The Utility of the Future – Transforming Utilities Through Innovation

The Utility of the Future - Transforming Utilities Through Innovation

December 11-12, 2019 | Phoenix, AZ

The term Utility of the Future is not one that is new; but it is one that will be constant, as the industry has to constantly transform. The Utilities industry is being reshaped by forces that have been evolving and converging for more than a decade. From rising costs and changing load patterns, to innovative technologies, regulatory change, and the growing call to decarbonize, disruptive forces are transforming the industry, driving it toward a new and different future.

As forces of change in the power and utilities sector accelerate, utilities are utilizing innovative technologies to serve an increasingly sophisticated customer and improve operational efficiencies. In addition, electric, gas and water utilities are increasingly looking at opportunities to converge to maximize growth opportunities and sharing technology and infrastructure to better serve their customers

The digitization of utilities is the greatest challenge currently facing the sector, with much to do to modernize existing networks, work practices and ways of interacting with customers. But it’s also an area of great excitement and opportunity for those utilities willing to be brave, and step boldly into a new paradigm.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss what the utilities industry of the future will look like
  • Examine Performance Based Regulation models
  • Maxime customer service and experiences through the usage of drones, AI and innovative technologies
  • Integrate systems to better share information with internal and external stakeholders
  • Leverage AMI with outage management system data to predict customer complaints and problems
  • Utilize blockchain to support digitalization, decarbonization and decentralization
  • Assess what types of employees and culture you need to support the Utility of the Future
  • Identify what the modern customer wants and expects from their utility
  • Examine ways to minimize outages and downtimes
  • Maximize growth opportunities by converging electric, water and gas utilities
  • Utilize smart meters to improve reliability



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.2 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies, PowerPoint presentations, and group discussion will be used in this event.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. :: The Future of Utilities – Driving Change in the Industry

As the grid becomes increasingly distributed and decentralized there is increased need to coordinate the activities of DER in the most economically efficient manner. Local energy marketplaces represent an emerging way to achieve this, as highlighted by the European Union’s recent passage of legislation requiring the formation of local energy communities. LO3 Energy has 9 projects contracted globally deploying local energy marketplaces, enabling residents to buy and sell energy with one another and partnering with energy retailer and utilities to demonstrate business models emerging from peer to peer transactions. LO3 will also speak to how technology, including blockchain, can be used to leverage the power of community to better engage users on energy.

Scott Kessler, Director, LO3 Energy

9:45–10:15 a.m. :: Utilizing Advanced Control Technologies to Maximize System-Wide Value of DERs

Evolving technologies on the grid, in the control room and out in the field; as well as changing regulatory factors are all causing utility executives to re-examine their distributed energy resources (DERs) models. This session will examine:

  • DER optimization insights for utilities of all types, sizes and structures
  • Maximizing overall value and reducing costs on a systemwide basis through balancing customer and utility economic benefits
  • Control intelligence for determining the highest value use cases for utilities
  • Examining best practices for integrating ”behind-the-meter” and utility scale renewables and energy storage

Sharon Allan, Chief Innovation Officer, SEPA

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. :: This is NOT Your Father’s Power Company – Duke 2.0: Becoming a Digital Utility

In this interactive session we will illuminate Duke Energy’s transformation journey highlighting people, process and technology.

Tanqueray Edwards,  Business Transformation Leader, Duke Energy

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Applying Machine Learning to Predict Failure of Electric Distribution Assets

Electric distribution assets such as service transformers experience wear and tear and eventually break down. The most passive strategy is to wait for the equipment to fail and replace it at end-of-life, but this approach carries the costs and inconvenience of unplanned outages and safety risks such as wildfire ignition. A common improvement on this strategy is scheduled maintenance using heuristics regarding expected useful life and level of utilization. PG&E’s EPIC 3.20 Data Analytics for Predictive Maintenance project is going one step further by applying machine learning to data sources such as AMI, GIS, SAP maintenance records and weather forecasts to detect signs of near-failure from real-time distribution sensor data. Four asset types have been initially prioritized for the EPIC 3.20 project: service transformers, voltage regulating equipment, underground cable and network components.

 Disclaimer: This project is funded through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program. EPIC is a California statewide program that enables PG&E to invest in & pursue new/novel emerging energy solutions to meet California’s energy goals & drive innovation in the industry

 Fedor Petrenko, Product Manager, Grid Innovation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. :: Embracing Cultural Transformation – How to Get Everyone On-Board!

To drive digital change, utilities need great ideas and they need great people. The technology is rarely the reason for failure, in fact, digital technologies are disruptive and cause enterprises the need to change policies, processes and procedures. So, when leading digital transformation, how can you actively foster an environment that supports change while breaking down silos that traditionally exist between business and IT, particularly in an industry that is traditionally known to be slow to change? In this session we will look to answer questions such as:

  • How do you get everyone to adopt transformational objectives?
  • What can you do to make all your employees comfortable with new technology and the change it fosters both internally and externally?
  • Who do you enlist to become leaders to best demonstrate and model the new ways of working to garner support?
  • How do you harvest ideas, nurture innovation and get staff excited about change?
  • When do you need to bring new talent on-board to replace those unwilling to change?

Jennifer Mesenbrink, Senior Technology & Process Innovation Manager, Exelon Corp     

2:15 – 3:30 p.m. :: Working Together to Deliver Large-Scale Sustainable Transformation

The energy world is changing, with a fresh set of challenges and opportunities for the energy ecosystem. How do we get from PowerPoint to actual large-scale sustainable transformation? Changing internal culture and critical. But utilities don’t operate in a vacuum. Together, we will explore how to bring regulators, stakeholders, policy makers, manufactures, and strategic partners together to create value for customers and accelerates change and innovation.

Peggy Coleman, CEO, Coleman

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:45 – 4:15 p.m. :: Making Collections SMART for Utility Retailers

Bad debt recovery is crucial for every Utility retailer as it has a direct impact on cash position and ultimately impacts the enterprise performance. Gone are the days when this is left to chance or a random effort to collect. Smart collection is an analytics and AI backed collection strategy for both active and inactive customers, which can improve the cash generation efficiency by more than 100%.

Sushant Dutt, Senior Vice President – Energy & Utility, WNS North America

Tom McDonnell, SVP – E&U Strategy & Transformation, WNS North America

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Utilizing Machine Learning and Data Analytics to Drive Customer Satisfaction

Improving customer satisfaction for distribution system reliability is possible through Machine Learning and Data Analytics. Predicting the likelihood for an individual customer to complain, is achievable, by applying data science to the abundant of information available through AMI and historically collected data. This provides business value through circuit prioritization and customer complaint collaborations. This session will explore DTE Energy’s enhancements to the machine learning lifecycle with forecasting frequent outage complaints. Key takeaways include:

  • Leveraging AMI with outage management system data to predict individual likelihood to complain
  • Integrating Preventative Solutions
  • Model optimization and continuous improvement

Minjie Yu, Data Scientist, DTE Energy

Samia Rahman, Senior Analyst Operational Technology, DTE Energy

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. :: How Blockchain and IoT are Changing the Energy Landscape

Blockchain represents a transformation in the ability to create a complete record of digital data and its subsequent use. Coupled with smart contracts and IoT sensors, these technologies enable utilities to realize the value of the data that is locked away in databases and process historians. It also enables the creation on paper contracts that align incentives for the benefit of utilities among stakeholders that have traditionally not cooperated. Now that the hype is settling down, it’s time for energy producers and marketers to embrace blockchain as an essential part of the future of electric markets.

Philip Black, Global Emerging Solutions Lead, Blockchain, Wood

5:45 – 6:00 p.m. :: Chairperson’s Day One Closing Remarks

6:00 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns for the Day

Thursday, December 12, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. :: Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

8:15 – 9:00 a.m. :: Developing Innovation & Growth in Your Utility through e-Mobility

In this engaging session, we will hear how Edison International is incubating new business ideas from clean energy to e-mobility to create growth in the organization.

William Lynn, Senior Advisor, Growth & Innovation, Edison International

9:00 – 9:35 a.m. :: Eight Steps to Transforming Your Organization

Change is hard and companies don’t change, but people do. To overcome the internal and external pressures facing our industry, utilities must learn to change. The discipline of change management equips employees with tools to anticipate, manage, and overcome the impacts of change. This session will help participants understand the importance of change management by learning about James Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Transforming Your Organization”, exploring a case study about Tacoma Power’s journey to adopt Slack, a new instant messaging platform, and have a little fun.

Travis Metcalfe,  Manager of Strategy, Innovation & Engagement, Tacoma Power

9:35 – 10:05 a.m. :: Developing a Culture of Innovation Within the Detroit-Regional Great Lakes Water Authority

After overcoming Detroit’s bankruptcy and Flint’s water crisis, the newly formed Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is developing new programs to address work force turnover, failing infrastructure, and challenging new treatment requirements. One of the key components is the GLWA Innovation program. In this session we will present:

  • An overview of the GLWA system and issues
  • A snapshot of the GLWA innovation program
  • Case study examples, including:
    • Water quality, Flint, and emerging challenges
    • Power quality management
    • Canada and biosolids management
    • Workforce recruitment and training
  • Early feedback from the program
  • Next steps and emerging issues

John Norton, Director of Energy, Research & Innovation, Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

Eric Griffin, Energy Program Manager, Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

10:05 – 10:25 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:25 – 11:00 a.m. :: Leveraging AMI Smart Meters to Improve Reliability

Reliability metrics such as CAIDI, SAIDI, SAIFI and CEMI# are crucial to driving customer satisfactions while reducing outages within the utility industry. By leveraging AMI, these metrics are more accurate and automated, and allow further investigation for quick restorations. Additionally, DTE has leveraged AMI to develop heatmap plotting capabilities for field execution, job prioritization, and identifying discrepancies.  This presentation will provide information for utilizing AMI smart meter data to calculate key reliability metrics, and using AMI data to showcase issues on outage maps.

Hassan Fawaz, Senior Analyst Operational Technology, DTE Energy

Nitin Gutta, Senior Analyst Operational Technology, DTE Energy

11:00 – 11:40 a.m. :: Utility Management Single Pane of Glass – Corralling All the Wild, Disparate Utility Systems

Corral all of your disparate utility systems using Microsoft SharePoint as a single front-end for all your utility’s business information. Integrate your billing system, GIS, IT and cyber-security systems, phone system, weather station, SCADA, financial system, OMS, MDMS, AMI and other systems into one platform that everyone in the utility can access when needed. This information can then be disseminated to employees and customers via notifications/alerts, a mobile interface and a Customer Portal. In this session, we will hear how Easton Utilities has made this a reality for their organization and the benefits they’ve reaped by doing so.

Fred Christie, Chief Information Officer, Easton Utilities

11:40 – 12:30 p.m. :: The Digital Utility: Preparing Today’s Utilities for Tomorrow

The traditional utility has been a bricks and mortar business, today disruptive digital technologies are driving utilities to go beyond simply providing energy. To reinvent themselves, utilities have to master technologies that include social, mobility, analytics and cloud to meet current market trends and demands, while positioning themselves for the growth of renewables such as solar and wind generation and the introduction of large-scale storage. This session will tackle questions like:

  • What does the modern consumer expect of their utility?
  • How proactive should providers be to get ahead of regulatory changes?
  • What partnerships need to be made with other companies outside of the utility sector for them to thrive?

Ahmed Mousa, Utility of the Future Manager, Public Service Electric & Gas Company

12:30 – 12:45 p.m. :: Chairperson’s Closing Remarks


Sharon Allan | Chief Innovation Officer | SEPA

Philip Black | Global Emerging Solutions Lead, Blockchain | Wood

Fred Christie | Chief Information Officer | Easton Utilities

Sushant Dutt | Senior Vice President – Energy & Utility | WNS North America

Peggy Coleman, CEO, Coleman

Tanqueray Edwards | Business Transformation Leader | Duke Energy

Hassan Fawaz | Senior Analyst Operational Technology | DTE Energy

Eric Griffin, Energy Program Manager, Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

Nitin Gutta | Senior Analyst Operational Technology | DTE Energy

Scott Kessler | Director | LO3 Energy

William Lynn | Senior Advisor, Growth & Innovation | Edison International

Tom McDonnell, SVP – E&U Strategy & Transformation, WNS North America

Jennifer Mesenbrink | Senior Technology & Process Innovation Manager | Exelon Corp

Travis Metcalfe | Manager of Strategy, Innovation & Engagement | Tacoma Power

Ahmed Mousa | Utility of the Future Manager | Public Service Electric & Gas Company

John Norton | Director of Energy, Research & Innovation | Great Lakes Water Authority

Fedor Petrenko | Product Manager, Grid Innovation | Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Samia Rahman | Senior Analyst Operational Technology | DTE Energy

Minjie Yu | Data Scientist | DTE Energy


Arizona Grand Resort and Spa

8000 Arizona Grand Pkwy

Phoenix, AZ 85044

Reserve your room:

please call 1-602-438-9000

Click here to book online.

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of December 10 – 11, 2019

Room rate through EUCI:

$159.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to November 10, 2019.

Venue Information

Getting to and from the hotel

Dining options





Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 395.00

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