Business Fundamentals for Engineers & Utility Personnel

Business Fundamentals for Engineers & Utility Personnel

February 8, 2022 | Online :: Central Time

“Brent was an excellent instructor! He kept everyone engaged and was very knowledgeable!” –Utilities Examiner, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

“Highly energetic and knowledgeable. Always providing real world experiences and examples is a plus!” – Principal Engineer, Salt River Project

“Brent’s instruction style made it very easy to grasp all the comments. It was very conversational, and he shared lots of great analogies and stories to make all the content relatable.” –Supervising Engineer, ATCO Electricity

Supplement your current expertise with critical insight into wider business concepts and skills to accelerate your career and help develop the management skills needed to lead your industry. This course will provide the opportunity to analyze and appreciate the global perspective of your work in a different way and understand today’s changing and complex utility business environment. It will give you a competitive edge that expands your insight and understanding of today’s utility business:

  • Identify the implications of emerging technology on electric utility business operations
  • Apply theories learned in this course to solve real day to day problems
  • Understand the existing and evolving business structures and the regulatory environment of utilities
  • Practice organizational management tools such as leadings teams and controlling projects

After this course you will walk away with a greater understanding of the inner workings of a utility business and the many new external factors acting upon it. You will become more proficient with utility finance, economics, marketing, project management, organizational leadership, and human resource management skills. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and review the basics of accounting and finance related to utilities
  • Discuss utility markets and economics
  • Review the basics of marketing and how it applies to the utility industry
  • Discuss project management steps and how methodology can improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while lowering prices and defects
  • Identify strategies to be a successful leader
  • Discuss how to effectively categorize, plan, and create effective meetings and agendas



    Tuesday, February 8, 2022 : Central Time

    8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
    Log In

    12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
    Lunch Break

    9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Course Timing

    Utility Finance & Accounting

    • What is an integrated resource plan?
    • The difference between rate base, rate case, and rates
    • What is a Public Utility Commissions and a rate case process?
    • The regulating entities governing a utility company
    • What is unique about how utilities make money?
    • Where does the money come from when a utility invests in an asset?
    • How do utilities earn money using the rate making formula?
    • Difference between an above the line and below the line cost
    • What costs are recovered in rates and which by shareholders?
    • Why utilities are so risk averse
    • Difference between Capital (Asset) and O&M (Expense)
    • How depreciation of capital assets work
    • Accelerated depreciation
    • Decoupling
    • Understanding the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cashflows
    • Describe the primary forms of a business organization
    • Understanding financial statements, their purposes, and uses
    • Primary forms of financing activities
    • How to find the most common questions about a business from the financial statements
    • Debt to total asset ratio
    • Gross profit rate
    • What is the current ratio?
    • Stranded assets


    • Different energy markets and how they balance a demand curve
    • Responsibilities of a balancing authority
    • How are utilities natural monopolies?
    • Pros and cons of a monopoly
    • Deregulation and what it means for you
    • Differences between Investor Owned Utilities, Municipalities, Cooperatives, and Community Choice Aggregates
    • Benefits and negative aspects of being a vertically integrated utility
    • How upcoming disruptive business models and technologies are changing the traditional model of a utility
    • What utilities should invest in now to stay relevant


    • How to conduct market research and why it’s important
    • The only marketing strategy you will ever need: R (Research) + STP (Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning) + PM (Product Mix) + I (Implementation) + C (Control)
    • How to use the Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning technique for a focused effort
    • How to use the Product Mix to get the right combination of Product, Place, Promotion, and Price
    • Inside-out vs outside-in products
    • How to determine what your next product should be
    • Difference between Customers, Evaluators, and Potentials
    • Disruptive innovation examples in the electric utility industry
    • Using marketecture and architecture

    Project Management

    • How to succeed at each step of a project
    • Initiate, plan, execute, document, monitor/control, and close
    • Identifying project, activity, and complexity risks
    • Risk mitigation tools and strategies
    • Conducting first-rate kick off meetings
    • Preparing a Work Breakdown Structure
    • Find and manage the critical path
    • Balancing priorities between scope, schedule, and budget
    • How to avoid the most common causes of project failure
    • Incorporating the qualities of a successful project manager
    • How LEAN methodology can improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while lowering prices and defects
    • How LEAN applies to such a regulated environment
    • How to identify and eliminate waste
    • How to identify and focus on value added activities


    • How to categorize a meeting type and manage them differently
    • Alternatives to meetings
    • How to prepare for a meeting to increase efficiency
    • How to create an effective agenda
    • Who to invite
    • How to effectively use roles during a meeting
    • Types of people in meetings and how to direct each


    Brent Olsen, President, 3 Phase Consulting

    Brent has 20+ years of experience working for large electric utility industries including Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Portland General Electric. He has worked in distribution, transmission, and generation engineering and is currently a Project Manager for Portland General Electrics Specialized Energy Operations where he manages the installation of generation facilities, microgrids, and various research and development projects. He leads a user group of utility professionals at Portland General Electric who discuss business and technological changes in the electric utilities industry. 

    Brent is an electrical engineer specializing in utility power systems with a masters in Energy Policy and Management and an MBA.  He is also a PMP and is the two-time winner of Portland General Electric’s Project Manager and Project of the Year award. 

    Online Delivery

    We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

    • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
    • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
    • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
      • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
    • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
    • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


    Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

    If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

    Event Standard RateAttendees
    Single Seat - Business Fundamentals for Engineers & Utility PersonnelUS $ 795.00
    Pack of 5 SeatsUS $ 3,180.00
    Pack of 10 SeatsUS $ 5,065.00
    Pack of 20 SeatsUS $ 9,540.00
    Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
    * all other discounts do not apply to seat packs

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    Cancellation Policy

    Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before January 07, 2022 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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    EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

    EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.7 CEUs for this course.

    Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

    Participants must log in and be in attendance for the entirety of the course, and complete an assessment to be eligible for continuing education credit.

    Instructional Methods

    PowerPoint presentations, discussion, and case studies will be used in this program.

    Who Should Attend

    • Utility professionals and engineers who would like to round out their current skill set with more advanced business knowledge, critical insights, and a marketable skill set
    • Utility professionals and engineers who are interested in transitioning to a leadership role
    • Utility professionals and engineers who want to enhance their ability to collaborate and communicate effectively at a senior level
    • Utility professionals and engineers who are new to the utility industry
    • Utility professionals and engineers who are interested in project management, finance, marketing, human resource, or another career path in a utility company

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