Utility Transformation Profile

The 2023 Utility Transformation Profile provides unique insights and recommendations that all utilities can utilize to accelerate their transition to carbon-free energy. Over the past year, SEPA collaborated with more than 100 individual utility members, spanning 41 states nationwide, and representing over 50% of U.S. customer accounts.

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What did we learn?

  • There is no silver bullet. For each utility, the path to a carbon-free energy system will take a different form and require different strategies.
  • Leading utilities improved the strength, depth, and transparency of their carbon-reduction targets by including both direct and indirect scope emissions (e.g., Scope 1, 2, and 3), accelerating target dates, incorporating interim targets, and developing action plans.
  • As customer-sited distributed energy resources (DERs) proliferate, utility respondents are increasing their visibility into distribution system operations to help manage DERs and maintain grid reliability.
  • The journey to an equitable, carbon-free energy system calls for utilities to promote equity through customer programs and planning processes as the transition unfolds.

Smart Charge Management Program Design (2021 - Present) | Exelon

SEPA is currently supporting two of Exelon’s operating utilities, Potomac Electric Power (Pepco), and Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), in the design and implementation of an EV smart charge management program for residential and commercial fleet customers in their Maryland (MD) distribution utility territories.

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The project will implement large-scale utility managed charging of electric vehicles and deliver a stack of benefit streams that will accrue to the local distribution utility, the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) partner, EV owners, and all customers. SEPA is leading the program design, marketing, and messaging components of this project.

Through this engagement SEPA will:

  • Gather market research for the smart charging demonstration in consultation with BGE, PHI, and the technology solution providers.
  • Develop unique incentives and smart charge actions for each customer segment (residential, multi-unit dwelling, public, workplace, and fleets) and a marketing and outreach program to attract the desired level of customer participation.
  • Support in determining duration and size (# of chargers and geography) of the demonstration and identification of likely pilot participants.
  • Develop a marketing and outreach program to attract the desired level of customer participation while balancing program costs with expected system benefits.
  • Identify key marketing messages and marketing approaches (e.g. microtargeting of select customer groups) that will help increase enrollment.

At the conclusion of the budget period one, SEPA and partners will produce a report documenting the market research, design the customer SCM demonstration, and quantify the financial impacts of the demonstration that will be presented to the Maryland PSC for approval.

Transportation Electrification Strategic Planning Framework (2020 – Present) | Multi-Client

SEPA is currently leading a multi-client engagement to develop a comprehensive framework to guide utility’s creating Transportation Electrification Strategic Plan customized for their service territory.

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Project participants include a wide range of U.S. electric utilities, from smaller cooperatives to large investor-owned organizations. Key elements the strategic plan framework is expected to include:

  • Current state of the EV and charging infrastructure market and projections for future market development
  • Customer requirements and engagement strategies, including customer facing materials
  • New utility business opportunities
  • Available tools for forecasting and utility planning
  • EVSE interconnection processes and best practices, including journey maps
  • Rate design options
  • Value of EVs and EVSE for utilities derived from load growth and load management
  • Defining potential utility strategic objectives
  • Internal organizational structure options and utility departments, including staffing approaches
  • EV program options
  • List of data resources and options to collect customer input

Project participants are also able to extend their involvement in the project and engage SEPA to help develop their customized strategic plan. For those participants, SEPA will provide additional support including facilitated engagement with both internal and external stakeholders, customer survey development and execution, and a final internal utility strategic framework workshop.