Event Profile

Electric Utility Business Fundamentals

February 2 — 23, 2021

Who Should Attend:

New utility employees (we recommend at least six months at your utility before attending), experienced employees, utility commissioners, and board members who want to expand their understanding of how a utility business works.

Program Overview:

This webinar series is comprised of six interactive webinars and one chat session where participants learn about the history of the electric utility sector, the business operations, the region in which it operates, emerging trends facing the utility, and the key financial, market, and regulatory drivers that impact its operations and customers. The classes are designed to engage participants and facilitate an exchange of ideas with industry peers at other organizations.

Session Descriptions:

Intro to the Electric Utility Business Model, February 2, 2021

This initial class will set a context for changes in the industry by explaining the history and development of electric utilities in the region. It will also provide an overview of internal departments and operational areas of the utility, as well as introduce participants to different types of generation technologies that electric utilities (or their energy providers) use to produce energy.

Balancing Load and Resources, February 4, 2021

The second class will increase your regional industry knowledge through a look at the transmission grid, the hydro system, and the natural gas infrastructure in the western region. It will also introduce the multiple factors that utilities consider in resource planning to meet future load given regulation and declining renewable costs.

External Factors Impacting the Utility, February 9, 2021

The third class will introduce you to the myriad of federal and state regulations that utilities face. It will also explore major events outside the control of the utility, and how the utility plans for these. It will build upon your knowledge from the first two classes in order to more deeply explore the impacts of emerging trends on the utility.

Managing the Dollars, February 11, 2021

The fourth class will de-mystify utility finance and provide an overview on how the utility manages finances to deliver on its mission to its customers. Attendees will learn what financial statements tell you about the utility’s financial position and review how the utility accesses capital to invest in its system to serve customers. You will also learn about the role of policymakers, utility budgeting, and funding investment through debt.

Introduction to Rate Making, February 16, 2021

The fifth class will describe the multiple factors that the utility must balance when it sets rates, explain how to balance competing interests when setting rates, and outline the large number of tariffs available for single-product electricity.

Key Stakeholders: Customers and Workforce, February 17, 2021

The sixth class will introduce the challenges and opportunities of engaging with today’s utility customers; review how safety and security touch all areas of the utility’s internal and external communities; look at how industry changes may shape the utility workforce of the future; and discuss workforce planning.

Electric Utility Business Fundamentals Chat Session, February 23, 2021

After the completion of the series, participants will receive an invitation to a scheduled chatroom session where the instructor will host a discussion of follow-up questions and issues based upon the content of the prior six classes.

    Program level: Beginner

    Prerequisite: None

    Advanced preparation for this webinar is not required

    Delivery method: Group Internet Based

    Recommended CPE: 9.0

    Recommended field of study: Personal Development 6.0, Finance 3.0

    Other Continuing Hours: This course qualifies for nine hours of CEUs. NWPPA certificates will be issued upon full completion of the webinar.

    Registration Requirements: Please register online at www.nwwpa.org, or contact Gail Patterson, gail@nwppa.org.

Program Format:

The webinar series is designed as an integrated program. Each webinar will consist of content presentation; polling and interactive Q&A; an assignment; and a discussion of the assignment. Registered participants will be able to download the presentations and other materials from the webinar platform.

Please allow 90 minutes for each segment (60 minutes of prepared content and 30 minutes for assignments). This is a live, interactive session with the instructor and your industry peers; it is not recorded.

After the completion of the six webinars, participants that attended any of the classes will receive an invitation to a scheduled chat session on Tuesday, February 23, where the instructor will present the Industry Notebook. This is a valuable resource with industry references, terminology, and descriptions of the regional and national industry players. Additionally, there will be time allotted for follow-up questions and issues from the six webinars.

Program Instructor:

Julie Ryan, Aether Advisors, LLC

Program Schedule:

Each webinar will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. PST. Attendees will be admitted 15 minutes before each webinar begins.

How to Participate:

Instructions will be emailed to attendees within 12 hours before the webinar and we recommend that you test the link to the meeting as soon as you get the instructions. The webinar is best viewed using Chrome as your browser. We recommend that you use a landline for both your phone and your internet connections.

This registration is for one person to attend. We manage our webinars on an honor-system basis; if more than one person from a utility wishes to attend, each is to register separately.

Program Fees:

Utility Member Rate: $460
Associate Member Rate: $690
Non-Member Rate: $1,380

Program Refund and Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations are accepted, with full refund, if request is made at least 30 days prior to the course date. Within 30 days, fees are as follows: 15-29 days, $100; 1-14 days or “no show,” 100% of registration fee. When possible, please send a substitute instead of canceling; NWPPA does not charge a fee for substitutions. To request a refund, please contact Gail Patterson, Registrar, at Gail@nwppa.org or (360) 816-1450. If registration was paid by credit card, a refund will be issued to that credit card; all other refunds will be issued via check. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints or refunds, please contact our office at (360) 254-0109.

Complaint Resolution:

NWPPA endeavors to resolve any and all complaints as expeditiously as possible. If a complaint is not resolved to our members satisfaction, please contact Scott Corwin, Executive Director at scottc@nwppa.org or (360) 816-1441. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints or refunds, please contact our office at (360) 254-0109.

NWPPA Code of Conduct:

NWPPA holds professional conferences, meetings, and other events to enhance the success of our members, and we are committed to providing a professional environment free of inappropriate actions or harassment. All attendees are expected to observe the Code of Conduct while attending an NWPPA event and while participating in any NWPPA-sponsored social or networking function.

The Northwest Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org.

For More Information:

To find out more about this event, or to learn about other events, view the Training and Event Catalog.