Learning from the Past; Navigating the Present; Shaping the Future
April 16, 2019 – Berkeley, CA
Thank you to everyone who made this Symposium a great success.
Full Slide Deck Now Available: CEDMC_SpringSymposium_Deck_Final_2019.04.15
The California Efficiency + Demand Management Council’s April 16, 2019, Spring Symposium focused on what we’ve learned in the past decade, where we are today and the significant issues that lie ahead. From our kick off panel on evolving customer expectations, to President Picker’s insightful thoughts, Commissioner McAllister’s & Commissioner Randolph’s commitment to energy efficiency, the redefining of “non-wires alternatives” as “Alternative T&D Services,” the importance of demand response baselining, and the pathways to achieving the state’s building decarbonization goals, the Symposium offered many lessons learned and ideas for creating a better future.
Here are some of the highlights from the panels:
- Utility Risk Part 1: The Changing Nature of Customer Expectations from their Energy Provider: Julie Rey (EMI), Michael Callahan (MCE), Tory Weber (SCE), Jennifer McWilliams (DNV GL) – Julie Rey, the panel’s moderator, began the discussion with an overview on the utilities’ focus on meeting changing customer needs in an environment in which they can choose providers, as well as on grid resiliency and safety. Michael Callahan described MCE’s energy efficiency platform, which has expanded to offer a suite of efficiency services. Tory Weber outlined why energy efficiency needs to evolve into a grid service and SCE’s approach to achieving that goal. Jennifer McWilliams presented on DNV-GL’s use of efficiency to reduce wildfire risks.
- Learning the Past: Ann McCormick (Willdan & CEDMC Board) – Tasked with covering the past, Ann McCormick provided a whirlwind look back at California’s energy policy history and the evolving role of Customer Choice through a 10-minute presentation. She highlighted the need to achieve California’s grid decarbonization and grid reliability goals while ensuring affordability and equity.
- Symposium Key Note: CPUC President Michael Picker – President Picker discussed the key roles of efficiency and demand management in climate protection, as decarbonization efforts shift focus away from energy supply, which is largely clean, and on to additional energy uses (particularly buildings and transportation). He encouraged “humanizing” Negawatts & Flexiwatts for customers, engaging them in the effort and making them feel part of the solution.
- Conversation on Meeting California’s Energy Efficiency Goals: CPUC Commissioner Liane Randolph (CPUC) & Energy Commissioner Anthony McAllister (CEC) – Commissioners Randolph & McAllister joined us for a round table discussion moderated by the Council’s own Arthur Haubenstock on California’s progress towards achieving its energy efficiency goals. The Commissioners committed their agencies to work more closely together and encouraged the industry to continue to develop new tools and business models. They also promoted an open door policy to resolve regulatory barriers to future success.
- Navigating the Present – Energy Efficiency: Nate Kinsey (CEDMC) – Nate Kinsey, who recently joined the Council as our Regulatory Affairs Manager, provided an entertaining update on California’s recent progress. He also discussed the barriers standing in the way to reclaiming California’s title as the nation’s efficiency leader.
- Deploying Efficiency & Demand Management to Meet Grid Needs: EE & DM as Non-Wires Alternatives: Jon Wellinghoff (Grid Policy, Inc.), Lorenzo Kristov (Principal, Electric System Policy, Structure, Market Design), Kristina Kelly (DNV GL), Kevin Kushman (Willdan), Brian Ott (Willdan), Greg Wikler (Navigant) – Jon Wellinghoff launched the panel by calling for a new name for Non-Wires Alternatives, to ensure efficiency, demand management, and other Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) receive comparable treatment and cost recovery to traditional “wires.” The panel landed on “Alternative Transmission & Distribution Services (ATDS)” as the new term, after discussion with the audience. Lorenzo Kristov’s high-level overview of the opportunities for efficiency and demand management to meet distribution and transmission needs was followed by case studies in New England, New York, and California, led by Kristina Kelly, Kevin Kushman, Brian Ott and Greg Wikler. Key concepts included the quick deployment of efficiency and demand management relative to “wires” alternatives, the need to leverage AMI data to target projects effectively, and the assessment process for these projects.
- Navigating the Present – Demand Response: Melanie Gillette (formerly CEDMC) – Melanie Gillette explained the winding road that Demand Response has followed in recent years, the series of roadblocks it faces currently, and some insights into the near term path forward.
- Demand Response: Time to Think Differently About Program Measurement: Olivia Patterson (Opinion Dynamics), Cynthia Austin (SMUD) , Jennifer Chamberlin (CPower), Jane Peters (Opinion Dynamics) – Olivia Patterson led an active discussion on thinking differently about demand management program measurement. Cynthia Austin described SMUD’s efforts to bridge demand response and distribution system teams, to make better use of different demand response types. Ensuring customer understanding and experience does not get lost while developing new demand response programs was Jane Peters’ advice to the industry. Jennifer Chamberlin shared her view on the most critical demand response applications in the future, including load curtailment, DER management, and flexibility.
- Pathways to Achieving California’s Building Decarbonization Goals: Steve Schiller (Schiller & Associates), Snuller Price (E3), Julia Levin (Bioenergy Association), Panama Bartholomy (Building Decarbonization Coalition), Amy Dryden (Build It Green) – In the final panel of the day, Steve Schiller moderated a slightly heated discussion on climate change, focusing on the critical topic of Building Decarbonization. Snuller Price highlighted E3’s research on deep decarbonization and the significant scale of work required to retrofit California’s building stock. Julie Levin advocated a focus on renewable natural gas and on minimizing short-lived climate pollutants. Panama Bartholomy provided a potential roadmap to the electrification of the building sector. Bringing the conversation back to practical implementation concerns, Amy Dryden discussed her experience with real projects in the field, and the importance of tackling aggregate buildings block-by-block rather than single buildings.
- Shaping the Future: Carmen Henrikson (TRC Companies, Inc. & CEDMC Board Chair) – Our Board Chair, Carmen Henrikson, closed out the Symposium with the day’s highlights and conclusions- and with a reminder of CEDMC’s Fall Conference & 10th Anniversary Celebration, where we will focus on creating a future that achieves our industry’s goals.
Please mark your calendars for Thursday, October 24th, for the Council’s Fall Conference. In keeping with this year’s theme of the past, present, and future, and in alignment with celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary, the conference will focus on defining the next decade of efficiency and demand management in California. We will look forward to seeing you there.