September 2015 - Energy & Utilities Newsletter
For this issue of our newsletter, we’ve compiled a group of articles that address industry trends and exiting new innovations.
Date : September 29, 2015

This issue of “West News” highlights several new and exiting topics including urbanization and its impact on water, customer assistance programs, community solar, and other industry hot topics.

Industry:
Dear Clients and Friends,

With the NFL and college football season underway and my kids back in college I’m coming to terms with summer being over. Soon the leaves will change colors and the rage of pumpkin flavored everything will begin again.  This really is one of my favorite times of the year.  I hope you enjoy this newsletter and that you find the articles helpful and though provoking.  

In the first article of this quarter’s newsletter, manager Paul Augustine takes a look at the hot topic of community solar. While community solar is rapidly gaining traction throughout the country, there are a number of barriers that need to be assessed and addressed before these community solar programs can be developed. Paul examines five of these most important issues and explains how to approach these projects with the knowledge needed to be successful. 

In the second article, senior manager Peter Mulvaney takes a look at urbanization and its impact on water and those who work in the water industry. He discusses the importance of today’s water managers understanding the relationships between urban humanity and water, both historically and globally. With the changes and advancement in technology, Peter explains that there is an increased responsibility for us to use these new tools and educate residents about the need to invest and support actionable foresight.

As some of you may already know, the Solar Power International conference took place in Anaheim two weeks ago, and there was a last-minute addition to the agenda: Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. In our third article, Paul Augustine shares some key takeaways from the four-day event, including a great recap of potential presidential candidate, Joe Biden’s remarks. 

Lastly, we have an article written by senior consultants Tory Paez and Tricia Anklan along with experienced consultant Margaret Bellon. In this article they explore utility Customer Assistance Programs and outline the value they provide to utilities and customers and how a utility can reduce the effort for a customer in need to take advantage of these programs. These programs do a great job of providing more effective ways to support and assist customers facing financial hardships. We would also like to take this time to wish our Tricia Anklan well while she is volunteering for EOS International's Clean Water Program in San Isidro, Nicaragua through March of next year.

I hope you find this edition of our newsletter helpful and informative. We welcome your feedback, questions, and suggestions on topics that you would like us to cover in this forum.

Best regards,

Tom Hulsebosch
Managing Director - Energy & Utilities
thulsebosch@westmonroepartners.com
 

In many states, third-party residential rooftop solar developers actively implement campaigns to secure customers by presenting utilities as dirty, high-priced, slow-moving monopolies. But there is a way for utilities to use these trends to their advantage, specifically by establishing utility-sponsored community shared solar programs.

Many have heard that over half of the human population lives in urban areas, and this concentration of people is projected to increase. What does this mean to water resources managers who have limited resources and growing demands?

The 2015 Solar Power International conference included nearly 15,000 participants, representing 75 countries. Touted as the largest solar power conference in North America, participants from every aspect of the solar power industry gathered in Anaheim, California for the four-day conference this month.

Utilities across the country are in the spotlight for how they work with “at risk” customers. In other words, customers who are unable to afford critical utilities – electricity, water, and gas.
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