Certificate Programs

Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management

Designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel as a demand-side management professional. In a cohort-based program, you complete 4 online courses and 1 in-person course to earn the Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management.

The Certificate provides prospective employers, or utilities as customers, the assurance that you have the essential knowledge required to manage demand-side management programs, and the skills required to succeed.

To clarify the intent of this educational program – this is an assessment-based certificate program that will provide the learning outcomes as described. This is not a Certification program that requires ongoing fees or professional development hours to maintain; nor does it provide post-nominal letters or initials.

Delivery

This course will be delivered in two parts:

Courses 1-4:

Delivered online. Self-paced. Each online course takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete and will be made available 6 weeks prior to the in-person training.

In-Person Course:

Course participants will meet in-person for 4 days in a city and date that will have been predetermined before the start of the course. Here they will attend live lectures to complete the In-Person Course.

Cost

Full Course:

  • Members: $2,995.00 USD, or (30) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $3,189.00 USD

Online courses:

Course 1-4 Bundle:
  • Members: $595.00 USD, or (8) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $799.00 USD
Course 1: Energy Basics
  • Members: $150.00 USD, or (2) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $199.00 USD
Course 2: Utility Fundamentals
  • Members: $150.00 USD, or (2) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $199.00 USD
Course 3: Utility Business Models
  • Members: $150.00 USD, or (2) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $199.00 USD
Course 4: Contract Management
  • Members: $150.00 USD, or (2) Group Member Points
  • Non-Members: $199.00 USD

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Course Outline

The Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management Course includes five courses, four online and one in-person. Courses one through four can be taken as a bundled package or individually on demand.

Whether you take just one online course or complete the full certificate program, our curriculum will provide the knowledge, insights, tools, and resources that will help you succeed as a demand-side management professional.

To earn the Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management, you must complete all 4 online courses, the in-person cohort, and pass all module tests with a 70% or higher.

Online Course 1: Energy Basics

CEUs: 0.2

PDHs: 2

Description:

Energy. We use it every day, but why is it important? Who uses it? How is it generated and transmitted to end users? This course will enable DSM program managers to answer these foundational questions.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the key trends in energy use across North America
  • Identify Large-scale energy end users and how they use energy
  • Recognize key energy resources and the energy generated
  • Examine and explain the process of transmitting energy
  • Classify units of measurement for different types of energy
  • Recognize the composition of key factors within the U.S. and Canadian energy industries

Online Course 2: Utility Fundamentals

CEUs: 0.2

PDHs: 2

Description:

You may work in the demand-side management industry, but do you know how this industry, or even utilities for that matter, came about? This course helps DSM program managers understand basic industry fundamentals, including its origins and the complex relationship between regulation and operations.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Recall how legislation and regulation have shaped the industry
  • Identify how federal, state, provincial, and local regulation provided North American utilities a framework to standardize their operations
  • Identify the regulatory policy tools for increasing adoption of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed energy resources.
  • Recognize the impact of regulation on utility operations, as well as the various levels of regulatory oversight.
  • Recognize current policy and regulatory trends that are impacting the future of the utility industry

Online Course 3: Utility Business Models

CEUs: 0.2

PDHs: 2

Description:

Much has changed to the traditional utility business model over the past decade. This course is designed to enable DSM program managers to understand how utilities traditionally operate (make money) and how their traditional operations are being disrupted through the advent of new policies and technologies.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define and describe the traditional utility business model
  • Identify how a utility generates revenue
  • Identify the major changes occurring to traditional generation and transmission that are impacting the utility business model
  • Describe how utility customers adoption of new technology is changing the utility business model
  • Explain how improved access to new technology and real-time information is impacting utilities’ relationship with their customers

Online Course 4: Contract Management

CEUs: 0.2

PDHs: 2

Description:

Contract management matters, especially so for a demand-side management program manager who uses contract vehicles to manage and execute all their work. This course instructs attendees on the best practices in contract, budget, change, and risk management necessary for successful project and program management.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe why contracts and contract management matter, and the steps to ensuring contract success
  • Identify pre-contracting needs and how to prepare for going out to contact
  • Describe the steps and components of the solicitation process
  • Outline how to initiate, setup, and manage a contract successfully post-award
  • Identify best practices in managing vendor and financial risk, and how to enact change management
  • Identify how to initiate and manage change within a contractual relationship
  • Define and describe the project-close out process

Instructor-Led In-Person Cohort:

CEUs: 1.4

PDHs: 14

Description:

The demand-side management program cycle is an iterative process, one that is tracked, measured, and improved over time. We will introduce this process to DSM program managers during this course, which will outline the origins, significance, and future implications of DSM, and the importance of economics in all aspects of the DSM program cycle. This course will also cover the three DSM program cycle components, program planning and design, implementation, and evaluation. Although implementation and evaluation are two very different components, DSM program managers will learn of the complex yet strategically significant relationship between the two.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how a utility operates
  • Explain what a load profile is and its relationship to customer energy use
  • Define demand side management and why it makes economic sense
  • Describe and discuss how to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis
  • Recall the key metrics used for program design, planning, and evaluation
  • Outline the steps for conducting portfolio planning
  • Describe the common research studies and data gathering methods
  • Illustrate the relationships between market barriers, adoption and savings risk
  • Outline what Program Theory is, and how logic model are constructed and used
  • Identify the correct sequence of events for designing a program
  • Describe common program implementation strategies and structures
  • Outline and describe data tracking systems, their uses, value, and options available
  • Recall and discuss the importance of managing a customer’s experience
  • Identify how to approach developing an integrated marketing strategy and its benefits
  • Recall the key types of marketing metrics and how they measure effectiveness
  • Define and describe the types of evaluation
  • Recall and describe simple energy engineering calculations, and simulation and statistical models
  • Describe why attribution is important to DSM programs
  • Define and articulate how free ridership, spillover, market effects, and NTG impacts DSM programs
  • Outline the uses and value of a process evaluation
  • Describe how a market evaluation helps inform program design and evaluation activities
  • Outline the importance of baseline research and market studies

IACET Accredited ProviderAESP 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.


The Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management was developed by the Cadmus team which includes ILLUME Advising, Dunsky Energy Consulting and Grounded Research.

Upcoming Cohorts:

September 6-9, 2022
Waltham, MA
National Grid

Meet Your Instructors

M. Sami Khawaja is the senior vice president at Cadmus. Prior to his current position, he ran Cadmus’ Energy Services Division. Under his leadership, the Energy Services staff grew to nearly 200 professionals. Over his career, he has evaluated over 100 energy-efficiency programs and conducted over 50 training workshops in various aspects of demand-side management design, evaluation, cost-effectiveness, statistical analysis, and planning. He has published work Contemporary Policy Issues, Energy Services Journal, Electricity Journal, Home Energy Magazine, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and The American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Quinn Parker has over 13 years of experience in energy finance and analytics, DSM program design, planning and implementation, as well as client relationship management and business development. She has served as Vice President of Content and Research at the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) where she engaged with leading industry professionals and collaborated on some of the most compelling industry challenges and opportunities. She has designed successful programs in various market segments, including residential, commercial and renewables. She has led cross-functional teams delivering various programs, including residential HVAC, pool pumps and new construction; small renewables, such as solar, wind, and hydro; small business direct install; k-12 public and private schools, as well as large commercial custom and prescriptive programs. She holds a M.B.A from California State University and a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.

What past participants had to say:

“(I enjoyed) networking with other industry professionals, and learning from instructors who were very experienced in the field and from professionals with different backgrounds and perspectives.”

“(I enjoyed) the breadth and the detailed discussion and examples, as well as Sami’s broad perspective of the industry and how the different Impact elements were developed.”

“(It was) very engaging for what could easily be dry subject matter.”

“Learning about real world applications and the experiences of others.”

Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation

In cooperation with the United States Department of Energy, the AESP Institute is proud to launch an in-depth training program on DSM program impact evaluation. Upon completion of all necessary coursework and meeting other requirements, participants will receive AESP’s “Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation.”

Target Audience

The Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation Course is designed with new evaluation staff in mind, those with less than 3 years’ experience in the energy industry. Its alternatives are a formal in-house training program, or more commonly “learning-on-the-job” where a supervisor or colleague guides new staff over several months or years.

Ideal candidates for this program include new staff entering a research and evaluation function in DSM consultancies, consultancies that specialize in research and evaluation, government, state and regional energy organizations and large utilities with in-house evaluation needs (National Grid, etc.).

Delivery

This course will be delivered in two parts:

Course 1:

Delivered online. Self-paced. The online course takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete and will be made available 6 weeks prior to the in-person training.
(Not sold Separately)

Course 2 and group project:

Course participants will meet in-person for 2 days in a city and date that will have been pre-determined before the start of the course. Here they will attend live lectures to complete Course 2, then work collaboratively with a team to complete a group project.

Note: To earn the Certificate you must complete both the online and in-person courses.

Cost

  • Members: $995.00 USD, or (10) Group Member points
  • Non-Members: $1,249.00 USD

CEUs: 1.1

PDHs: 11

Upcoming Cohorts:

Our calendar is currently in the works, please check back with us later.

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Course Outline

The Foundations of Impact Evaluation Certificate course covers the basics of the energy industry and demand-side management industry, before diving into the principles of program impact evaluation.

In this cohort-based program, participants enroll at the same time as their peers and experience the learning journey together (communicating via an online discussion board and eventually meeting in person), culminating in a final project which they complete as a team. To earn the certificate you must complete both courses and the group project.

  1. EE Programs
    • EE programs, their basic purpose, components, and functioning
    • History of EE programs and why EE programs were originally created
    • Basics of the utility business including load profiles, obligation to serve, load duration curves, load factors, rudimentary rate making (which includes differentiation between fixed and variable costs)
    • Different types of EE and DER programs and purposes of each, savings taxonomy (e.g. portfolios, programs, projects, measures)
    • Compare demand-side and supply-side resources, IRPs, and common cost-effectiveness assessments (e.g. California Standard Practice Manual and National Standard Practice Manual)
    • Types of customers and participants (i.e., various utility sectors and their customer characteristics)
    • Players within the EE program sphere and the political realities of each
    • Types of regulatory bodies and how they interact with EE programs
  2. Program Evaluation in General
    • Foundations of program evaluation e.g. standards, guidelines, principles, competencies, approaches, and theories.
    • Key program evaluation concepts e.g. evaluability, impacts, processes, worth, etc.
    • How evaluation and EE programs interact; how evaluation timing may affect a program
    • The different goals of evaluation
    • Types of evaluation associated with EE/Demand Response/Distributed Energy Resource programs e.g. impact, process
    • Evaluation standards/guidelines e.g. the JCSEE standards and the AEA guidelines
    • Roles and relationships of the evaluator in the program design/implementation/evaluation cycle, in regard to regulators and program administrators
    • What is included in evaluation frameworks
  3. EE Impact Evaluation
    • Methodology that grounds inquiry in program evaluation practice
    • Key EE impact evaluation terms such as effective useful life, net and gross energy, and non-energy impacts
    • Various impact designs, when to apply them, and tools of each e.g. quasi-experimental, experimental designs
    • Counterfactual, and how baselines are related to the counterfactual
    • EE evaluation resources e.g. SEE Action publications, Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs), etc.
    • Relationships and differences between impact evaluations and cost effectiveness evaluations, process evaluations, or market evaluations
  4. Key Impact Evaluation Methods and Tasks
    • Appropriate methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (to the extent practical, absent significant professional experience)
    • How to plan an impact evaluation and the tasks that must occur prior to choosing or implementing any impact method e.g. research goals, questions, etc.
    • How a sampling frame can affect an impact evaluation
    • Different types of impact evaluation approaches/methods along with their uses, strengths, limitations, risks, and relative costs
    • Important tasks within four key impact methods
    • Complications that may arise during each task of estimating energy savings
    • Savings persistence and savings interactions
    • Relationship between evaluation costs, accuracy, and timeliness
    • Relative precision, absolute precision, and accuracy, as well as the differences in each
  5. Framing the Evaluation
    • Appropriate evaluation purposes
    • Evaluation questions
    • How evaluation goals and research questions support choice of impact method(s)
    • What a report should include and how to structure a report depending on the audience
    • How to write about sampling and non-sampling errors within a report

Group Project

The AESP Foundations of Impact Evaluation group project directly reinforces the information learned in the training and requires individuals to apply these skills to a real-world professional scenario. It is worked on collaboratively as a team and must be completed to receive the Foundation of Impact Evaluation certificate.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the demand side management industry, including its basic purpose, components, and function.
  • Identify the purpose of evaluation, measurement and verification.
  • Understand and apply foundational program impact evaluation knowledge that grounds and guides professional practice.
  • Identify and define program impact evaluation methodology terms.
  • Demonstrate the ability to frame impact evaluation questions.
  • Determine appropriate impact evaluation methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

IACET Accredited ProviderAESP 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.

Upcoming Cohorts:

May 16-19, 2022
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Meet your Instructors

Sue Hanson, a Director at Tetra Tech, is a nationally recognized leader in the EM&V industry, with more than 20 years of experience working to support energy efficiency programs from multiple positions and perspectives—in program administration, evaluation, implementation, and training. Sue has been delivering the AESP Institute’s “Introduction to the Principles of Evaluation, Measurement & Verification” course for six years, successfully communicating with her audiences and presenting complex subject matter in an engaging way.

M. Sami Khawaja is the senior vice president at Cadmus. Prior to his current position, he ran Cadmus’ Energy Services Division. Under his leadership, the Energy Services staff grew to nearly 200 professionals . Over his career, he has evaluated over 100 energy-efficiency programs and conducted over 50 training workshops in various aspects of demand-side management design, evaluation, cost-effectiveness, statistical analysis, and planning. He has published work Contemporary Policy Issues, Energy Services Journal, Electricity Journal, Home Energy Magazine, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and The American Journal of Agricultural Economics.