Facing Customer Disruptors

With the industry facing disruptions and competitors on many fronts, the trusted energy partnership that many utilities have cultivated with customers for decades is at risk. Utilities must identify disruptors and develop processes, products, and services to better serve their customers.

Meet the Facing Customer Disruptors Program Development Team. Learn more about the Customer + Corporate Symposium.

All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Our Evolving Customer
Speakers: Karine McClosky, Expert Customer Insights Strategist, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Lucas Tasa, Director, Advisory – Customer Solutions, KPMG LLP
Susan Corbelli, Market Research Supervisor, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Customer needs and priorities around products, experiences, and brand expectations continue to evolve due to many influences such as age, socioeconomics, and cross-industry best practice providers. Climate change lends another complex layer to needs and buying propensities. Additionally, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers catapulted into a confusing and uncertain environment with immediate transition to digital, self-service interactions. All of these changes, whether planned or not, create opportunities and obstacles for utilities to engender strong customer relationships and brand loyalty. This session will provide both a macro and local view of recent customer insights and highlight approaches to identify and fulfill on customer needs.

2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Decarbonization + Affordability
Moderator: Karin Corfee, Partner, Guidehouse
Speakers: Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Puget Sound Energy
Brent Graham, Manager, Government Relations & Public Policy, FortisBC
Obadiah Bartholomy, Manager of Distributed Energy Strategy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
As utilities embark on their pathway towards decarbonization to meet their climate goals and jurisdictional GHG reduction targets, how are they addressing environmental objectives while balancing infrastructure costs, customer affordability, reliability and resiliency considerations? An electrification-only approach is favored by some and others are exploring an optimized gas scenario, which incorporates substantial electrification as well as renewable gas and hydrogen. Regardless of the pathway chosen, striking the balance with aggressive decarbonization and customer affordability is a challenge. Learn how utilities are addressing this challenge as they work towards achieving their climate goals.

This session is sponsored by:

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Managing in a World of Disruption – Customer Insights
Facilitator: Rick Edwards, Director – Community Connections, NorthWestern Energy
Speakers: Derrick Hiltz, Director, Residential Construction Training and Development, Qualico
Jen Palombo, Customer Programs Supervisor, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Russ Fletcher, Founder, Montana Associated Technology Roundtable
Ted Sawchuk, General Manager, Nutrien
What are the disruptors our customers face (residential, commercial, industrial etc.) and how do they impact the lives of our customers as well as our companies? Hear firsthand from customers in regard to the challenges they face in today’s energy environment and their suggestions to enhance the customer experience.
Topics to discuss:
• Panel to include: Commercial, Industrial, Small business, Residential/Low income customers and/or group representatives.
• What’s the new normal?
• Customer Education/What’s Missing???

12:30 – 1:45 PM
Customer Demand: Disruptive or Transformational?
Speakers: Ann Kloose, Sustainability Manager, Department of Public Works City of Fresno
James Ellis, Sr. Manager, Transportation Sustainability, Amazon
Jerry Meek, Energy and Sustainability Manager, Genentech
In response to climate change, energy efficiency, sustainability efforts and unusual economic conditions, companies are exploring how best to procure, use and manage their energy needs. Several large corporations and cities have announced decarbonization roadmaps, resulting in lower energy delivery from local utilities. This session will feature a discussion with representatives from large corporations and cities on their evolving relationship with, and changing demands of, their utilities and other energy suppliers.