Future Grid

Tags: Technology Policy

Live Stream

Co-Presented by
Getches-Wilkinson Center

The Recovery Act made a strategic investment of over $5 billion to upgrade the electrical grid. The promise of “smart grid” technology, as envisioned by the Energy Policy Act of 2006, depends on the development of interoperable smart grid standards and the development of an ecosystem around home energy management. Across the United States, a range of approaches are taking hold in this arena, with companies such as OPower, Simple Energy, Tendril, and Nest Labs (now owned by Google) creating opportunities for consumers to use energy more efficiently and participate more easily in “demand side management” programs.

The promise of the smart grid and enhanced home energy management remains a work-in-progress. As the Obama Administration has outlined in two White House reports (see here), there are a range of ongoing initiatives to encourage investments in updated technology, the adoption of interoperable standards, the sharing of data in a standard format, and the management of grid security. In this conference, we will evaluate the progress of such efforts, discussing (1) what technological upgrades of the grid are most cost-effective, (2) the role of the energy consumer in the new grid environment, and (3) what data issues (including privacy and security concerns as well as data analytics opportunities) are emerging as companies—ranging from electric utilities to companies like Nest—are capturing and storing consumer data.


  • William Boyd
    Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado
  • Phil Weiser
    Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
Keynote Address
  • Tony Clark
    Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Grid Modernization

The Role of Distributed Resources
  • Sharon Jacobs — Moderator
    Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
  • Joel Eisen
    Professor of Law, Austin Owen Research Fellow
  • Mark Detsky
    Attorney, Dietze and Davis, P.C.
  • John Phelan
    Energy Services Manager, Fort Collins Utilities
  • Jeff Ackermann
    Director, Colorado Energy Office
  • Amanda Bybee
    Co-Owner and Director of Strategic Planning & Initiatives, Namaste Solar

Data Issues Raised by the New Grid
  • Phil Weiser — Moderator
    Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
  • Diana Moss
    President, American Antitrust Institute
  • Tim Enwall
    Head of New Business Development & Boulder Site Leader, Nest Labs
  • Sejal C. Shah
    Counsel, Venable LLP
  • Justin Segall
    Founder & President, Simple Energy
  • John Wallington
    Co-Founder and Managing Partner, UPC Capital Ventures, LLC

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