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Strategy & Planning

Diversity: Byron Witherspoon

“Quite simply, employees of diverse businesses reinvest and spend their wages to purchase goods and services where they live.”
Author Bio: 

Byron Witherspoon is Ameren's director of Supplier Diversity.


Entergy Decarbonizing: Hydrogen Might Be a Game Changer

“We plan to deactivate approximately four gigs of legacy gas. That’s along with the remainder of our coal plants. It’s in our plan to not build any large-scale generation that isn’t hydrogen capable.”
Author Bio: 

Rod West is Group President of Utility Operations at Entergy.


We Are the World

Change can only come when we stand together as one.
Author Bio: 

Steve Mitnick, the president of Lines Up, Inc. and executive editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly, is the author of “Women Leading Utilities, the Pioneers and Path to Today and Tomorrow” to be published this June, “Lewis Latimer, the First Hidden Figure,” and “Lines Down, How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.” Mitnick was formerly an expert witness testifying before the utility regulatory commissions of six states, District of Columbia, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and in Canada, and a faculty member at Georgetown University teaching microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics.

Make a Brighter Day

Wisconsin Utility Exec Looks Back and Forward

A conversation with Madison Gas and Electric’s Assistant Vice President.
Author Bio: 

Greg Bollom is Madison Gas and Electric’s Assistant Vice President, just retired.

Madison Gas and Electric

Meeting Innovation's Natural Challenges

Over the last five years, utilities have successfully infused awareness of the pace of market change into their employees. Consequently, enhanced visibility is being directed to areas where critical innovation is necessary to ensure business success. 

Author Bio: 

Tom Flaherty is a Senior Advisor to companies in the global power and utilities industry for PwC Strategy&.

Overcoming Headwinds

Innovation: The Path for Smaller Utilities

The regulatory model for electricity supply generally does not incent utilities to innovate.
Mark Knight: Innovation is a good culture to have but can be difficult to nurture. It is perhaps easier for large organizations to innovate because they can create culture changes within small groups, which for a small utility is difficult due to more limited staff numbers.
Tom Sloan: Adoption will not occur unless the PUC or governing board perceives the risk to be manageable or minimal, and that the rewards will outweigh the costs.
Author Bio: 

Mark Knight is a Principal Consultant at 1898 & Co., part of Burns & McDonnell. Bringing more than thirty years of experience, he is a thought leader and industry advisor. Mark is emeritus chair of the GridWise Architecture Council and is the Director of Projects for the Institute of Asset Management.

Tom Sloan is a recently retired twelve-term veteran of the Kansas Legislature and member of several federal agency and professional legislator organizations’ energy committees.

Nurturing Ideas

Affordable Utility Service

One notion of fairness is the affordability of utility services to all households, including those living in poverty.
Author Bio: 

Mr. Kenneth Costello is Regulatory Economist/Independent Consultant. He has conducted extensive research and written on a wide variety of topics related to the energy industries and public utility regulation.

Advice to Regulators

Hawaii: Dean Nishina

“There’s no organized group that intervenes on behalf of large industrial customers or large commercial customers. We are supposed to represent the interests of all of those consumers.”
“We provide fairly extensive analysis to support the positions we put before the Commission, with a combination of in-house resources as well as consultants.”
Author Bio: 

Dean Nishina is executive director, division of consumer advocacy, for the Aloha State.

Consumer Advocate

Hawaii's Consumer Advocate and a State Representative

Conversations with the division of consumer advocacy’s executive director Dean Nishina and state representative Chris Lee.
Author Bio: 

Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”

Unique Renewable Goals

Hawaii PUC: Jayson Kauwenaole

“Our goal is to get them in compliance. We’re not there to shut down any business.”
Author Bio: 

Jayson Kauwenaole is head of compliance and consumer affairs at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Head of Compliance and Consumer Affairs