Electric Utility Fundamentals + Insights – Southern California Edison – Virtual (Aug 18-19)

This program provides utility and service company employees with a broad understanding of how the electric utility industry works and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Topics include (1) Fundamentals of Electricity, (2) Generation Choices, (3) How Utilities Make Money, (4) Transmission + Electricity Markets, (5) Distributed Energy Resources, (6) Electric Utility Customers, and (7) Emerging Issues. The class is delivered virtually over two half-days or in a one-day format at the host utility's chosen location. WEI provides nearly 100 customized Utility Fundamentals classes each year, hosted by WEI Member Companies on-site, to provide a unique, individualized training experience for their employees. Contact WEI for more information.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Karen Himes, Program Manager + Member Engagement Specialist, Western Energy Institute

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided to the attendee before the program.
    • Who Should Attend
    • Wondering if this course is right for you or your staff…

      • Are you new to the energy industry?
      • Have you worked in just one or two areas of the organization?
      • Are you looking for a broader perspective of the business of electricity and emerging issues?
      • Do you work for a service provider to the energy industry who wants to learn more about your customer?

      If the answer is yes to any of these, this course was designed for you. 

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $229 USD
    Regular: $229 USD

    Registration includes course binder mailed directly to participant if requested and registered 14 calendar days before the course. Course is two half-days of an interactive course over the web. Only Southern California Edison employees and their invited guests may register for this course.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to the uniqueness of this course, registration cancellations received within nine business days prior to the first day of class will be ineligible for refunds.
  • Participation Policy
  • Registration for this course is limited to employees of Host Member Companies only or their invited guests.
  • For more information contact Karen Himes, Program Manager + Member Engagement Specialist at (971) 303-1585.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check

The GoToMeeting room will open at 8:30 AM in the morning. Please join early to test your system as we will start the class promptly at 9:00 AM.

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Participant Introductions

Students share their own backgrounds from within and outside the energy industry and what they hope to learn throughout the day.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Module 1: Fundamentals of Electricity

– Key influencers in the history of electricity
– Utility definitions and electricity terms
– AC vs DC power, transformers and the electric grid
– Electricity generation and “the Utility loop”
– Keys to power quality

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM


We plan breaks throughout the day for participants to check email, answer calls, and other work requirements.

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Module 2: Generation Choices

– Number ONE rule of the electric grid
– Fossil fuel options
– Traditional low-carbon generation
– Today's renewables and future sources
– Grid-scale energy storage

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Break for Lunch

12:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Module 3: How Utilities Make Money

– Types of electricity service providers
– Common organizational structures
– Regulation and rate making fundamentals
– Cost-of-Service ratemaking exercise

Friday, August 19, 2022

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

GoToMeeting Room Open for Participants

Join early to chat with instructors and colleagues before the course.

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Day 1 Review

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Module 4: Transmission + Electricity Markets

– Service territories
– Federal regulators and departments
– NERC regions and the WECC
– Energy balancing

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Module 5: Distributed Energy Resources

– Demand response
– Energy storage
– Energy efficiency
– Transportation Electrification
– Distributed generation

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM


10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Module 6: Electric Utility Customers

– Types and expectations of electricity customers
– Evolution of the energy customer
– Customer touch points and the Trusted Energy Advisor goal

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM


11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Module 7: Emerging Issues

– Grid Hardening + Resiliency
– Solar generation + Impacts from Variable Energy Resources
– Long-Term Resource Planning

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM

Q&A and Wrap-Up

We circle back to the original expectations of students to ensure that expectations were met.

Meet The Speakers

Bob Kendall

M.J. Beck Consulting LLC

Senior Advisor
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Bob has spent his entire career of over 45 years in the electric utility industry serving in senior management positions at Southern California Edison (SCE) for 30 years; EVP then President of Sunlaw Energy, a Los Angeles based generation owner and development company for 2 years; as a Managing Director with Navigant Consulting for 10 years; with M. J. Beck Consulting for 6years; and is in his 4th year as an instructor with WEI.

Bob’s primary focus during his career has been on designing competitive procurements for new fossil-fueled, renewable generation, energy storage, and transmission projects and negotiating the resulting contracts to make these projects a reality.

Bob also headed a division of SCE’s Revenue Requirements Department that was responsible for managing its response to regulatory proceedings initiated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and for managing the company’s rate cases. In this capacity, he testified numerous times before the CPUC as an SCE policy witness to oppose or support proposed new rates, regulatory requirements and/or rules. Bob also served as SCE’s chief lobbyist to the CPUC. Finally, while at SCE during utility deregulation, Bob was a key member of the team that created the CaISO.

Currently, Bob focuses on procurements and contract negotiations of renewable energy resources including off-shore wind on the U.S. east coast and energy storage. He is a qualified and recognized expert in electric utility contracts, integrated resource planning, engineering economics, transmission planning, power generation, and several other subjects and has testified as an expert witness both in the U.S. and internationally numerous times.

Bob has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, an M.B.A. in Finance, and a J.D. in Contract Law. Bob is a member of the California Bar Association.

Eric Christenson

Western Energy Institute

Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics
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In his role as Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement, Eric’s primary roles are working with WEI Board Committees to ensure key issues are addressed through program curriculum and leading Utility Fundamentals + Insights courses.

Eric also supports overall Member engagement and his teammates with his twenty-plus years’ database marketing experience and skills in data analytics.

Eric joined WEI after seven great years at Portland General Electric. At PGE he developed and managed the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program and worked in several other areas including operations benchmarking, regulatory affairs, fleet services, AMI, and finance.

Prior to joining PGE, Eric developed his skills in a leading internet marketing company and as Manager of Strategy and Analysis at a finance and lending organization.

Eric earned his Bachelors in Mathematics, and Economics, from the University of Oregon. He has served the community as a past President of the Oregon Society of Association Management and Vice President of the Greater Portland Soccer District.

Jim Nicholson

Nicholson and Associates Consulting Company Limited

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Jim is a strategic, results-driven Senior Executive with experience across a broad portfolio including customer care, operations, sales & marketing and human resources. Holding senior roles in Utilities, Forest Products and Industrial sectors, Jim is a passionate customer advocate and skilled business leader.

Following his retirement in late 2014 as BC Hydro’s Director of Customer Care he partnered with Accenture as a subject matter expert and supported their work with Utilities in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, China, and Malaysia. Currently Jim serves as the Board Vice Chair of the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority, British Columbia’s Regulator of Vehicle Sales.

Widely respected within his vast network, he excels in cultivating deep and lasting relationships with customers, executive leadership, and industry partners. In addition to his strong business operations background, Jim provides Executive Coaching, Facilitation and Board advice, making him a sought after professional across a broad spectrum of Industries.

Booga Gilbertson

Self Employed

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Booga is an experienced senior executive and advisor with a successful record of leading and partnering with stakeholders and teams to achieve great results, innovate and integrate technology and leading practices, navigate disruption, develop people, and a passion for safety. She has spent over three decades in the energy industry and most recently served as COO at Puget Sound Energy, where she was responsible for all facets of electric and gas operations, implementing strategies to modernize and digitize infrastructure and operations, and enable clean energy solutions. She was also responsible for safety operations and culture across the company.

Booga previously served on and chaired the Western Energy Institute board. She also chaired Edison Electric Institute’s National Response Executive Committee and served as an American Gas Association peer review executive. Booga has served as a member of the Energy System Industry Consortium Board at Washington State University and chaired the University of Washington’s Electrical Engineering Industry Consortium. Booga’s previous experience also includes labor relations, consumer goods manufacturing and vocational instruction.

Currently, Booga focuses on energy, infrastructure, and enabling strategy, policy, and technology. She also serves as an independent board director for a leading green hydrogen company. In addition to instructing for WEI, Booga is a speaker on leadership and professional development at university, industry and leadership events.

Booga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, a Master of Business Administration degree from City University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Data Science.