Electric Utility Fundamentals + Insights (Feb 18)

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 for this program is modular and can be expanded, contracted or modified to address specific organizational needs. The program is opened twice annually for individual registrations and is regularly hosted by WEI member companies to provide a unique, individualized training experience for their employees.

General Details

Program Location
Western Energy Institute
700 Multnomah Street
Third Floor, Conference Rooms A and B
Portland, OR 97232

Who Should Attend
Whether your organization has employees who are new to the electric utility industry, individuals who could benefit from business acumen associated with their field, or a need for participation in a forum focused around contemporary topics affecting the energy industry – WEI encourages you to contribute and learn.

  • Experienced professional who are newly hired into the energy industry
  • Seasoned energy employees who have only been in one or two areas for much of their careers
  • Identified early career high performers who should fast-track their understanding of the industry
  • Service company employees who benefit from understanding the history, issues and emerging issues facing energy companies

Registration Options
Member: $599
Regular: $999

After January 28, 2016 the Member price increases $100 and the Regular price increases $200. Registration fee includes meeting materials, student workbook, course instruction, and follow up with WEI Program Manager after the course. Catered lunch and snacks through the day provided.

For more information contact Eric Christenson, Senior Program Manager at 971.230.6984.


Thursday, February 18

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
Module 1: Basics of Electricity

  • Key influencers in the history of electricity
  • Utility definitions and electricity terms
  • Electricity generation and “the utility loop”
  • Keys to power quality

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Module 2: Western North American Energy 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
Module 3: How Utilities Make Money

  • Types of utilities (IOUs, Munis, Co-Ops, etc.)
  • Common organizational structures
  • Balancing interests of stakeholders
  • State and Provincial Regulation and rate making fundamentals

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Module 4: Generation Choice

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Module 5: 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”)

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Module 6: Emerging Issues

  • Distributed energy resources
  • Net energy metering
  • Carbon regulation
  • Trusted energy provider business model
  • The data avalanches for utilities
  • Customer disintermediation

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.

Hotel + Travel

Several hotel options in the area are within a few blocks of the Congress Center, including the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, the Heathman, The Paramount Hotel, Hotel Rose, and The Nines.  Check out hotel consolidator web sites for the best available options.