Call for Speakers

This year’s theme: Optimizing the Demand Flexibility Value Chain

Please contact Melanie Cohen at [email protected] with any questions about the speaker submission process.

Important Dates

Submissions due: Wednesday, February 21, 9:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM PT (no extensions)

Submission review period: February 22 – March 15

Acceptance notifications: Early April

Summer Con: July 23-25, 2024

  • July 23: Pre-conference Training Course(s), Utilities Connect, Emerging Professionals Event, and Opening Reception

  • July 24: Opening General Session, Breakout Sessions, and Evening Reception

  • July 25: Breakout Sessions and Closing General Session Lunch

What’s in It for Me?

Summer Con is AESP’s more intimate, niche annual event, attracting 300+ energy professionals from across North America. As a speaker, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Increase your organization’s image and visibility.
  • Position yourself as a leading expert.
  • Grow your professional network, connect with peers, and make new contacts.
  • Contribute your expertise to this rapidly changing industry.
  • Gain knowledge from others in your session and at the full event.
  • Enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Toronto.
  • Receive a highly discounted registration rate for the full conference.

Submission Requirements

  • Presentation title.
  • Preferred session format (individual presentation, panel discussion, or workshop-style learning lab).
  • Topic track.
  • Presentation descriptions (shortened version for the conference agenda, and then an expanded version for the judges to review) .
  • Three (3) learning objectives .
  • Speaker information, including a bio.

Our goal is to meet the needs of differently-abled people throughout the abstract submission and agenda creation processes and to make the final on-site content accessible. Please contact Jenny Senff at [email protected] for assistance in making the process and content accessible.

Submission Guidelines

  • Complete your submission by the deadline – abstracts received after February 21 will not be considered. Submit early to avoid heavy traffic at the deadline!
  • Explain why the topic is relevant, innovative, and important to AESP’s audience.
  • The presentation and/or content has not been offered at a previous AESP conference or large industry event.
  • The presentation and/or content should showcase the latest innovations, best practices, and trends impacting the industry. New or unrefined concepts or lessons from other industries may be considered.
  • The suggested speaker(s) should be considered experts on the proposed topic and experienced public speakers.
  • A submission that appears to be selling a product or service will not be accepted.
  • While AESP does not limit the number of speakers submitted by a company, the program planning committee does limit each company to two (2) accepted presenters to ensure a wide representation of organizations and perspectives.
  • Please note that preference is given when utilities are part of the presentation.

Similar to the communities served by utilities and the energy industry across North America, AESP is made up of clean energy professionals that represent different races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, geographic backgrounds, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, vocations, ages, abilities, career stages, socioeconomic backgrounds… and more. As you submit your abstract, we encourage you to be inclusive in your selection of presenters to reflect the diversity that contributed to the information you intend to share. AESP believes that human diversity should be celebrated, respected, and represented in every way.

Acceptable Presentation Formats

Presentation

Speakers may submit as individual presenters and be combined into a moderated session. An accepted presentation speaker will be part of a session that includes 3 to 4 total presentations (10-15 minutes each), based on similar topics. All presentations should provide clear takeaways and learning objectives that are summarized in the submission. Typically, presentations are conducted by one subject matter expert, but up to two speakers may be submitted. Please note that the two speakers MUST be from different organizations, and there is a preference for at least one utility representative. Speakers typically show slides, videos, or similar visual content to support their presentation.

Discussion

Discussion sessions will foster and stimulate discussion and debate between the panelists and the audience, with a moderator keeping the panel on topic and providing questions to facilitate discussion. Discussion sessions typically include a moderator and 3 to 4 panelists, and may choose to use slides as references, but should mainly be discussion-based. Speakers interested in being a part of a discussion session may submit themselves and their topic of interest to be combined with other speakers, or may submit a full panel of recommended speakers and moderator. If multiple panelists and moderator are submitted, they MUST be from different organizations.

Learning Labs

Similar to a workshop, this format is meant to be highly engaging and emphasizes participant interaction and group discussion or learning exercises.  

Requested Content

Summer Con 2024 will focus on optimizing the demand flexibility value chain – tackling the topic from every angle. We’ll focus on an end-to-end approach, including policy, planning, program design, marketing, implementation, and evaluation/measurement and verification.

Design & Implementation
  • AMI and load data.
  • Designing programs for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Electric vehicle program design and implementation.
  • Natural gas demand response.
  • Growing and diversifying the clean energy workforce.
  • Defining and measuring success.
  • Provincial policy outlook.
  • Emerging BHM resilience technologies.
  • Grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).
  • Demand flexibility case studies.
  • The role of flexible loads in achieving decarbonization goals.
  • Evolving EM&V methodologies.
Outreach & Engagement
  • Equity in pricing, demand response, and emerging technologies.
  • Designing rates and incentives for multi-family tenants and owners.
  • Customer recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Demand flexibility policy.
  • Customer education on demand flexibility.
  • Channels and platforms.
  • The role of customers in resilience opportunities.
  • Successful grassroots efforts and creative partnerships.
  • Heat pump offerings and engagement opportunities.
Technical Integration
  • The role of AI and machine learning.
  • Demand response and rate design.
  • Virtual Power Plant (VPP) case studies.
  • Electric vehicle managed charging.
  • Heat pumps and demand flexibility.
  • Electrification at scale.
  • DERMS and ADMS.
  • Integration of solar and storage.

Judging Process

A distinguished panel of AESP Planning Committee members, who are energy professionals with subject matter expertise, will review and score abstracts. Judging is completed in a fair and objective process. Judges are bound by confidentiality and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case they will recuse themselves. 

Abstracts are scored on a 1 (low) – 5 (high) scale on the following criteria:

  • Innovation, to ensure that the topic is unique and new to the AESP community.
  • Relevance and Impact to conference attendees and AESP membership.
  • Speaker’s Qualifications, to ensure the presentation is high quality.
  • Overall Impression, including the strength of abstract writing, clear direction, and cohesion.

The judges will also apply their own experience to assess the quality of the abstract. After initial judging, the Planning Committee will participate in a virtual meeting to review scores and abstracts. A highly collaborative planning session will take place, where Planning Committee members select the final abstracts to be included as part of the agenda. If a topic area is missing, AESP may curate some content to balance out the remaining agenda.

The “Fine Print”

The AESP Program Planning Committee reserves the right to:

  • Build unique sessions based on ideas presented in the proposals. For example, an idea for a presentation may be moved into a multi-speaker panel on the same subject. Presenters will be given an opportunity to accept or reject the reconfiguration of their proposal.
  • Accept a limited number of proposals from the same organization/speaker. The program planning committee’s goal is to provide a diversity of opinions, speakers, and organizations on the agenda. Authors/organizations are encouraged to send in more than one proposal for consideration, but will be limited to no more than two (2) selected speakers.
  • Reserve session slots for hot topics, late-breaking industry news, and/or invited speakers.
  • Curate sessions to fill content gaps not addressed by abstract submissions.

 

Presenter and Panelist Requirements:

  • All speakers must have superior public speaking, presentation, and/or training skills.
  • All presenters will be required to use an AESP template if using PowerPoint slides.
  • All presenters identified in submissions must confirm their availability to travel and present, prior to submittal.
  • All speakers must register for the conference unless attending only their session. AESP sincerely appreciates our presenters’ efforts in developing and delivering exceptional presentations, but unfortunately is not able to offer complimentary registration, pay speaker fees, or reimburse travel/lodging expenses for speakers. AESP does, however, offer speakers a significant conference registration discount.