Custom research tailored for your budget

The challenges you face and the questions you need answered are often parallel to other similar organizations.  The benefits from joining a SEPA multi-client study include:

  1. Pooling resources and finances to share costs and solutions-in-common with similar organizations from around the United States.
  2. Identifying common recurring gaps or challenges where the solution set is better represented by a more robust group of stakeholders.
  3. Allowing participants to establish a network of direct peers who are facing similar challenges and build a support system to continue to share best practices and insights.
How does it work?

Multi-client projects allow organizations to be part of exclusive research that tackles challenging issues in the utility carbon-reduction space.  These projects provide unique analysis and insights that identify solutions and opportunities to inform your decisions about the energy ecosystem.

Multi-client projects differ from other SEPA research projects and reports available to the general public.  They concentrate on a specialized area of interest that may not be widely covered and that requires in-depth data collection through interviews, surveys, and stakeholder processes coupled with detailed analysis and recommendations from industry-leading subject matter experts. The results are often the first of their kind available in the market.

SEPA multi-client projects serve a variety of different purposes, including strategy for long-term planning, and in-depth analysis into niche and underexplored topic areas.

Projects SEPA is Currently Soliciting

Equitable Electrification (SEPA & EPRI joint study)

The Challenge

Regulators and utilities are increasingly looking to effectively address equity in their transportation electrification programs and investments. Yet the majority of current programs targeting underserved communities are not meeting that group’s needs.

Outcomes: Join SEPA and EPRI to bring together stakeholders from utilities, EV charging providers, community organizations, and  underserved customers.

This study will:

  • Evaluate the efficacy and equitability of traditional transportation electrification program design elements.
  • Develop a set of benchmarking practices and tools designed for quantitative assessment of equity and inclusiveness in current and future TE programs.
  • Offer a series of utility boot camps and accompanying resources to support new program design efforts.

The Engage Task Force

The Challenge

The utility industry is undergoing dramatic changes due to innovative new clean energy technologies, new demands from customers, changing economics and the increasing imperative to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change.

Outcomes: The Engage Task Force, facilitated by SEPA and EPRI, will identify issues and areas where education about technologies, terminology and tools are most critical.  The task force will employ robust stakeholder engagement to create a solid foundation to advance new utility business models and the regulatory framework to facilitate them.

Fleet Electrification and Local Microgrids

The Challenge:

Fleet electrification is increasingly popular for companies looking to lower fleet operating costs while reducing emissions to meet carbon reduction commitments. As fleet electrification efforts ramp up, challenges around cost, timing, and potential risks must be addressed.

Outcomes: This project will explore how microgrids can potentially mitigate challenges and support companies, utilities, and their governing boards or regulators in evaluating these options.  The study will investigate this through stakeholder needs assessments, collaborative workshops and the development of a high-level economic screening tool and decision framework.

DER Strategy

The Challenge

As carbon reduction  efforts gain momentum, utilities recognize that frameworks and strategies for distributed energy resources (DERs) are critical to achieving organizational priorities while ensuring a safe, reliable, affordable, and clean grid. Utilities recognize evaluating new DER technologies and programs present challenges.

Outcomes: This project will develop a high-level DER framework and strategy to help utilities make informed DER program decisions that include customized templates to reflect a utility’s specific business conditions, informed by customer types, rates, market, and regulatory/policy considerations.  This study will explore use cases and include community engagement opportunities to craft a project pathway specific to your organizational needs and objectives.

Active Projects

EV Strategy - Developing an EV Strategic Framework for Utilities

The Challenge

Transportation electrification is the opportunity of the century for electric utilities. Planned and executed correctly, it can yield significant benefits for utilities, customers, and society. However, many utilities don’t know how to begin their transportation electrification strategies. Each service territory has unique characteristics and customers, making the reuse of strategic plans developed by other utilities risky.

Outcomes: The key is to plan ahead for vehicle deployment, so as to minimize barriers and ultimately leverage EVs for grid benefit. SEPA will help participants navigate the spectrum of EV possibilities, including program and rate design options. From this experience, we assist utilities in building a comprehensive strategic framework.

DERMS - Utility Systems of the Future

The Challenge

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) represent an intriguing and complex opportunity for utilities. While these advanced systems promise to simplify the management of utility DER portfolios, the broad spectrum of possible capabilities makes evaluation, selection, and justification of DERMS an overwhelming challenge.

An important element of the DERMS conversation is concise, well-defined terminology and language to articulate the many variants.


This study will:

  1. Identify and compare the many emerging variants of DERMS and DERMS modules
  2. Develop use cases to create a menu of options for utilities interested in DERMS
  3. Articulate traditional and cutting-edge options to streamline discussions on the value of DERMS with internal stakeholders as well as regulators

Completed Projects

Chris Schroeder

Vice President, Strategic Solutions

Chris Schroeder

Chris joined SEPA in 2017. He is responsible for helping SEPA members define a variety of programs, strategies, and solutions for distributed energy resources supporting the advancement of clean energy and modernized grid. Chris has over 20 years of management consulting experience across electric utility and renewable energy industries. Chris has also provided strategic consulting services for state regulatory proceedings, complex stakeholder facilitation services, utility tariff review and energy storage initiatives for utilities throughout North America. Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Willamette University and a Master of Science in Building Systems Engineering from the University of Colorado.

Phone: 202.871.9340     Email:

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For pricing and participation details, please contact Chris Schroeder at 202.871.9340 or