Technology Forum: Next Era of Energy Efficiency

Eventbrite - Technology Forum 2017


Event Date

11/7/2017 2:00:00 PM

Event Location

Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Directions and Parking

2:00 – 4:30 Forum | Walker Cinema Theater 
4:30 – 6:00 Happy Hour | Garden Terrace Room (First drink's on us.)

Event Details

In an era of flattened demand growth, aging infrastructure, and increasing challenges in energy efficiency cost-effectiveness, the utility business model is in flux. Energy efficiency has been a longtime contributor of least-cost energy resources, delivering the benefit of avoided infrastructure costs to Minnesota ratepayers.

But as utility-driven efficiency is affected by new federal policies, technology advances, and attention to customer choice:
  • What does the emerging approach look like?
  • How should efficiency evolve to continue achieving least-cost benefits?
  • How must we think differently about delivery?

Explore how innovative program design, technology piloting, customer connectivity, and partnerships will define our next era of energy efficiency. We will hear from national and local energy and utility experts about this transformation, including which preparations are already under way and the value that efficiency will continue to provide.

This forum is presented and funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, through its support for the ongoing statewide energy efficiency potential study.

Forum Agenda


Tom Eckman | Northwest Power & Conservation Council
eckman.pngTom retired as Director of the Power Division in 2016, and remains affiliated in an advisory role. Prior to serving as division director, he was the Council’s manager of Conservation Resources for 24 years. He joined the Council in 1982. Tom has over 35 years of experience in integrated resource planning and energy efficiency. He has conducted multiple comprehensive assessments of the energy efficiency potential in the Pacific Northwest region as well as assisted in the assessments prepared by and for utilities. Tom has represented the Council in federal efficiency standards proceedings and negotiations as well as state energy code development processes. He is respected for his legacy in partnership development and stakeholder leadership on energy efficiency at the program and system levels. 

Panel Presenters

Aaron Berndt | Nest

Aaron-Berndt_low-res.jpgAaron is the Head of Central Region Energy Partnerships, a part of the business development team at Nest Labs. Nest’s mission is to create a home that’s thoughtful — one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it. Nest products are sold in 18 countries and installed in more than 190 countries, and the Nest Learning Thermostat has helped saved over 14 billion kilowatt-hours of energy to date. Previously at PG&E, Aaron served in a number of program manager roles, including energy information platform implementation. He is a mechanical engineer by training, and holds an MBA from Berkeley.

Eliot Crowe | Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Eliot-Crowe_low-res.jpgEliot is a program manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the whole-building systems department. He supports technical research on energy management information systems (EMIS), measurement & verification, commissioning best practices and innovations, and other related areas. Prior to joining LBNL Eliot spent 10 years working on programs and research for the Portland Energy Conservation Inc. (PECI) and CLEAResult. Eliot holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.

Ram Narayanamurthy | EPRI

Ram-200.pngRam is the principal technical leader at the Electric Power Research Institute focused on energy smart communities and building to grid innovation. Ram has been at EPRI for five years and has worked on a variety of teams developing new models for distribution planning and thinking through ways to leverage the next era of building design and modulated load shapes to optimize system efficiency. He has worked in product development at other companies, namely EchoFirst and Ice Energy, and has a background in marketing and technology. Ram has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

Tim Sullivan | Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association

sullivan.pngTim is president and CEO of Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, a 51,000-consumer system headquartered in Rockford, Minnesota. Prior to joining Wright-Hennepin in 2015, Sullivan worked for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives for 15 years in performance improvement, business development, and marketing capacities. Earlier in his career, Sullivan worked for a member of Congress and a Minnesota Governor, and he comes from the family of a longtime Minnesota electric distribution co-op manager. 

Shawn White | Xcel Energy

white.pngShawn manages DSM strategy and financial operations for Xcel Energy. He is tasked with ensuring the long-term viability of Xcel Energy's nationally recognized DSM portfolio and the regulatory compact in which it operates. He has been with Xcel Energy for 15 years and has been responsible for the implementation of energy efficiency programs, managing the Energy Efficiency implementation team for Xcel Energy's Colorado territory before taking on his current role. Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University, as well as a master’s in strategic management from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business.

Panel Discussion & Audience Q&A
Moderated by Jenny Edwards | CEE