Wired Group principals and associates offer a variety of skills sets which can be applied to a wide array of issues in distribution utility regulation, from electrical engineering and financial analysis to regulatory accounting, economics, and utility customer program design.
Grid Planning, Investment, Asset Management, and Operations
Wired Group Associate Dennis Stephens, with 35 years experience in these endeavors, has the knowledge and credibility to effectively challenge utility experts on all aspects of extraordinary grid investment. From the IT/OT interface to grid operations in the face of high distributed generation penetration, and from capacity planning to best practices in distribution planning, Wired Group clients are fortunate to have expertise like Dennis’s on their side. Dennis is in private practice in addition to his work for the Wired Group.
Wired Group President Paul Alvarez combines a career in financial analysis, product development, and product management with smart meter and distribution grid expertise to bring a unique perspective to extraordinary grid investment engagements. Benefit-cost analyses, discounted cash flow projections, and the present value of grid investment revenue requirements are his specialties.
Utility Customer Program Design
Paul Alvarez began the utility industry portion of his career developing and launching demand-side management (DSM) and renewable energy programs for Xcel Energy in 2001. His portfolio included demand response rates and programs for residential and commercial/industrial customers, data access software, voluntary renewable energy (Windsource®), solar incentives (Solar*Rewards®), and others. Experience with these programs, which many utilities’ use to justify smart meter and other extraordinary grid investments, is critical for recognizing the potential and challenges for creating value from such investments, as well as the associated requirements for securing customer benefits.
Bill Steele, a regulatory accountant with 35 years’ experience with the Colorado PUC, is the expert’s expert. Bill is an instructor at New Mexico State University’s Center for Public Utilities, where he teaches cost-of-service ratemaking to new regulators. Bill specializes in revenue requirements, cost of service studies, cost allocations by rate class, bill impact estimates, and other accounting components of extraordinary grid investment decisions. Bill also has an advocate’s orientation, and was appointed by governor and 2020 US presidential candidate John Hickenlooper to serve on the Board of the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel. Bill is in private practice in addition to his Wired Group work.
Ken Costello, formerly with the National Regulatory Research Institute and the Illinois Commerce Commission staff, has 30 years’ experience in econometric analysis. He specializes in the assessment and critique of cutting-edge policies in distribution utility regulation, including formula/multi-year rate plans, performance-based compensation, deregulation/unbundling, demand-side management, generation/RPS/hedging strategy, revenue-cap regulation, and many more. He has worked extensively abroad, and his perspectives are published frequently in multiple energy journals. Mr. Costello is also an expert’s expert, and like Mr. Steele teaches at the New Mexico State University’s Center for Public Utilities. Mr. Costello is in private practice in addition to his work with the Wired Group.
Unleashing latent value in distribution utility businesses