May 31


Jun 01

Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights – Puget Sound Energy – Virtual (May 31-Jun 01)

This program provides utility and service company employees with a broad understanding of how the gas utility industry works and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Topics include (1) Extraction + Pipelines, (2) Distribution Operations, (3) How Utilities Make Money, (4) Customers + Usage, (5) Regulations, Codes, and Safety, and (6) 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.

General Details

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

    • 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 gas 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
  • Registration for this event is now full. Please consider registering for the following Gas course scheduled for Puget Sound Energy employees:

    Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights – October 17-18, 2023

  • 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. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Registration for this course is limited to employees of host company employees and their invited guests only. WEI also offers the Gas Utility Fundamentals + Insights course open to anyone four times per year. Contact WEI for more information.
  • For more information contact Karen Himes, Program Manager + Member Engagement Specialist at (971) 303-1585.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Virtual Room Open for Participants

The room will open at 8:45 AM in the morning. Please join early to check your tech and ask questions before we start the class promptly at 9:00 AM.

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Participant Introductions and Roundtable

Students share their utility industry background and what they hope to learn throughout the day. Please be prepared to share at least one thing you hope to gain from taking this class.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Module 1: Extraction + Pipelines

– History of natural gas
– Key terms and definitions
– Natural gas sources and production
– Transmission and distribution infrastructure

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Module 2: Distribution Operations

– Essentials of gas operations
– System planning
– Resource management

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Break for Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Module 3: How Utilities Make Money

– Types of utilities
– Regulatory bodies
– Financial terms and definitions
– How companies set rates
– Rate-making exercise

Thursday, June 1, 2023

7:45 AM - 8:00 AM

Virtual Room Open for Participants

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Day 1 Review

8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

Module 4: Customers + Usage

– Consumption
– Gas supply and planning
– Factors that drive natural gas demand
– LNG and CNG

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM


9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Module 5: Regulation, Codes, and Safety

– Federal and state regulations
– Safety incidents
– Integrity management programs
– Public safety messaging

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Module 6: Emerging Issues

– Infrastructure replacement
– Renewable gas
– Opportunities to grow demand
– Electrification + exports

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

Booga Gilbertson

Class Five Solutions

Learn More

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.

Bob Rowe

NorthWestern Energy

Chief Executive Officer - Retired

Eric Christenson

Western Energy Institute

Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement
Learn More

Eric Christenson brings 20 years’ industry experience and an inextinguishable energy for new ideas to the Western Energy Institute team.

In his role as Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement, Mr. Christenson works to ensure key industry information and education are available to all WEI Members and others in the energy business. He leads a team that provides nearly seventy courses annually to thousands of industry professionals. He also supports overall Member engagement and his teammates with his professional background in database marketing experience, analytics, and business consulting.

Mr. Christenson joined WEI after a wonderful career at at Portland General Electric. While at PGE he developed and managed the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program and his ability to grasp complicated, interconnected opportunities brought him to work with several other areas including operations benchmarking, regulatory affairs, fleet services, AMI, and finance.

Prior to joining PGE, Mr. Christenson developed his skills in a leading internet marketing company and is role leading Strategy and Analysis at a lending company.

Mr Christenson earned his Bachelors in Mathematics and also in 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, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of Washington County’s citizen advisory organization.