Introduction to Utility Profitability

Introduction to Utility Profitability

May 10, 2024 | Online :: Central Time

“Brent was great. He was informative and funny. I thought I would have a difficult time with the virtual format, but Brent made the class fun and engaging.” – Regional Business Manager, Schweitzer Engineering Labs

“Brent had a good way of explaining the financial topics to non-financial people which is exactly what I was looking for.” – Account Manager, FM Global

“1-day training seemed like 2-hour training! Positive engagement made training go fast.” – Business Analyst, Tucson Electric Power

“Brent is the best instructor I have had of all the EUCI courses I’ve taken. Brent sets a new bar!” – British Columbia Utilities Commission

“Brent did a great job of keeping the course interesting and staying on topic. I would recommend this course and instructor to colleagues.” – Salt River Project

“Brent was great, did an awesome job going through material in an interesting way, and answered all questions honestly.” – Consumers Energy

“He was an engaging speaker and did a great job keeping me interested in the presentation.” – NV Energy

“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

The Introduction to Utility Profitability course will help attendees gain an appreciation for how utilities make money, manage assets, and financially operate. This interactive event will tackle the fundamentals of important finance, accounting, regulation, and billing concepts that all electric utility personnel should know, along with how business models have developed.  

The agenda will kick off with a quick review of the electric utility model, then jump into details such as capital assets, O&M expenses, depreciation, rates, risks, balancing and trading, and more. Participants will have the opportunity throughout the program to discuss monetary concepts, unique methods that result in profitability, and how to respond financially to natural disasters and other emergencies. Everyone is also encouraged to come prepared with questions, discussion points, and personal challenges they may have faced in the past.

Learning Outcomes  

  • Review what is unique about how utilities make money, manage assets, and financially operate
  • Compare and contrast the different organization models such as IOU, Muni, Co-op and Public, and explore the specific financial distinctions and responsibilities of each
  • Examine how to differentiate between Capital Assets and O&M Expenses, depreciation and accelerated depreciation, rates, rate case and rate base, etc.
  • Discuss the economic implications of vertical integration, deregulation, and decoupling
  • Discuss stranded assets and how upcoming disruptive technologies and business models are changing the traditional model of a utility
  • Analyze how utilities budget for and financially respond to natural disasters and other emergencies
  • Decipher an electric bill, calculate the cost, and identify areas to save money
  • Explore how financial resources are secured when a utility needs to invest in a capital asset
  • Recognize why utilities are so risk adverse and learn methods to mitigate risk
  • Discuss the complexities of balancing and trading energy—how do different energy markets such as long-term, day-ahead and real-time balance a balancing authorities demand curve?


Friday, May 10, 2024 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Course Timing


History and Evolution of the Electric Utility Model

  • How early privately owned local generation evolved into “the grid”
  • How the “war of the currents” in the early 1900s developed the technology and financial model that largely remains in place today
  • Benefits of electrical energy compared to the competition of alternative fuel sources and why it was adopted so quickly
  • How the grid operates and is separated into generation, transmission, and distribution
  • What does it mean to be vertically integrated?
  • What is deregulation?
  • How are utilities natural monopolies?

Utility Finance & Accounting

  • What is unique about how utilities make money?
  • How do utilities earn money using the ratemaking formula?
  • When a utility invests in an asset where does that money come from?
  • What are the primary forms of financing activities?
  • Which costs are recovered in rates and which by shareholders?
  • What is the difference between an above-the-line and below-the-line cost?
  • Difference between Capital (Asset) and O&M (Expense)
  • How does depreciation of capital assets work?
  • What is accelerated depreciation?
  • What are stranded assets?
  • Why are utilities so risk averse?
  • How do utilities financially prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies?
  • What is decoupling?


  • How does a Public Utility Commission use a Rate Case process to set rates?
  • What are the financial regulating entities governing a utility company?
  • How does FERC regulate wholesale electricity and interstate commerce via transmission lines?
  • What is an integrated resource plan?
  • What is the difference between rate base, rate case and rates?


  • What are the different energy markets such as long-term, day-ahead and real-time, and how do they balance a demand curve?
  • What are the financial and resiliency benefits of microgrids and distributed energy resources?
  • What are the responsibilities of a balancing authority?
  • What is Direct Access, Energy Service Supplier, and Community Choice Aggregate?
  • How are upcoming disruptive business models and technologies changing the traditional model of a utility?


  • The different components of a residential and commercial bill
  • Why utilities charge for Energy (kWh) and how it is different than Power (kW)
  • How smart meters work
  • How to simply calculate the cost of electricity for anything
  • What is a plug logger and how can it identify areas to save money?

Course Recap and Other Topics of Interest from the Participants


Brent Olsen, President, 3 Phase Consulting

Brent has 25+ years of experience working for large electric utilities 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 Specialized Energy Operations where he manages the installation of generation facilities, microgrids, distributed energy resources, and various grid edge research and development projects. He leads a user group of utility professionals who follow and discuss business and technological changes in the electric utilities industry.

Brent is an electrical engineer specializing in utility power systems with a master’s in Energy Policy and Management and an MBA. He is also a PMP, has a degree in Spanish and is the two-time winner of PGE’s Project Manager and Project of the Year awards.

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.

  • Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a separate email with a unique link to a personalized landing page which will include links to join all sessions of this event.
  • 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 attendees for 7 days after the event


Introduction to Utility Profitability

May 10, 2024 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 895.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 3,580.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 6,265.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 10,740.00 (40% discount)

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 April 05, 2024 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




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 event

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

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

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, and active participation.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 7.5
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
Advanced Preparation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site:



Who Should Attend 

  • Utility professionals, project managers or engineers who would like to round out their current skill set with more advanced business knowledge of the utility financial model
  • Utility professionals who are new to the utility industry but interested in the unique ways they make money
  • New or seasoned professionals that would like a better overall understanding of the intricacies of how utilities manage finances
  • Vendors, contractors, regulators, or anyone that works with a technical organization that would like to better understand and work with them
  • Individual contributors who are interested in transitioning to a leadership role or communicating at a higher level about finances and utilities