Tom Lienhard retired from Avista Utilities in 2021 as an efficiency engineer after more than 25 years with the utility. Before starting at Avista in 1996, Tom oversaw project management and facilities in the healthcare sector. Tom’s decade of experience working as an administrator in the management of significant utility accounts as a customer gave him a good understanding of how utilities can better assist their customers. His expertise as a mechanical engineer and experience with facilities management have given Tom a unique understanding of customers’ needs related to metering, distributed generation, and energy usage.

Tom has participated in numerous symposiums and workshops, including those organized by the Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Public Power Association, Northwest Building Operators Association, Idaho Department of Water Resources, Rebuild America, US Department of Energy, E Source, and others. He has also spoken at and moderated panels at these events.

Tom is a proponent of renewable distributed power while also advocating for a logical and economic transition to a renewable future. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Washington State University and a utility management certificate from Willamette University.

Content by this author

How to communicate to customers about wildfire risk and prevention

Liza Minor, Tom Lienhard
March 7, 2024

Learn how you can improve customer experience and reduce wildfire risk by openly communicating with your customers about your utility’s wildfire safety plans. Show customers what you’re doing to prevent fires and empower customers to do their own wildfire mitigation and preparation.

So you want to work in demand-side management: Your role in energy efficiency

Tom Lienhard
December 12, 2023

So, you accepted a job on a demand-side management team! Congratulations! On behalf of everyone in the field, I’m thrilled to extend a warm welcome to you as the newest member of our corner of the industry. What can you expect? Here’s some advice.

Customers always come first: Why it’s important for utilities to fund and deliver DSM programs

Barend Dronkers, Tom Lienhard
April 4, 2023

Demand-side management (DSM) programs are one of the best things utility customers get from their utility. We sat down with Tom Lienhard, E Source executive consultant, for an exclusive interview about DSM programs and what utilities should be doing to keep them moving forward to benefit customers.

Utilities already know how to promote new electrification technologies

Tom Lienhard
March 1, 2023

The burden to educate customers and remove barriers to new technology adoption falls heavily on utilities. In this guest blog post, Tom Leinhard explores a few setbacks of early technologies from the past that can help us more effectively implement new electrification initiatives today.