Public Power Forward Summit

Discover new industry trends, technologies, and customer expectations and share your thoughts on public power’s future.
November 21 - 22, 2019
Nashville, Tennessee

Register now

The power industry is evolving. Utilities must alter their business models to keep up with the changes — or customers will take matters into their own hands.

The American Public Power Association’s Public Power Forward strategic initiative prepares community-owned utilities for the future of the energy industry by helping them determine if, when, and how they should revise their rate structures, services, and operations.

Join industry thought leaders at the 4th annual Public Power Forward Summit to discover new trends, technologies, and customer expectations and share your thoughts on public power’s future.

Who Should Attend

  • General managers and CEOs
  • Senior utility executives
  • Senior operations executives
  • Policy and strategy makers and future leaders
  • Governing board members (elected and appointed)
  • City council members
  • Mayors
  • Other utility managers and future leaders responsible for policy and strategy
  • Industry partners, strategic thinkers and subject matter experts
  • Utility communications leaders and specialists

2018 Public Power Forward Summit Co-host

CMUA Logo    

More Information

Phone: 202-467-2978; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2941; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2921; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]


Monday, November 12

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration & Coffee
8:30 – 9: 15 a.m.
Evolving to Our Future: Global Trends
  • Sue Kelly, President and CEO, American Public Power Association

Building a Better Austin: Innovative Energy Solutions
  • Jacqueline Sargent, General Manager, Austin Energy, Texas

9:15 – 10 a.m.
Keynote Presentation

Scott Ungerer, Founder & Managing Director, EnerTech Capital, has been a visionary and recognized leader in venture capital investing for the traditional and advanced energy sectors for nearly 20 years. He looks for opportunities that reduce the cost and/or improve the customer experience related to all aspects of energy supply, delivery and usage. His areas of expertise include companies that sell into the following sectors: central and distributed power generation; electric transmission; electric, natural gas and water distribution; energy management for the customer premise; broadly defined Intelligent Grid; and transportation. He serves on the E Source Advisory Committee, the Industrial Internet Consortium (Chairman of the SmartGrid TestBed Program’s Advisory Group); and formerly served as a board member of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP); Chairman of the VC Advisory Board for the National Renewable Energy Lab; member of the Battelle Energy Advisory Council; and member of the Cleantech VentureNetwork Advisory Board. 

Scott will share his thoughts on the future of the energy industry, customer expectations and what public power utilities can do to be successful.

10 – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Store Up Your Energy Storage Options

Federal and state regulations are encouraging energy storage. FERC is leaning towards a greater role for storage in the energy markets. Several states are offering grants and even setting energy storage targets or mandates. Coast to coast, public power utilities of all sizes have adopted or are exploring how to deploy storage to shave peak loads, reduce costs, and increase reliability. See what the future holds and learn how your utility can leverage new opportunities. Examine the latest storage technologies and determine what might be best for you.

Felix Aguayo, Director, Distributed Electricity and Storage, EDF Renewables, San Diego, California; and Nitzan Goldberger, State Policy Director, Energy Storage Association, Washington, D.C.

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lunch Keynote
Tap Into the Evolving Energy Ecosystem

Electrification of transport, home heating, and water heating provides opportunities for load growth, but also may provide challenges to your existing infrastructure in meeting the demand for these new technologies. Consider how you need to adapt your business model and infrastructure to take advantage of new loads with electrification, and examine the role of the grid in supporting distributed energy resources, dealing with changing loads, and meeting evolving customer expectations. Discover how to unlock the potential of new DER technologies with 360-degree resource planning and integration, targeted investments, and continuous operational awareness. 

Rob Chapman, Vice President, Energy & Environment, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California; and Paul Zummo, Director, Policy Research & Analysis, American Public Power Association, Arlington, Virginia

1 – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Prepare Now for the New Rate Race

Solutions are still evolving for utility rate design to support distributed energy resources. Net energy metering has been the fallback option but it results in customers subsidizing each other, limits cost recovery for the utility, and send ineffective price signals. States and utilities are reexamining rate structures to design options that are fair to all customers, whether or not they have distributed generation. Join a panel of forward-thinking utility leaders to hear about innovative rate designs that support the core public power values of affordability, reliability, and responsiveness to community needs.

Christopher Mickelson, Energy Analyst, Finance and Corporate Services Division, Austin Energy, Texas; and Brian Skelton, President, Tullahoma Utilities Authority, Tennessee

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.
2:45 – 4:15 p.m.
Mine the Real Costs: The Bitcoin Dilemma

Bitcoin mining can create instant load growth of as much as 25 megawatts or more. But Bitcoin's transitory nature makes it difficult for utilities to plan for a load that, literally, might be here one day and gone the next. While some utilities have welcomed energy-intensive bitcoin miners, others are imposing moratoriums while they grapple with how to handle this new load. Learn how you can leverage local opportunities while considering reliability, safety and public health, rates, and community interests. See how you can limit the impact of heavy bitcoin loads on other customers and what additional costs you may incur to serve bitcoin miners, if the phenomenon persists.

Casey Crabtree, Director of Economic Development, Heartland Consumers Power District, Madison, South Dakota; Andrew McMahon, General Manager, Massena Electric Department, New York; and Steve Wright, General Manager, Chelan County PUD, Wenatchee, Washington

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Round table Discussions

Join the round table of your choice to debrief on topics covered through the day and share ideas and takeaways with your peers.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Relax and network with your public power peers.

Tuesday, November 13

8 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration & Coffee
8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Get Smart: Powering the Connected Future

The Internet of Things is increasingly affecting us on three levels – the smart self, the smart home, and the smart city. Examine where you stand at the intersection of data and technology in this increasingly connected world. Learn how the growth of AMI can help your utility tune into the apps, devices, and business models of the future. Explore new opportunities to collect and analyze data on energy use and customer behaviors. Discuss how you can manage reams of data while addressing data privacy and cybersecurity concerns. 

Juliet Shavit, President, SmartMark Communications, LLC, Langhorne, Pennsylvania; and Carolyn Shellman, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer, CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas


9:45 – 10 a.m.
10 – 11:15 a.m.
Charge Forward: Evolutions in EV Infrastructure

There are more than 700,000 electric vehicles on the road in North America. It is estimated that by 2025, 25 percent of vehicles sold will be electric. How are other electric utilities preparing for this explosive growth and what can you learn from them? Find out why and when it makes sense to invest in charging infrastructure in public places. Explore costs and returns, available technologies, and opportunities for collaboration with third party vendors. Discover how you can leverage data from charging stations to monitor and influence energy usage and environmental impacts.

James Ellis, Senior Director, Utility Solutions, ChargePoint, Campbell, California; and Dean Kovacs, Information Services Manager, Energy Northwest, Richland, Washington; and Pete Westlake, Sustainability Programs Manager, Orlando Utilities Commission, Florida

11:15 a.m. – Noon
Public Power Forward: On the Ground

Learn about new resources offered by the American Public Power Association, including a toolkit for utilities developed in collaboration with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association. Get answers to your questions and tell us about your needs and ideas for future resources and programs. 



Register now

Association Member
$645 before Oct. 15; $695 after Oct. 15

$1,290 before Oct. 15; $1,340 after Oct. 15

Not a member? Join today and save $645 on your conference registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee (all other meals are on your own):

  • Lunch (Monday)
  • Reception (Monday)
  • Beverage breaks (Monday morning & afternoon/Tuesday morning)

The attire for the 2018 Public Power Forward Summit is business casual. Since meeting room temperatures vary, please prepare to dress for cool conditions. Temperatures in Austin, Texas for the summit dates range from an average high of 72 degrees to an average low of 56 degrees.

The InterContinental Stephen F. Austin is located approximately 10 miles from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. 

Travel Cost Policy
Travel arrangements and costs are the responsibility of the meeting participants. The Association will not reimburse for changes in travel expenditures regardless of the cause, including the cancellation of a course, meeting or workshop.

Registration Cancellation Policy
Registrants who cancel in writing on or before November 5, 2018, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after November 5 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2018 Public Power Forward Summit. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel before or on November 5 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. Cancellations must be made in writing and mailed or e-mailed to [email protected].

More Information
If you have questions about the meeting, please contact any of the staff listed below:

Registration Information
Phone: 202-467-2941; Fax: 202-495-7505; Email: [email protected]

Hotel Information
Phone: 202-467-2941; Fax: 202-495-7505; Email: [email protected]

Program/Content Information
Phone: 202-467-2921; Email: [email protected]

Billing Information
Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]


The Public Power Forward Summit will take place at the:

InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel
701 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701


  • Main Telephone: 512-457-8800
  • Group Rate: Single/Double $249 per night, (plus tax, 15%)
  • Reservation Cut-off Date: October 15, 2018
  • Reservation Telephone: 1-800-235-4670
  • Group Code: JOQ or Power Forward
  • Online Reservation Link: Public Power Forward Summit


  • Check-in: 3 p.m. / Check-out: Noon
  • Parking Fee: Valet Parking Only: $42 per day, plus tax
  • In-Room Wireless: Complimentary standard wireless internet

About the Hotel
Originally built in 1924 as the city’s first high-rise hotel on Congress Avenue, the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin’s rich history and luxurious accommodations offer a truly unique hotel experience in the heart of downtown Austin. Step inside our golden doors and be greeted by friendly staff, a grand marble double staircase and plush seating in the lobby area. Unwind after a busy day in the city in one of the recently renovated rooms and suites, and stay active at the extensive Health Club, featuring state-of-the-art Cybex & Precor equipment, lap pool and Jacuzzi. Indulge in handmade cocktails, tasty cuisine and a breathtaking view of the State Capitol at Stephen F’s Bar & Terrace. Treat yourself to the Club Intercontinental Experience, where you can enjoy a deluxe breakfast buffet, daily champagne tea hour, and dedicated concierge services.

Hotel Reservations & Cancellation Policy
The cut-off date to receive the group rate (plus tax) is Monday, October 15, 2018.  If rooms remain in the block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored.  If not, you may be charged a higher rate.  The room block may sell out before October 15, 2018, so early reservations are encouraged. For individual reservations call 1-800-235-4670 and reference “JOQ” or “Power Forward,” or make your reservation online. The InterContinental Stephen F. Austin should receive all reservations no later than October 15.

Cancelled reservations that are not resold may become a financial liability for the Association, so please make your reservations thoughtfully.  If you require additional assistance with housing please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].

Scam Alert
Do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. Use only the online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available directly from the Association—in conference brochures and the website at

For assistance making your hotel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

What educational credits are available?

Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Ccedits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

Is there international registration?

Online meeting registration is for U.S. and Canadian residents only. International registrants must provide a signed registration form — signed by the authorized cardholder — if paying with a credit card. Fax the completed registration form to 202-495-7484 or email it to [email protected]

Alternatively, you could send a check from a U.S. bank payable to American Public Power Association. Please mail completed form with full payment to our bank lock box:

American Public Power Association
P.O. Box 418617
Boston, MA  02241-8617

Are meals included?

The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee:

  • Monday - Coffee; Lunch; Reception
  • Tuesday - Coffee

What is the conference dress code?

The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.

How can I present at the conference?

We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.