Click the Presentations tab to access presentations and notes from the 2016 E Source Forum.

The Forum brings together more than 400 representatives from utilities and other energy service providers as well as government representatives and others involved in improving and redefining how energy is delivered, purchased, and used. Next year’s Forum takes place September 12–15, 2017.

Building the Utility Brand Through Innovation

The answer to disruption is innovation. So how can utilities improve their status as innovators in an energy marketplace that’s booming with solar, connected homes, and smart controls? The answer is complex and cultural, but blending demand-side management, distributed energy resources, and customer experience provides the basis for creating new value for customers. We’ll explore how design thinking—a customer-centric approach that led to innovations as varied as the computer mouse and a world-class customer experience at the Mayo Clinic—can be applied to the utility sector.

Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source
Mary Powell, President and CEO, Green Mountain Power Corp.
Michael Shepard, Chairman, E Source

Amping Up Demand for Electric Vehicles

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After years of doing “back-end” activities like load profile studies, utilities are starting to focus on the “front-end” challenges of increasing consumer awareness and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Learn about replicable programs that have increased sales of EVs by five- to ten-fold in some markets and turned utility staff into enthusiastic EVangelists.

Cameron Freberg, Utility Strategist, Emerging Technologies & Electric Vehicles, Austin Energy
Ed Hamzawi, Director, Customer Solutions, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Bob Hughes, Specialty Products Manager, Georgia Power
Michael Shepard, Chairman, E Source
Will Toor, Director, Transportation Program, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

Follow the Leaders: CX Experts from Outside the Energy Industry

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Customer experience has been used as a differentiation tool in highly competitive markets. Come listen as CX experts from industries such as healthcare, telecommunications, consumer goods, and software share how they’ve used CX efforts to drive business results, inspire organizational change, and engage with customers.

Diane Magers, Vice President, Office of the Customer, AT&T
Lauren Smith, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, ClickFox
Arezou Zarafshan, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Bold Betties

Join the Smart Home Revolution!

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The field of home energy management continues to evolve and open up innovative new ways to manage energy use. We’ll discuss the latest developments in residential smart home devices and controls, look at ongoing utility research in this area, and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges facing utilities.

Sarah Howie, Business Line Lead, Marketing & Communications, E Source
Beth Karlin, Founder and CEO, SEE Change Institute
Essie Snell, Research Manager, Technology Assessment, E Source

Meeting or Exceeding Increasingly Aggressive DSM Goals

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Join us for an in-depth look at how some of the top-performing utilities have adopted innovative strategies for meeting exceedingly challenging DSM goals. We’ll explore at how three leading utilities have continually ratcheted up their DSM savings by developing new program types, making enhancements to well established programs, and leveraging creative marketing techniques.

Michael McAteer, Director, Strategic Business, Policy, and Evaluation for Rhode Island, National Grid
John Phelan, Resource Conservation Manager, City of Fort Collins
Jim Wontor, Manager, DSM Programs, APS

DSM Peer Sharing: Roundtables and Member Success Stories

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Looking for new ideas for your DSM portfolio or wondering about key industry trends? Come to this session and join a lively discussion with your peers about what works and what doesn’t. Pick from subjects such as prepay, demand response and smart thermostats, revenue-generating ideas, gas programs, evaluation and big data, solar, and climate change legislation. We’ll also host a grab-bag table for other hot topics. After the small group discussions, several utilities will share how they used E Source resources to solve real problems.

Finding Your Tech Tribe: Panel and Roundtable Discussions

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With so many exciting and fast-paced developments in energy-efficient technologies, it can be hard to keep up with changes in the industry. In this session, you’ll hear a panel of utility experts discuss the most pressing technology issues. After the panel portion, pick the topic you’re most passionate about and join a small group of your peers to brainstorm solutions to the biggest barriers facing your technology or trend.

Michael Bailey, Engineering Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
Edwin Hornquist, Emerging Technologies Program Manager, Southern California Edison
Ryan Kerr, Manager, Emerging Technologies, Gas Technology Institute
TJ Kirk,Associate Analyst, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Tom Lienhard, Chief Energy Efficiency Engineer, Avista Utilities
Susan Norris, Senior Manager, Energy-Efficiency Products, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Keeping Up with the Customers: How Utilities Are Rising to the CX Challenge

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Mobilizing an organization to improve its CX maturity can be a large task as competing priorities take time and financial resources. Come learn how practitioners are advancing CX efforts within their utilities and hear about the challenges the energy industry still faces. Take part in an interactive discussion around how to develop a CX culture, how to prioritize CX initiatives, and how to use data analytics to improve the customer experience.

Heather Hilgenkamp, Analyst, Market Research Services, E Source
Jennifer Montague, Director, Business Strategy and Technology, ComEd
Aleana Reeves, Practice Director, Customer Experience, E Source
Megan Scheller, Manager, Customer Experience, Xcel Energy
David Schoenberg, Director, Customer Experience, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Business Marketing Scavenger Hunt

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When developing a business-focused marketing campaign, it’s easy to design the program first and think of the customers last. In this session, we’ll flip the conventional model around and design marketing campaigns based on business customers in five different locations in downtown Denver. To design a customized campaign, you’ll talk to real business customers and interact in the spaces where they work on a daily basis. This scavenger hunt–style workshop will allow you to choose the campaign type, program focus, message, and creatives to fit the needs of customers in one of the fastest-growing cities in the US.

Demand-Response Portfolio Makeover

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Demand response, once dispatched only a handful of days each summer, has evolved to meet a whole new set of challenges. From residential smart thermostats to commercial and industrial storage applications, utilities have more options than ever before to shed critical load when and where they need it. We’ll hear how DR experts across the US are meeting these challenges. Whether you’re designing a new DR program or augmenting and expanding an existing one, you’ll walk away with real solutions.

Tyson Brown, Program Manager, Demand Response, KCP&L
Wendy Brummer, Program Manager, SmartAC, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Eric Davis, Specialist, Commercial Demand-Response Programs, Con Edison
Stuart Schare, Managing Director, Navigant

Gas Technologies Galore!

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There’s something for everyone in this session as we explore a wide range of gas efficiency technologies that are ripe for inclusion in your programs. We’ll look at gas-saving HVAC, water heating, and smart thermostat technologies, and to keep you on the edge of your seat, we’ll present a fast-paced, roundup-style selection of new technologies you may want to consider for future program offerings.

Michael Bailey, Engineering Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
Ryan Kerr, Manager, Emerging Technologies, Gas Technology Institute
Jim Kobialko, Innovative Technology Program Manager, FortisBC

Pump Up the Heat: Exciting Advances in Heat Pump Technology

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Heat pump technology continues to advance in efficiency and cold weather performance. We’ll discuss the latest developments in this market and explain how these technologies might be useful in your DSM programs.

David Podorson, Business Line Lead, Technology Assessment, E Source
Charlie Stephens, Senior Codes & Standards Engineer, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Jay Stein, Senior Fellow, E Source

Tales from Afar: Retail Strategies in Competitive Global Markets

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From the vantage of regulated markets, it can sometimes feel like retail energy providers in competitive markets exist in a parallel universe. Some of their strategies and campaigns for attracting and retaining customers are out of this world—in a good way! We’ll dive into examples from around the globe to help spark your creativity.

Sarah Howie, Business Line Lead, Marketing & Communications, E Source
Ari Sargent, CEO, Powershop

Voice-of-the-Customer Data: A User’s Manual

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Customers are providing all the feedback utilities need to make drastic improvements to their experience. But as customer data becomes more plentiful and available, analyzing it in a way that’s actionable becomes more challenging. Learn how utilities are transforming VOC data into insights that drive CX improvements.

Don Hodson, Manager, Customer Experience, Georgia Power
Oxana Humphreys, Marketing Research Manager, Southern Company

Harvesting the High-Hanging Fruit in Lighting: The Potential for LEDs, Networking, and Controls

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Commercial lighting programs have contributed significant energy savings toward utility DSM portfolio goals for years, but is this trend nearing an end? As building codes and standards lift the baseline, it’s getting tougher for commercial lighting projects to deliver expected savings numbers. To give you best practices and lessons learned, we’ve tapped into the wisdom of lighting program designers and implementers who are getting deeper savings by including advanced lighting technologies and design techniques.

David Alexander, Senior Program Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Lauren Morlino, Commercial Lighting Program Manager, Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
Liesel Whitney-Schulte, Program Manager, DesignLights Consortium, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

Keep Calm and Continue Evolving Your Trade Ally Relationships

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Trade allies can make or break your ability to deliver a positive customer experience and hit your energy-efficiency portfolio goals. Come to this session and hear how program administrators are keeping their trade ally relationships fresh and enhancing how they do business with these critical partners. We’ll outline the most effective ways to meet objectives (yours and theirs!) and highlight the results of an E Source trade ally survey of more than 40 partner programs.

Natalie Gray, Product Manager, Energy Efficiency, KCP&L
Andrea Hansen, Marketing & Communications Director, Focus on Energy
Katie Mueller, Regional Marketing Manager, West/Midwest, Franklin Energy Services
Janet Sebahar, Trade Ally Manager, Energy Efficiency, Nicor Gas

Transforming Utility Culture

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In today’s rapidly changing energy industry, utilities need to become more innovative and customer-centric, while still insisting on safety and reliability as non-negotiables. Flexibility and adaptability are the keys to this evolution, but stability and control are critical to survival. How can utilities balance these competing values and priorities to meet the needs of future customers and employees? In this session, you’ll learn a proven framework for culture change and hear a success story of utility transformation.

Greg Dudkin, President, PPL Electric Utilities
Martin Marquardt, President and Co-owner, Ephektiv

Understand, Find, and Engage Your Customers with Segmentation

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Organizations now have access to impressive volumes of information about their customers, including usage behavior, demographic or firmographic data, building profiles, and past program participation data. Utilities can even purchase and append third-party data to enhance their knowledge of their customer base. The trick is knowing how to use this data to engage customers and break through the clutter of information that people are bombarded with every day. In this session, you’ll hear how utilities have optimized their marketing and outreach efforts using customer segmentation.

Michael Authier, Energy Services Engineer, Fort Collins Utilities
Rachel Cooper, Lead Analyst, Market Research Services, E Source
Kim DeVoe, Energy Services Engineer, Fort Collins Utilities
Kamila Forrest, Market Research Manager, Con Edison
Mike Marshall, Manager, Residential Marketing, Duke Energy

Customer-Centric C&I Programs: Increasing Engagement and Satisfaction with Next-Level Program Design

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Utility programs of the past focused on widgets—devices that could save energy in commercial and industrial buildings. Programs of the future will focus on creating stronger relationships with more-engaged customers. Come find out how leading utilities are accomplishing this right now.

Richard Tonielli, Senior Energy-Efficiency Program Manager, ComEd
Sam Walker, Senior Commercial Project Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
Jason Walter, Strategic Marketing Expert, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Hands-on CSM: Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Residential Participation and Satisfaction

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How can we apply leading behavioral strategies to far more than just home energy reports? During this interactive workshop, experts will introduce successful strategies for Customer-Side Management™ (CSM) before giving you the opportunity to work with your peers to improve existing programs by applying these techniques. We’ll focus on program design, marketing, and customer experience in cross-departmental teams.

Anne Dougherty, Founding Advisor and Co-owner, Illume Advising LLC
Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source

Leveraging Customer-Facing Channels to Support an Omnichannel Strategy

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Utilities are moving into an omnichannel world, and they’re facing some important CX decisions. In this session, we’ll present key findings from the E Source Omnichannel Survey and hear how companies outside the energy industry are implementing an omnichannel strategy.

Jeffrey Daigle, Senior Analyst, Customer Experience, E Source

Managing IVR Containment While Maintaining Customer Satisfaction

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The interactive voice response system (IVR) ranks lowest among all channels for first-contact resolution. According to E Source market research data, customers most often prefer to reach a live agent, skipping the IVR altogether. With the goal of boosting customer satisfaction, we’ll provide practical takeaways for enhancing self-service within your IVR instead of requiring customers to switch to other, more-costly channels.

Yolanda France, Director, Customer Contact Operations, SRP
Sarah Hutson, Senior Analyst, Market Research Services, E Source

Optimizing the Utility Digital Experience

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More and more, customers are turning to the website first over other contact channels, so how can you leverage the Web to get to know your customers and communicate with them? From a utility professional, we’ll hear tips, tactics, and best practices for capturing customer data via the website and creating a personalized experience.

Haley Kaiser, Analyst, Market Research Services, E Source
Brandy Spainhoward, Manager, Marketing, Vectren Corp.

Performance-Based Procurement for New Construction: Tour NREL’s RSF Building and Learn How It’s Done

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Performance-based procurement places a building’s targeted energy use (kBtu per square foot per year) front and center in the design and construction process. It may seem unusual, but the results are impressive, the project costs for both the utility and the customer are within reason, and the process is easily implemented by utility program staff. We’ll start with a tour of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Research Support Facility (NREL’s RSF)—probably the most famous example of performance-based procurement in the US—then discuss what it takes for new construction programs to adopt this process. We’ll hear from the engineer who helped design the RSF, a utility program manager who is using the process, and an implementer who has developed a strategy to streamline project management tasks. This extended session includes transportation. Space is limited; preregistration required.

Jean Ascoli, Senior Energy-Efficiency Program Manager, ComEd
Claire Cowan, Director, Program Design and Delivery, Seventhwave
Mary Horsey, Practice Director, Technology Assessment, E Source
Adam McMillan, Director, Energy Consulting, Seventhwave
Shanti Ples, Senior Research Engineer, Commercial Buildings Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Tim Stout, Senior Fellow, E Source

Lightning Round: Innovative DSM Programs

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Discover which DSM pilots and programs (submitted by utilities from across the US and Canada as their most creative DSM initiatives) elicited the most oohs and aahs from E Source staff. From new incentive structures and creative delivery strategies to up-and-coming measures that promise to deliver huge savings, these innovative programs and pilots will be sure to spark new ideas for your DSM portfolio.

Maria Arias, Program Manager, Comprehensive Foodservice Program, Sempra Energy
April Currey, Manager, Customer Insights & Acquisition, PowerStream Inc.
Kim DeVoe, Energy Services Engineer, Fort Collins Utilities
Marti Frank, Principal, Evaluation + Strategy for Social Innovation
Rachael Fredericks, Multifamily Program Manager, PSE&G
Tami Gunderzik, Product Manager, Xcel Energy
Lee Hamilton, Associate Product Developer, Xcel Energy
Ellen Lutz, President, Founder, and CEO, Clean Markets
Mernaz Malozewski, Manager, Conservation Demand Management, Hydro One
Sam Walker, Senior Commercial Project Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon

Making Friends: Social Media’s Critical Role in Brand Management

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Is your social media team feeling the heat? Thanks to storms, high bills, and trolls, utilities face more than their fair share of communications and customer service challenges on social media. However, unlike many other channels, social media offers utilities an opportunity to engage with customers on a human level. So what are some effective strategies you can use to shape a more positive dialogue on social media? And how can you use this channel to improve the customer experience, instill trust, and build brand loyalty? Our panel of utility social media experts will share their insights on what makes certain content engaging, the platforms of the future, and ways to actively manage your brand through the good times and the bad.

Luke Currin, Analyst, Marketing & Communications, E Source
Eric Isaacson, Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Colorado Springs Utilities
Emily Johnson, Manager, Emerging Digital Channels, National Grid
Jenn Mesenbrink, Manager, eChannels, ComEd
Jonathon Tudor, Public Information Officer and Social Media Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Shark Pond: Demand-Response Edition

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Ever wonder how your peers decide which new technologies are ready to be incorporated into program portfolios and which need more time to develop? In this interactive session, entrepreneurs will present their latest DR innovations to a panel of techies and program managers. The panelists, in a format similar to the TV show Shark Tank, will then critique the presenters on their readiness for full-scale program implementation. Will a new technology star be discovered? Come find out!

Robert Chiste, Chairman, President, and CEO, Encycle
Wayne Greenberg, CEO, E Source
Brian Kirchman, New Product Program Manager, ComEd
Mark Martinez, Senior Program Manager, Southern California Edison
Bill Richardson, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Rainforest Automation
Jay Stein, Senior Fellow, E Source
Kate Zeng, Technology Planning & Analysis Manager, Sempra Energy Utilities

Designing Rates and Communications for Solar and Beyond: Why This Issue Is So Important

What’s one of the most important issues facing the utilities today? It’s not what you think. This thought-provoking session will dive into detailed consumer research on customer preferences for fixed charges, demand charges, net metering, and solar subsidies to challenge your assumptions about solar and, as a result, your communication approaches. Be prepared to explore the space where current and future customer adoption of solar, distributed energy resources, and energy efficiency meets utilities, vendors, and customer psychology.

Matthew Burks, Vice President, Strategy & New Products, E Source
Tanuj Deora, Chief Strategy Officer, Smart Electric Power Alliance
Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source
Adam Maxwell, Director, Strategy & New Products, E Source
Alanya Schofield, Senior Director, Strategy & New Products, E Source