Conference Sessions and Descriptions

 

Energy Efficiency as a Journey

Join us as we take a step back and first consider the big picture! Our speaker, SEEA President Mandy Mahoney, will help us to thoughtfully evaluate the purpose of our work advancing energy efficiency and where our destination might ultimately lie. She will discuss the entry points to that journey, the steps along the way, the challenges that exist, and the successes and best practices we currently know.  

Energy Efficiency: Hands On, Hands Off

It takes significant utility initiative and real customer service to effectively take kilowatt-hours off the grid. Active, hands-on programs make an impact on customer energy use, but so too do algorithmic approaches. But are there even better ways to meld these two approaches together for superior results?

In this session, we’ll hear from both contractors and algorithm providers on what works best and where new synergies might exist. Come and help us mix it up it a little!

 

The Perfect Customer Journey: A Customer Service Workshop

This interactive workshop, presented by Milepost Consulting, will focus on taking the sometimes soft, undefinable concept of customer service, and constructing a defined and distinguishable customer service delivery program, tailored to your organization and its customers. No matter where your organization lies on the customer service spectrum, research shows that service has an impact, good or bad, on your bottom line. Whether you currently delivers good service and want to get even better, or you are just starting your CS journey, this workshop will provide made-to-measure ideas for prioritizing customer service and empowering your team to deliver it consistently and well.

Expect to gain new insights on the impact of customer service, especially as it applies to energy efficiency programs, and engage in hands-on activities to uncover your organization’s gaps and opportunities for improving customer service delivery. Tailor your service delivery plan to wow your customers!

 

A Better Workforce for Better Buildings

Commercial building owners and operators are key drivers of energy performance. Increasingly, they are engaging in innovative training and credentialing programs that make it possible to achieve greater results in building performance. This is because these new programs help catch people up with technology, providing building owners and operators with skills to enhance their buildings’ energy performance and cost effectiveness.

This session will review some of the leading workforce programs and will discuss how national skills standards are being applied at the regional level. It will also look at the impact of these programs on building performance and job growth in the commercial building sector. Utility program administrators may also find new ways to connect with these training programs to achieve their own conservation goals and sustain the performance of existing energy efficiency measures.

 

Cities that Embrace Energy Efficiency

In the Southeast, cities large, medium and small have made significant strides in embracing energy efficiency. The City Energy Project, an ambitious national program, has helped catalyze efforts in large cities including Atlanta and Orlando. Its goal is to cut energy waste in large buildings and make American cities healthier and more prosperous. Its 10 participating cities expect energy efficiency to help boost their local economies, reduce pollution, and contribute to shaping next-generation strategies for communities throughout the U.S. 

However, mid-sized cities like Knoxville, TN and Huntsville, AL, while not part of the City Energy Project, are also creating some remarkable results through energy efficiency. In this session, we’ll talk to them about what they’ve done, how they’ve done it, the role played by their local utilities, and the returns they are seeing from their investments.

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The Internet of Building Things (IoBT)

How does the “Internet of Things” affect the energy efficiency of commercial buildings? This session will identify the challenges facing building operators related to energy efficiency and sustainability, as well as the issues organizations face when trying to equip their front-line teams with meaningful tools to support their energy management goals. It also takes a look at how disruptive new technologies have the potential to change everything.

During this session, we will observe a demonstration that ties together multiple building devices into a real-time dashboard so we can see “the IoBT” in action. We’ll talk about the value and use of the data this demonstration generates, the job opportunities it may create and how one gets started creating an Internet of Things strategy.

 

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification: Balancing Options and Approaches in the Southeast

Evaluation, measurement and verification is an area of energy efficiency that now has a maturing track record in the Southeast. Many states have well-established EM&V practices, especially for utility-administered energy efficiency programs. Others are considering their options and yet others are exploring how to ensure energy efficiency programs outside the utility sphere benefit from the right level of EM&V. Key to these discussions are questions about cost-effectiveness and rigor.

With the advent of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, finding better ways to incorporate EM&V, especially in the Southeast, will help us to amplify the opportunities for energy efficiency. From Technical Reference Manuals to EM&V Protocols and even EE Evaluator Certification, this session will explore balanced approaches to EM&V that best meet the needs of all regional stakeholders.

 

Designing Energy Efficiency Programs that Work in the Southeast

What information is most useful for designing a good program? How do you know if a program is high-performing? What programs work best in regions where energy efficiency is voluntary? And how do you know if additional intervention strategies are needed?

This panel will explore evaluation tools available to design and implement effective energy efficiency programs. From process evaluations for improving program implementation, to impact assessments to determine cost-effectiveness and energy savings, the panel will discuss the different uses of evaluation research outputs.


On-Bill Model Capitalization: Finding the Perfect Fit

Utilities have a number of options for sourcing capital to fund on-bill financing programs. The funding path chosen shapes the kind of program a utility is able to offer, and that in turn determines which customers can participate.

This session will look at on-bill financing models from the around the Southeast that each make use of a different capital source. We will discuss the pros and cons of each path so that attendees can leave this session with a better understanding of successful options and approaches to offering an on-bill financing program.

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Energy: Building Equity and Opportunity within Low Income Communities

In this session, we’ll explore some creative and remarkable programs that address the need for energy efficiency in low- and mid-income communities, as well as the results that some communities have achieved by engaging and empowering their citizens to make a difference in the places they live, work and gather.  iStock_000011744119_Medium

The Electric Vehicle Market: A Powerful New Opportunity

Electric Vehicles (EVs) present both challenges and opportunities to utilities. A transition to electric power for our transportation needs could nearly double current load demand, which would more than offset the energy use reductions coming from buildings due to efficient technologies and home energy management systems. However, significant infrastructure will need to be put in place to accommodate the impact of multiple home charging stations on current transformers that were not designed for this purpose.

This session will look at how utilities are preparing for the growing EV market opportunity and how utilities can shape new business opportunities as advanced battery storage comes online.

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Energy Codes: What Do We Need to Move Forward?

This two-part session will include a 30-minute briefing and a 30-minute break-out discussion. It will begin with a technical overview to outline progress-to-date on the data collection phase of the DOE Energy Code Field Study.Following the briefing, the project teams working in the Southeast will each host a break-out conversation for session participants to learn more about the next phase of the project, which will focus on addressing the shortcomings identified in the data collection phase.

The project teams will highlight their education/training/outreach offerings, and will provide session participants with an opportunity to ask questions about local project work and provide specific feedback on what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvements.

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Well Bless Your Heart! Doing Business in the Southeast

In this fun and engaging session, our utility leaders will share stories of woe – unsuccessful business pitches that completely missed the mark for a variety of cultural and behavioral reasons. And while we’ll all have reason to laugh, this important discussion will highlight the business approaches that are most likely to result in a successful pitch that stands a strong chance of converting to a utility sale.As they say, when in Rome (Georgia), do as the Georgians do. Come and learn how that works!  

Utility Speed Dating

We heard you loud and clear following last year’s conference – everyone wants more time to pitch the utilities! This year, our utility representatives have graciously agreed to meet with vendors to hear a business pitch for your best product or service.Here’s how this session will work: Vendors who would like to participate in Utility Speed Dating will be invited to sign up for this session, which will take place in a designated meeting room. Vendors will be given five minutes each to make their pitch to our panel of utility representatives, who will score each pitch on criteria that include presentation content, presentation quality and the applicability of the product or service pitched.The top three sessions will advance to the Shark Tank round, to be held on Friday morning, October 30th in the main auditorium. Don’t miss this fun and interesting opportunity!  

Shark Tank

Our final conference presentation, this engaging, interactive session will include sharks, contestants, judges, prizes and voting!Our panel of Shark Tank judges, who represent a cross-section of utilities from across the Southeast, will evaluate the top-scoring vendors selected from the Utility Speed Dating session.Each of these vendors will have an opportunity to pitch their product or service again for the judges and our audience of conference attendees who will benefit from the opportunity to see the kinds of pitches that resonate well with utilities.May the best vendor win!!!