Electric Utility Fundamentals + Insights – Tacoma Power (Dec 07)

This program provides utility and service company employees a broader understanding of how the electric utility industry works, and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Participants gain a broader comprehension of critical issues affecting the electric industry, and the interaction between utilities and their stakeholders. Curriculum is customized for your organization and can be expanded, contracted or modified to address your specific needs. The hosted program provides a unique, individualized training experience for employees.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Jim Litchfield

    • Program Location
    • Tacoma Power
    • 3628 S. 35th Street
      Tacoma, Washington 98409
    • Who Should Attend
      • Experienced professionals, newly hired into the energy industry
      • Seasoned energy employees who have only been in few functional areas for much of their careers
      • Identified high performers who should fast-track their understanding of the industry
      • All employees who will benefit from understanding the history of the business, fundamentals of electricity, and emerging issues and facing western North American energy companies
  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Not Applicable
  • Participation Policy
  • Registration for this course is limited to employees of Tacoma Power Employees only.
  • For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Check-In

Please arrive on time as we will begin the class promptly at 8:00 AM.

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Participant Introductions

Students share their utility industry background and define expectations for key deliverables throughout the day.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Background and Basics of Electricity

– Key influencers in the history of electricity
– Utility definitions and electricity terms
– How Electricity is generated
– Keys to power quality
– Electricity generation and “the Utility loop”

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Western North American Electricity Markets

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

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How Utilities Make Money

– Types of utilities (IOUs, Munis, Co-Ops, etc.)
– Common organizational structures
– Balancing interests of stakeholders
– Rate making fundamentals

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Break for Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Generation Choices

– Fossil fuel options
– Traditional low-carbon generation
– Today's renewables
– Future sources

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Emerging Issues

– Distributed energy resources
– Net energy metering
– Carbon regulation
– Trusted energy provider business model

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Customer Engagement

– Types of electric customers and expectations for service
– Changes to electricity demand
– Load and demand-side management options
– Customer care regulations
– Emerging customer programs (solar, provider choice, electric vehicles, the “smart home”)

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Q&A and Wrap-Up

We circle back to the original expectations of student to ensure that expectations are met

5:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Meet The Speakers

Jim Litchfield

Litchfield Consulting Group