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Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resource Investments

March 25 @ 2:00 PM - March 28 @ 4:00 PM EDT

Event Details

Awards 0.2 - 0.8 CEUs / 2 - 8 PDHs (Click for more info)

AESP is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). AESP complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, AESP is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. AESP instructors disclose in advance that they have no interest in any product, service, or material discussed during the course. This information is stated orally and in the training course handbook.

Description: A training course for evaluation practitioners on the purpose, process and key considerations in benefit-cost analysis (BCA) – also referred to as “cost-effectiveness” testing – of single and multiple distributed energy resource (DER) investments. DERs can include energy efficiency, demand response, distributed storage and solar, and building and transportation electrification.

Attendees will delve into practical application of key concepts in BCA using the National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources (NSPM) developed by the National Energy Screening Project (NESPTM).

Overall Format: The training will consist of 3 modules, each 2 hours, starting with a review of key economic principles and framework for conducting BCAs, how to develop a primary cost-effectiveness test and approaches to quantifying DER impacts, options for presenting BCA results that are clear and help to inform a jurisdiction’s priority goals and objectives, and differentiating between BCA and other analyses that help to inform DER investment decisions.

This course will be preceded by Sami Khawaja’s BCA primer, 2-hour (2-4 PM ET) soft pre-requisite course on March 25. It will cover the basics of why conduct a BCA and understanding the current and future value of investments in DERs made today.  This primer is highly recommended for attendees with little or no cost-effectiveness background or knowledge.

March 25, 2-4 PM ET:
BCA Primer:  Intro to Cost Effectiveness (Recommended for attendees with little or no cost-effectiveness background or knowledge.)

March 26, 2-4 PM ET:
Training Module 1:  BCA Principles and Framework
1. Brief Overview – Purpose of BCA
2. BCA Principles and Framework
 - Fundamental principles for benefit-cost analysis
 - BCA in different regulatory context
 - Cost-effectiveness testing –perspectives (traditional tests and the regulatory perspective)
3. Overview of Key BCA Components
 - Non-utility System Impacts (Other Fuels, Host Customer and Societal
 - Non-Utility System Impacts (Electric and Gas)
4. Key steps to Developing a Jurisdiction’s Primary Cost-effectiveness Test

March 27, 2-4 PM ET:
Training Module 2: Developing a Primary Cost-effectiveness Test and Quantifying Impacts
1. Developing a Primary Cost-effectiveness Test (cont.)}- How to identify relevant DER impact.
 - Applying key BCA principles to inform the primary test
2. Quantifying BCA Impacts
 - Key steps to quantifying impact values – overview
 - Methods for quantifying impacts, including for hard to quantify impacts
 - Resources to help with quantifying impacts
3. BCA Testing Across Different DERs
 - Relevance of impacts for some DERs/use cases but not others – examples

March 28, 2-4 PM ET:
Training Module 3: Presenting BCA Results (and alongside Rate Impact and Equity Analysis)
1.  Presenting BCA Results
 - Examples of how to present BCA results and interpreting/using results
2. BCA versus Rate Impact Analysis
 - Purpose of BCA vs rate impact analyses
 - Quantitative example of BCA and rate impacts in decision making
3. BCA versus Distributional Equity Analysis (DEA)
 - DEA overview
 - Difference between BCA and DEA, and how DEA can be used to complement BCA
 - Presenting results of BCA and other analyses to inform investment decisions


Courtney Lane

Courtney Lane

Principal Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Courtney Lane has more than twenty years of experience in energy policy and utility regulation. She specializes in performance-based regulation, grid modernization, benefit-cost analysis, rate and bill impacts, and review of utility distributed energy resource and electric vehicle utility filings.

Ms. Lane has worked extensively both in the public and private sector through her time spent on state-level clean energy advocacy for environmental non-profit PennFuture, and on demand side management planning and implementation for National Grid. In this capacity, Ms. Lane has led stakeholder engagement, provided testimony, served as an expert witness, and drafted legislation on matters pertaining to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Her experience in both the private and public sectors gives her a unique perspective on tackling energy issues and analyzing policies which lie at the intersection of both business and public interests.

Ms. Lane was one of the authors of the National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources and its companion guide, Methods, Tools and Resources: A Handbook for Quantifying Distributed Energy Resource Impacts for Benefit-Cost Analysis.

Ms. Lane holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography from Colgate University.

Karl R. Rabago

Karl R. Rabago

Principal, Rábago Energy

Karl R. Rábago operates an energy consultancy as Rábago Energy LLC, based in Denver, Colorado. Karl has 30 years of experience in energy and climate policy and markets and is recognized as an innovator in utility regulatory issues relating to clean and distributed energy services and technologies.

Karl’s education and training experience includes five years as executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at the Pace University law school, where he taught energy law. He also taught law at the University of Houston and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Karl has delivered training and education on utility regulatory and rate making issues in scores of venues across the U.S. and abroad.

Rábago is a frequent author on electricity industry issues and has provided testimony as an expert witness in more than 160 electric and gas utility regulatory proceedings. He was appointed by Colorado Governor Polis to a seat on the Board of the Colorado Electric Transmission Authority, where he chairs the Partnership Development Committee. Karl serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco based non-governmental organization that manages the Green-e Certification program for green power products, and on the Boards of Solar United Neighbors and the Texas Solar Energy Society. Rábago has been a Commissioner on the Texas Public Utility Commission; a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy; Vice President of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy; Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind; Managing Director & Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute; and Energy Program Manager for the Environmental Defense Fund.

While on active duty in the US Army, Karl served as an Armored Cavalry officer, as a Judge Advocate, and as assistant professor of law at the US Military Academy at West Point, NY. Karl is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management. He earned a Juris Doctorate (Honors) from the University of Texas and holds Master of Laws degrees in environmental law and military law from Pace Law School and the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School.

Tim Woolf

Tim Woolf

Content and Communications Manager, AES Clean Energy

Tim Woolf has nearly 40 years of experience analyzing technical and economic aspects of energy and environmental issues. Before returning to Synapse in 2011, he served four years as a commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), where he played a leading role in developing the Commonwealth’s aggressive clean energy policies.

Mr. Woolf’s primary areas of focus include electricity industry regulation and planning, technical and economic analyses of electricity industry systems, power sector transformation, energy efficiency program design and policy analysis, renewable resource technologies and policies, and many aspects of consumer and environmental protection. He has extensive experience with all aspects of benefit-cost analysis and was the lead author of the National Standard Practice Manual for Assessing Cost-Effectiveness of Distributed Energy Resources.

In recent years he has focused on many topics related to power sector transformation, including: distributed energy resources, performance-based regulation, new utility business models, grid modernization, and distribution system planning. He also addresses a variety of related ratemaking issues, such as rate design, net metering rates, decoupling, and dynamic pricing.

He has testified as an expert witness in more than 45 state regulatory proceedings and has authored more than 60 reports on electricity industry regulation and restructuring. His articles have appeared in Energy Policy, Public Utilities Fortnightly, The Electricity Journal, and other industry publications.

Mr. Woolf holds an MBA from Boston University, a Diploma in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in English from Tufts University.

M. Sami Khawaja, PhD

M. Sami Khawaja, PhD

Senior Advisor, The Cadmus Group

M. Sami Khawaja provides statistical and economic consulting services to clients across the energy industry. He has nearly 40 years of experience providing thought leadership through frequent publications and conference presentations. He conducts training workshops on topics such as evaluation, cost-effectiveness, program design, planning, and statistical modeling to clients throughout the United States and Canada as well as for clients in Thailand, Jamaica, Libya, and Jordan.


March 25 @ 2:00 PM EDT
March 28 @ 4:00 PM EDT
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