Utility Rate Considerations and REopt for UESCs  

Education Type: 
Live Online
1 hour
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (ET)
0.2 CEU
Sponsored by: 

DOE Federal Energy Management Program - FEMP

When developing a Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC), it's important to understand how changes to energy demand or load at a federal site will impact the utility bill. In this webinar, FEMP will cover basic utility rate concepts and introduce quick and simple approaches to help agencies evaluate rate options by utilizing DOE's renewable energy optimization tool (REopt*). FEMP will also provide an overview of REopt and how it can be used to assess the viability of distributed energy measures for UESCs.

*REopt is a free webtool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory most often used to identify an optimal system size for grid-connected distributed energy resources but can also be used to compare the life cycle costs of different utility rates for a specific site.

Download the webinar slides


Katy Christiansen, Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory  

Katy Christiansen is a project manager in the Project Development and Finance Advisory Group at NREL leading resilience and sustainability efforts. Katy's area of expertise includes strategic planning, project development, and analysis for the defense, federal, utility, and non-profit sectors. Her current focus is in resilience analysis for complex organizations and best practices for developing advanced infrastructure systems.

Kathleen Krah, Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)  

Kathleen Krah is a research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Her work centers around NREL's REopt tool, a techno-economic optimization tool for distributed energy systems. Kathleen leads techno-economic analysis projects to support domestic and international communities, government agencies, and other public- and private-sector organizations seeking to cost-optimally achieve their energy goals – including decarbonization, resilience, and cost-savings priorities. Additionally, she contributes to REopt tool development, with a focus on expanding emissions and renewable energy modeling capabilities, and now leads the REopt team at the program level. Kathleen holds an MEngSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering from University College Cork (Ireland) and a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Chandra Shah, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, MBA, CEM, Senior Project Leader, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)  

Chandra Shah is a senior project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). She has been supporting the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) since 1998--helping agencies purchase off-site renewable energy, implement distributed energy projects, and achieve energy/water goals through utility energy service contracts (UESC) and other utility partnerships. Chandra is a co-author of the ESPC ESA Toolkit and other ESPC ESA templates. She is a CEM and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Washington and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Jeff Gingrich, Project Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory  

Jeff Gingrich manages program and training development for the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Utility Team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He is an advisor in supporting development of utility energy service contract (UESC) projects and develops resources and curriculum for the internationally accredited UESC training courses for federal agencies and regulated utilities. In addition, Jeff supports a portfolio of projects at NREL that include energy savings performance contracts and Integrated Urban Services in the ASEAN region.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the basic electricity cost components included in a utility bill;
  • Follow specific steps to evaluate whether an alternative rate may be beneficial to your site;
  • Compare the life cycle costs of different utility rates for a specific site using REopt; and
  • Recognize how REopt can be used to evaluate the viability of distributed energy measures.
Federal Agencies and Facility Criteria: