Utility Industry Basics for Federal Agency Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity (CFE) Procurement  

Education Type: 
Live Online
1.5 Hour
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
0.2 CEU

This training provides foundational information to help agencies understand the fundamental characteristics of the utility industry in the United States. With this information and understanding, federal agencies are better prepared to meet the 100% carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030 goal outlined in Executive Order 14057. This training provides attendees with an overview of the utility industry and a suggested approach for assessing, strategizing, and implementing plans for increasing consumption of CFE.


Schuyler Schell, Supervisor Project Procurement and Distribution Generation Services, Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)  

Supervisor Project Procurement and Distributed Generation Services at the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), within the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the Department of Energy. FEMP assists federal agencies in their efforts to achieve high levels of energy and cost efficiency and resiliency in their facilities. Mr. Schell leads the FEMP Program relating to DOE's Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Utility Energy Services Contracts, Distributed Energy Project and Procurement support, DOE Utility Contract Oversight, and other initiatives. Before coming to the DOE in 2001, Mr. Schell served in a variety of capacities at a leading housing finance Government Sponsored Enterprise. Earlier in his career, Mr. Schell was Vice President for Secondary Marketing and Product Development for a Dallas based Mortgage Company and was an economist and the Director of Government Agency Relations for a trade association in Washington. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany, and a Master of Planning Degree from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.

Tracy Niro, Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy  

Tracy Niro is the Utility Program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). Tracy is a recognized expert in energy policy, federal utility service contracting, and utility energy service contracts. She also oversees electric and natural gas utility acquisitions for DOE sites nationwide and serves as the chair of the Federal Utility Partnership Working Group. Tracy was a 2009 Presidential Management Fellow, has completed detail assignments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the International Energy Agency, and was awarded a Fulbright Professional Scholarship to conduct energy research in Australia. Tracy began her career as a staff accountant for an investor-owned utility and has 17 years of experience in the energy industry including past experience leading the DOE FEMP Power Purchase Agreement Program and serving as coordinator for floating offshore wind regulation in Hawaii at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, earned her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law and is a licensed attorney in the State of California (inactive).

Nichole Liebov, Distributed Energy Program Manager , U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management  

Program (FEMP). Dr. Liebov has expertise in federal distributed energy project planning and implementation, federal distributed energy procurement, and performance contracting and leads the interagency Renewable Energy Working Group. Dr. Liebov was a 2020-2022 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at DOE and holds a BS in Chemistry and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry.

Michele Zemplenyi, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program  

Michele Zemplenyi is a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) where she supports multiple efforts, including deployment of energy storage at federal sites and electric vehicle infrastructure site assessments. Dr. Zemplenyi holds a BA in Statistics and a PhD in Biostatistics.

Elisabeth McClure, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program  

Elisabeth McClure is a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at FEMP where she supports sites in meeting net-zero requirements, facilitates equitable energy planning, and coordinates a decarbonization webinar series for federal agencies. Dr. McClure holds a B.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Microsystems Engineering.

John Nelson, Contracting Officer, DLA Energy, Installation Energy  

John has over 30 years' experience with DLA Energy, working in the liquid petroleum, natural gas and electricity markets. He has been a Contracting Officer in the competitive retail electricity market for over 20 years and has led acquisitions in ISONE, NYISO, PJM, MISO and ERCOT. John has experience in Power Purchase Agreement and REC efforts and in his current role, oversees the Demand Response program at DLA Energy.

Denise Funkhouser, Director of the Energy Division, General Services Administration  

Denise Funkhouser is Director of the Energy Division at the General Services Administration, which has an inventory of over 371 million square feet in over 8,800 assets. She is responsible for energy management, energy procurement, and performance contracting in GSA's portfolio. Her focus is on maximizing energy efficiency, energy savings performance contracts, analytics, energy procurement strategies, and leading the agency to reach the carbon pollution-free electricity goals in EO 14057. Prior to her role at GSA, she was responsible for managing the U.S. Secret Service facilities world-wide. She was also the Chief of Buildings Management and the National Telecommunications Manager for the Immigration and Naturalization Service at Headquarters and their Central Regional Director of Facilities and Engineering. Prior to government, she worked as a space planner for architectural/engineering firms and led space management at a commercial developer. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of General Administration from the University of Maryland.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Recognize the difference between vertically integrated and retail electric choice utility markets;
  • Recognize the impact of market structure on available CFE options;
  • Identify feasible, impactful pathways to increased CFE; and
  • Leverage available FEMP and other resources to help agencies meet CFE goals.


  • Slide deck

  • Federal Agencies and Facility Criteria: