This is your opportunity to share your experiences collaborating with other utilities and other departments within your own utility to achieve greater impacts in residential, commercial and industrial end-use applications through a customer-oriented approach.
The event will explore case study best practices and lessons learned about customer-facing programs related to energy (gas and water) efficiency, strategy, issues and integration with renewable energy, demand response and more.
Special consideration will be given to presentations that highlight:
Consumer engagement and unifying messages
Gas, electric and/or water utility programs cooperating across departments or service territories to improve the customer experience
New energy-efficiency and demand management technology, storage and electric vehicles
Energy-efficiency and renewables programs collaborating with local and regional efforts on carbon action or greenhouse gas goals
Strategic on-site energy and distribution system management
The conference provides general and breakout session interaction as well as networking opportunities. Proposed presentation formats may include:
General or breakout sessions up to 20 minutes long with Q&A
Snapshot panel talks of up to five minutes
Poster discussions during the Wednesday evening reception
Friday morning workshops or round table discussions two to four hours in length
The Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange is an intimate forum for networking and professional development that takes place at Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colorado. Around 150 utility and government organization staff and trade allies attend, giving everyone the chance to learn about utility customer programs and services, and products to support them. This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 19-21.
For professionals who have not previously attended the RMUE, a limited number of scholarships are available. See the FAQ sheet for details and to download an application.
Evergreen issues like customer engagement, quality assurance and program evaluation appeared alongside newer issues like electric vehicles, energy storage and smart buildings. If a theme ran through the event it was that utilities must look forward and plan for what is coming next. The industry must grapple with changing demographics, technologies that are altering the customer-utility dynamic and maturing strategies and policies that make energy and cost savings goals harder to reach.
If these issues ring a bell, browse the RMUEE presentations to learn more about how your colleagues are preparing for the future. Then you can save the date of Sept. 19-21, 2018, to join them in person at the 12th annual Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange.
Sign up to receive notices of upcoming events, including the Call for Presenters for the 12th RMUEE in January 2018.
The location and dates for the 38th Utility Energy Forum (UEF) will be set in the coming weeks, so watch for an announcement soon. We hope you will save the date and plan to join your colleagues—and your WAPA Energy Services representatives—for three days of learning, networking and professional development.
Next year’s event may even sweeten the deal for busy utility employees with a limited travel budget. The UEF planning committee is considering offering training opportunities in conjunction with the annual Forum as a separate event. The training would take place on Tuesday afternoon before the Forum begins on Wednesday and would be open to Forum attendees for an additional fee.
Please take a moment to complete a brief surveyto tell the committee if this is of interest to you. If there is enough interest, there will be a pilot program at the 2018 event.
If the rapid pace of change in the utility industry has become almost a clichéd topic, it is because trying to assess and manage it is a constant challenge across large, small, investor-owned and public power providers alike. So don’t expect attendees at the 37th annual Utility Energy Forum to run out of things to say about this year’s theme, “Change is the Only Constant – Customers, Policy and Technology.”
Packed agenda Over three days, utility managers and marketers, customer service professionals, program developers, facility managers and industry allies will tackle that theme from many perspectives. The agenda covers the broad categories of policy, strategic planning, technology, customer programs and workforce development.
The opening keynote by Seth Kiner, managing director at Charlotte Street Advisors, delves into the many shifts underway in the industry and what they mean for utilities, policy makers and electricity customers. Kiner will also explore how energy providers are evolving to meet the needs of consumers, regulators and stakeholders.
Sessions will explore topics such as electric vehicles, building retro-commissioning, window coverings and partnering with specific market segments. As always, WAPA customers play a prominent role in hosting panels and presenting. Roseville Electric will discuss its revamped residential new construction program, formerly known as Best Home. Burbank Water and Power will explain how teaming up with a gas utility encouraged conservation of water, electricity and gas, all at the same time. Sacramento Municipal Utility District will talk about the Coalition for Home Electronics Energy Reduction, a collaborative effort to cut U.S. home entertainment energy consumption by 10 terawatt-hours annually by 2020.
Speaking of utilities, you won’t want to miss the Pre-Forum Workshop, for power providers and government representatives only. Registrants took a survey and voted on the questions they most wanted to address in this year’s roundtable discussion. The top questions are:
What is the value of energy storage for customers, utilities and the grid?
What beyond-the-meter services is your utility considering?
What hurdles are your utility encountering with integrating and managing more energy efficiency in your resource mix?
Make new friends, partners In addition to the sessions, the forum offers many opportunities for attendees to compare notes, brainstorm, ask each other questions and come up with new answers together.
The Utility Stand-up Challenge is a fast-moving poster session during which attendees can visit up to six storyboards detailing utility-sponsored energy programs or research. Storyboard presenters have up to five minutes (seven with Q&A) to share their program’s goals, successes and lessons learned. A bell rings, attendees choose another storyboard and the clock starts again.
Networking breaks, receptions and meals provide more chances to mingle and chat. The ever-popular “Any Port in a Storm” wine tasting event will be back on Thursday night.
Different venue, same high quality In keeping with the theme of change this year, the UEF is moving to a new home at the Hilton Sonoma in Santa Rosa, California. The hotel is located in the heart of the California wine country, near historic locations.
The nearest airport is the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, just three miles from the hotel. The largest airports are San Francisco International Airport and the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, both 65 miles away. The Sonoma County Airport Express provides scheduled shuttle service between San Francisco or Oakland airports to the Sonoma County Airport for $34 each way. You can use a taxi, Uber or Lyft to get to the hotel from the Sonoma County Airport.
Register today! One of the great things about the Utility Energy Forum that hasn’t changed is its all-inclusive registration fee. You get all your meals and two nights in a standard room for one price. There is an add-on fee for additional nights if you decide to stick around for the weekend and enjoy wine country.
There are also opportunities to get your name in front of your colleagues through sponsorship, event hosting and exhibiting. Several packages come with multiple conference registrations, so they are a good value if your organization plans on sending more than one representative.
Another thing that has stayed the same about the Utility Energy Forum is that representatives from WAPA’s Energy Services will be attending. We look forward every year to meeting our customers in person, and we hope to see you there.
WAPA customers are known for creating initiatives worth imitating, and we would like you to share yours for the 11th Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange(RMUEE). Proposals for sessions are due Feb. 27, and the Advisory Committee is particularly interested in topics from utilities and government agencies addressing this year’s theme, “Initiatives Worth Imitating.”
Power providers are taking residential, commercial and industrial programs to a whole new level using imagination to create new offerings, innovation to improve existing programs and integration to break down the silos of thinking. Your successes should be on the agenda when more than 100 utility and government representatives and trade allies meet in Aspen, Colorado, Sept. 27-29.
Conference attendees will be exploring case study best practices and lessons learned about programs related to energy and water efficiency issues and integration with renewable energy, demand response and key account customer management. Special consideration will be given to suggestions for sessions that address:
New energy-efficiency and demand-management technology
Strategic onsite energy and distribution system management
Workforce culture and program staffing challenges
Indoor growers and other commercial customer segments at the water/energy nexus
Electric vehicle charging, energy storage and other new end-use applications
You may choose a format for your presentation from several options:
General or breakout sessions up to 20 minutes in length with Q&A
Snapshot panel talks up to five minutes in length
Poster discussions during the Wednesday evening reception
Workshops or Roundtable Discussions two to four hours in length (for Friday morning)
There is also more than one way to participate. If you have never attended the RMUEE and don’t yet have a program to share, you could be eligible for one of a limited number of scholarships. Or maybe you would like to sponsor the event, a great way to promote your organization. Learn more about these options from the FAQ sheet.
Whatever your level of participation in the RMUEE, you will enjoy an outstanding learning and networking experience in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to sharing. You may even turn this year’s inspiration into next year’s “boffo” presentation.
Our mission in Energy Services is to keep WAPA customers informed about tools and technologies that help you with resource planning. Now, for those who would like to know more about how WAPA works and why, we offer two online resources: The Source and The Customer Circuit.
Launched in spring of this year, The Source is a one-stop online shop for operational data and financial information about WAPA. Western Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel explained, “We recognize people’s desire to have information at their fingertips. With that in mind, we created this site for stakeholders and the public to quickly find the information they need. When our customers have requests, we are well positioned to deliver.”
Nearly all the information is already available throughout Western’s primary website. The Source, however, provides one convenient location for visitors to find WAPA’s annual reports, budget allocation, presentations and speeches, regional rates and a searchable index of WAPA’s power systems called “By the Numbers.”
The Customer Circuit is a quarterly newsletter that provides customers with information about WAPA’s operations, programs, budget and initiatives. Each issue explores a specific theme; the most recent issue includes a story about how WAPA’s Washington, D.C., Liaison Office works with other federal agencies. The winter issue covered the state of WAPA’s assets including regional offices, hydrology conditions, transmission, security and cyber assets. Customers and other visitors can download the Customer Circuit, including past issues, on The Source.
The Source and Customer Circuit, like WAPA’s website redesign project, are all part of the same effort to enhance and expand transparency and to improve our website functionality. We encourage customers to visit the WAPA website and take the redesign survey. If you would like to have more input in how WAPA shares information with its customers, contact Public Affairs at 720-962-7050, to volunteer for remote user testing.
Chief Public Affairs Officer Teresa Waugh said, “Our goal is to present relevant and timely information in the clearest, most efficient way possible.”
If you were unable to attend the 36th annual Utility Energy Forum at Lake Tahoe, California, you can find out what everyone was talking about. Download presentations from industry experts, researchers, decision makers and, most importantly, your peers. Utility business models, smart technology, distributed energy resources and customer programs were among the topics attendees discussed.
Of course, studying the presentations won’t be the same as joining other utility program managers and energy services and marketing professionals to share your challenges and successes, but there is always next year. There is also the Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange in Aspen, Colorado, Sept. 28-30.
The event was a great success with 150 of your colleagues sharing stories of customer program successes and challenges. We hope you will find ideas, solutions and inspirations in the presentations—especially the inspiration to join us in Aspen next year for the 10th RMUEE!
Now you can revisit the presentations to pick up some tips for your own programs, or find out what you missed if you were unable to join us. You can also learn more about the UEF sponsors and exhibitors.
Attendees who didn’t fill out the paper survey at the forum can still complete an online survey. Your two cents worth helps the planning committee make the UEF better each year.
It was a great event, with utilities showing off the progress their energy-efficiency programs have made in four years. We hope you enjoyed the coverage, and we hope to see you in Aspen next years at the fifth annual CUE.