2022 SEPA Utility Transformation Award Finalists | SEPA Skip to content

2022 SEPA Utility Transformation Award Finalists


Utility Transformation Program of the Year

This award recognizes impactful, innovative, and replicable utility programs that empower customers to engage in the clean energy transition. Program attributes may include, but are not limited to, efforts to facilitate and incentivize customer engagement, strategies to bolster climate resilience, or approaches to accelerate customer electrification and adoption of carbon-reduction technologies.

Duke Energy – Energy Service Subscription
Duke Energy launched a subscription energy customer bundle, Energy Service Subscription or ESS, in the spring of 2021 in Florida. This cutting edge 12-month pilot aimed to increase customer satisfaction, while also helping Duke Energy meet its ambitious climate goals by increasing enrollment into demand response programs by offering a flat rate. The monthly subscription fee is based on past energy usage, historical average weather temperatures and a small program fee, and is unique in that there are no surprise bill adjustments or year-end settle-up payment for customers to worry about. The offering enabled them to meet their ambitious climate goals by increasing enrollment by 306% while also boosting demand response program enrollment.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) – Solar + Storage Rate
SMUD’s Solar and Storage Rate, which went into effect in March 2022, replaces their old Net Energy Metering Rate and more accurately and equitably reflects the true cost of solar for when it is imported or exported to the grid (7.4 cents/kWh). The rate came with incentives and programs to support the transition to a clean energy future by making clean energy technologies, such as rooftop solar paired with battery storage, accessible to more customers. SMUD’s extensive collaboration process to develop a holistic Solar and Storage Rate change resulted in a transformational, win-win solution that minimizes rate increases, maximizes environmental benefits and supports customer choice to eliminate carbon emissions.

Xcel Energy – Charging Perks Program
Xcel Energy’s Charging Perks Program prioritizes an excellent customer experience, while successfully designing for critical goals in grid management, including increased renewables integration. The pilot features three levels of managed charging. First, Xcel Energy shifts EV charging to off-peak to provide capacity and maximize bill savings for customers participating in a time-varying rate. Second, Xcel Energy shifts EV charging into hours with the lowest electricity production costs. Third, Xcel Energy directs charging towards times when the system is forecasted to have an abundance of renewables. Through Charging Perks, Xcel Energy is successfully optimizing residential EV charging to make it cheaper and easier for customers to own EVs and charge with clean electricity.

Utility Transformation Project of the Year

This award recognizes ambitious utility projects that advance carbon-reduction progress by leveraging innovative technologies and replicable approaches. 

Eversource – Advanced DER Forecasting and Modeling
Recognizing the myriad challenges facing the industry with regard to support for electrification, resiliency, and climate mitigation, Eversource formed an Advanced Forecasting and Modeling team to develop and drive data-centric modeling and analysis approaches across its tri-state footprint. By combining data from existing DER interconnection applications and satellite solar irradiance data, Eversource is modeling likely outcomes for DER adoption and electricity generation from rooftop solar PV systems, which inform their demand forecast models. As the Company builds and upgrades the distribution system over the next five years, these models ensure that the Company is prepared for future DER integration needs and can maintain safe, reliable, resilient service to all customers.

PPL Electric Utilities – Dynamic Line Ratings System
PPL Electric Utilities is on the verge of becoming the first utility in the U.S. to successfully integrate a full Dynamic Line Ratings (DLR) system into real time and market operations. After successfully piloting Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) sensors that help determine when to increase electric delivery to relieve line congestion, PPL Electric Utilities is now poised to integrate the ground-breaking DLR program into the regional generation market and across its system to alleviate transmission congestion and reduce customer generation costs.

Southern California Edison (SCE) – EASE DER Interconnection Project
The EASE project demonstrates scalable and replicable technologies that allow SCE to interconnect and manage the DERs required to reduce GHG and reach carbon neutrality by 2045. Through the project, SCE demonstrated a control architecture that can be used to develop a Distribution System Operator-type process to work with DER aggregators and provide energy services to the grid. This control architecture can be scaled territory-wide to manage all DERs throughout SCE’s service area and has the capability to increase DER hosting capacity, which can support demand growth beyond the planned loading limits of traditional wires-only solutions. The control architecture can help unlock the potential of DERs to defer distribution upgrades, thereby saving customers money and keeping electricity affordable.

Utility Transformation Leader of the Year

This award recognizes an individual who, while working at an electric utility, has demonstrated leadership to advance clean energy, enable grid modernization, and engage customers, technology partners, peer utilities and regulators. The individual’s ‘body of work’ can span a longer period of time, but the nomination should focus on activity and accomplishments during the eligibility period. 

Alexander G. Núñez – SVP, Governmental, Regulatory, & External Affairs, BGE
Alex is a tireless advocate at BGE and in Maryland to advance clean energy, enable grid modernization, and engage customers, technology partners, peer utilities and regulators. In the past year, Alex has led through unprecedented transformations, including broad decarbonization, EVs, energy efficiency, community solar, and smart city technologies.

Jessica Matlock – CEO, La Plata Electric Association
Jessica is LPEA’s first female CEO in the co-op’s 80-year history. She is focused on meeting their strategic carbon-reduction goals. Under her leadership, Jessica is helping LPEA transition to a clean energy company and a “utility of the future.” Jessica also recently founded and is the co-Chair of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Women in Power professional network. This group convenes women working in public power throughout the country to share ideas, develop professional connections, and support female advancement in a predominantly male industry.

Nadia El Mallakh – Area VP of Clean Transportation & Strategic Partnerships, Xcel Energy
Nadia El Mallakh leads Xcel Energy’s Clean Transportation team, and she and her team’s efforts are notable not just for accelerating the transition to electric transportation but serving as an exemplary model for enabling the whole ecosystem of stakeholders to move forward in ways that advance clean energy and modernize the grid. Working alongside key community and technology provider partners, Nadia is accelerating EV adoption in Xcel Energy’s service territory while also serving as a model for other utilities and technology providers as the industry ecosystem scales.

Utility Transformation Partner of the Year

This award recognizes a non-utility product or service provider that, in partnership with one or more utilities, has demonstrated leadership to catalyze utility transformation and progress towards a modern, carbon-free energy future.

GridPoint helps utilities better engage with their commercial business customers and provide greater value to them through energy efficiency, demand response, and decarbonization. GridPoint’s data-driven platform connects energy grids with the built environment and behind-the-meter distributed energy resources, enabling the ability to optimize energy and sustainability goals for businesses and the grid at the same time. GridPoint partners with utilities to better engage with commercial business customers and provide greater value through energy efficiency, demand response and decarbonization. For example, GridPoint’s partnership with Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) incentivizes small- and medium-sized businesses to adopt GridPoint’s smart building energy management technology platform through rebates, helping PSO commercial customers deploy the technology, save money on energy costs, reduce their carbon footprint, gain valuable data about their energy consumption and operate in a more sustainable way.

Smarter Grid Solutions
Smarter Grid Solutions distributed, autonomous DERMS software allows energy companies to control and optimize their DERs and integrate with grids and markets. The flexibility and multiple use cases allow utilities, energy services companies, microgrid operators, energy asset developers/owner-operators, aggregators, and traders track and optimize their DERs for a carbon-free future. SGS has partnered with AVANGRID, Con Edison and Hydro Quebec to assist each utility with their DER challenges.

WeaveGrid helps utilities minimize EV integration costs by transforming EVs into flexible grid assets that support resilience and sustainable solutions. The WeaveGrid platform balances EV charging profiles, grid system needs, customer rates, and driver preferences to deliver an end-to-end service for utilities and its customers. WeaveGrid’s data-driven platform helps utilities find EV drivers, enroll them in programs and EV-specific rates, analyze and get insights on charging patterns, incentivize grid-friendly charging habits, and actively manage charge, all while keeping drivers and the grid happy. WeaveGrid’s has recently implemented EV programs for BGE, Xcel Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric, Portland General Electric, and Pepco and Delmarva Power.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

This award recognizes organizations, project teams and/or individuals who have demonstrated unique leadership in efforts to advance DEI principles and programs – either at their own organizations or with their customers.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) – Variety of Initiatives
BGE has embraced and become an industry leader in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some examples include implementation of the Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable (RISE) team which develop a 2-year plan to drive positive, sustainable change at BGE and in the community, their Diversity and Inclusion Council which raises awareness among employees about diversity and inclusion topics and trends while providing employees with a forum to engage in dialogue, learn from each other, and hear from outside experts, and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). BGE also contributed $1,275,000 to three HBCUs to fund 49 student scholarships, grants, and projects.

Los Angeles Department Of Water And Power (LADWP) – Racial Equity Action Plan
LADWP developed their Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) as a guide to creating a more diverse workforce, inclusive workplace and equitable services. Their newly formed Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is taking transformative steps, including expanding partnerships with community-based organizations to diversify their workforce pipeline, training executive leaders, management and employees about DEI concepts, creating psychologically safe spaces for employees to live authentically and feel appreciated for their uniqueness, creating economic growth in underserved communities and underutilized minority owned businesses, continuing partnerships related to utility debt relief and strategic hiring plans making civil service employment accessible to vulnerable populations, committing to expand access to conservation programs and rebates with special attention to underserved communities, and creating Employee Resource Groups.

Southern Co – Moving to Equity Framework
Southern Company’s Moving to Equity framework includes a commitment to energy justice, including a Just Transition and environmental justice. Southern Company has committed to contribute $225 million through 2025 to advance racial equity and social justice in their communities. Included in this commitment – alongside education, criminal justice reform and economic empowerment – is $25 million dedicated to energy justice which will be used for energy assistance as well as job training and economic support for communities. Southern Co’s “2021 Transformation Report: Moving to Equity,” details its commitment to equity and actions taken to further advance equity within the company and its communities.