solutions LLC

197 QuakeWrap, Inc.

150 Marsulex Environmental Technologies

173 Omaha Public Power District

198 Quanta Services

151 MasTec Power Corporation

174 Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

199 REC Associates

152 Merrick & Company

175 PacifiCorp

200 Reliability Management Group (RMG)

153 Midwest Energy, Inc.

201 Reliable Power Consultants, Inc.

154 Missouri River Energy Services

176 Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Assn.

155 Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc.

177 PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. 178 Peterson Co.

203 Safety One Training International, Inc.

156 Morgan County Rural Electric Assn.

179 PFES

204 San Isabel Electric Assn.

157 Morgan Schaffer Inc.

180 Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc.

205 San Marcos Electric Utility

158 Mountain Parks Electric, Inc.

181 Pipefitters Local Union #208

206 San Miguel Power Assn.

159 Mountain States Utility Sales

182 Platte River Power Authority

207 Sangre De Cristo Electric Assn.

160 Mountain View Electric Assn.

183 PNM Resources

208 Sargent & Lundy

161 Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC

184 Poudre Valley Rural Electric Assn.

209 Savage

162 NAES Corp.

185 Powder River Energy Corp.

210 Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

163 Navopache Electric Cooperative, Inc.

186 Power & Industrial Services Corp

211 Sega Inc.

187 Power Contracting, LLC

212 Sellon Engineering Inc.

164 Nebraska Public Power District

188 POWER Engineers, Inc.

213 Siemens Energy Inc.

165 NEI Electric Power Engineering, Inc.

189 Power Equipment Specialists, Inc.

214 Sierra Electric Cooperative, Inc.

166 New Mexico State University

190 Power Pole Inspections

215 Solomon Associates

167 Nooter/Eriksen, Inc.

191 Power Product Services

216 South Central PPD

168 Norris Public Power District

192 PowerQuip Corporation

217 Southeast Colorado Power Assn.

169 Northeast Community College

193 Preferred Sales Agency, Ltd

195 Provo City Power

202 RRC Power and Energy



SINCE 1912

Since 1912, Sturgeon Electric has been one of the region’s top specialty contractors providing quality electric utility construction including overhead and underground distribution, transmission, substations, service and maintenance and emergency restoration.

• • • • •

Feasibility Studies Siting & Permitting Power Plant Design Plant Upgrades & Retrofits Air Quality Control Systems

• Transmission & Distribution • Substations & Switchyards • Construction Management & Inspection Services • Owner’s Engineer

Connect with us: 800.878.6806 |



Photo Courtesy of Matanuska Electric Association

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218 Southeast Community College

240 Technically Speaking, Inc.

262 Victaulic

219 Southern Pioneer Electric Company

241 Tenaska Marketing Ventures

263 Wärtsilä North America, Inc.

220 Southwest Generation

242 Tetra Tech

264 Westar Energy

221 Southwest Public Power District

243 TIC - The Industrial Company

265 Western Area Power Administration

222 Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc.

244 Towill, Inc.

266 Western Industrial Contractors, Inc.

245 Trachte, Inc. Buildings & Shelters

223 Southwire Company

246 Trans American Power Products, Inc.

267 Western Line Constructors Chapter, Inc. NECA

224 Springfield Municipal Light & Power

247 TRC Engineers, Inc.

268 Westmark Partners LLC

225 SPX Transformer Solutions, Inc.

248 Trees Inc

269 Westwood Professional Services

226 SRP

249 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn.

270 Wheat Belt Public Power District

250 Trinidad Municipal Light & Power

272 Wheatland Rural Electric Assn.

228 Stanley Consultants, Inc.

251 TurbinePROS

273 White River Electric Assn., Inc.

229 Stantec Consulting

252 U.S. Water

274 Wichita State University

230 STEAG SCR-Tech, Inc.

253 UC Synergetic

231 Storm Technologies Inc.

254 Ulteig Engineers, Inc.

275 Wilson & Company, Engineers & Architects

232 Sturgeon Electric Co., Inc.

255 United Power, Inc.

276 Wyoming Municipal Power Agency

233 Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative

256 Universal Field Services, Inc.

277 Xcel Energy

257 University of Idaho Utility Executive Course College of Business and Economics

278 Y-W Electric Association, Inc.

258 UNS Energy Corporation

280 Zachry Group

227 St. George Energy Services Department

234 Sundt Construction 235 Sunflower Electric Power Corporation 236 Surveying And Mapping, LLC

259 Utility Telecom Consulting Group, Inc.

237 Switchgear Solutions, Inc. 238 System One

260 Valmont Newmark, Valmont Industries, Inc.

239 T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc.

261 Vanderbilt University

271 Wheatland Electric Cooperative

279 Yampa Valley Electric Association, Inc.




RMEL is a diverse community of utilities and service companies you’ll recognize. The association’s reach extends throughout the United States and internationally. RMEL’s community is comprised of companies and individuals that are leaders of the industry. Your RMEL member community is comprised of 300 electric energy organizations you know and respect. Everyone can work side by side in a cooperative manner to better the industry and improve service for utility customers. For more than 110 years, these key principles have proven successful and more importantly are tried and true methods for building strong business relationships. Everyone at your company is set up with a knowledge bank of contacts presentations created by thousands of RMEL participants – along with direct access to all RMEL members.

Log on to the Interactive e-Directory Visit to access the RMEL e-Directory, which is constantly updated to ensure you receive the latest information. The e-Directory provides a detailed network of members and contacts RMEL interacts with. Find RMEL Representatives (primary contacts) or Advocates (secondary contacts) at member companies, along with additional company contacts. Look up email addresses or phone numbers. Only members have access to the online directory.




Join executives and senior leaders in Summerlin, Nevada, for RMEL’s Fall Convention September 11-13th

2016 Calendar of Events AUGUST








Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention

Lone Tree, CO

Safety Roundtable August

Western Area Power Administration – Electric Power Training Center, Golden, CO

Summerlin, NV


2017 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference Planning Session

Distribution Engineers Workshop


Renewable Planning and Operations Conference Lone Tree, CO

Lone Tree, CO

Electric Energy Environmental Conference Lone Tree, CO


Safety Roundtable November Fort Collins, CO


Practical Applications of the 2017 NESC Workshop Lone Tree, CO

CONTINUING EDUCATION CERTIFICATES Continuing education certificates awarding Professional Development Hours are provided to attendees at all RMEL education events. Check the event brochure for details on the number of hours offered at each event.

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19 Inside Front Cover

(800) 222-1946

(770) 810-9698

Border States Electric


(701) 293-5834

Burns McDonnell


(816) 333-9400



(800) 542-8072

CTC Global


(949) 428-8500



(318) 448-0274

ERG Consulting



Great Southwestern Construction, Inc.

(203) 843-0600

(303) 688-5816

Back Cover

(913) 928-7000

Laminated Wood Systems, Inc.


(402) 643-4708

MasTec Power Corp


(303) 542-6960

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems


(908) 605-2800


Nebraska Public Power District


Northeast Community College


(402) 371-2020



(253) 395-0200



POWER Engineers


(208) 788-3456



(402) 761-8394

(303) 696-8446



Inside Back Cover

(402) 564-8561

(336) 789-2171

Stanley Consultants, Inc.


Sturgeon Electric Co. Inc.


(303) 286-8000

(303) 799-6806

T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc.


(800) 843-7994

Total Western


(562) 220-1450

Trees Inc.


(866) 865-9617



(877) 363-5702

Ulteig Engineers, Inc.


(877) 858-3449


Go from 4 MW to 66 MW, efficiently and reliably. Siemens gas turbines are energizing the smart power movement with a full portfolio of gas turbines.

©Siemens, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The world’s need for power isn’t just growing, it’s changing. Our comprehensive portfolio of industrial and aeroderivative gas turbines provides flexibility and choice for optimal power production. We offer models ranging from 5MW to 66MW, able to meet any application with the highest levels of efficiency and reliability. And, we’re setting the standard for service, with innovations like digital remote monitoring, that maximizes performance and ROI over the entire life cycle. From fast-start power plants that support the move to renewable energy, to efficient oil and gas transportation, to combined heat and power plants that ensure reliable energy where it’s most needed, more businesses are relying on Siemens to power their future. Discover how Siemens powers the world with innovative gas turbines.

Scan the QR code for a free download.

A name you can trust. As a long-time industry innovator, Kiewit has extensive experience in gas- and coal-fired, coal retrofit, power delivery, renewable energy and nuclear markets. From concept to commercialization, we offer clients a full suite of engineering, procurement, construction and start-up services. No job is too large or too small — we deliver world-class solutions to projects of every size. Kiewit Power Group Inc. 9401 Renner Boulevard Lenexa, KS 66219 (913) 928-7000


RMEL Electric Energy Issue 2 2016  

The Evolving Utility Business Model • The U.S. Power System: Past, Present, Future • SMUD's Customer Service Business Model • The Hybrid Sur...

RMEL Electric Energy Issue 2 2016  

The Evolving Utility Business Model • The U.S. Power System: Past, Present, Future • SMUD's Customer Service Business Model • The Hybrid Sur...