Over the past decade, several utilities and commissions have made investments into new technologies, tools, and techniques to modernize the electric grid. As some of these investments are reaching full implementation, there is an opportunity for other utilities and their regulators who are contemplating similar investments to learn from the experiences of the “early adopters.”

One key component of a successful grid modernization effort is customer engagement. Utilities are moving away from the “ratepayer” mindset and are seeking new ways to turn into more customer-centric organizations. More and more customers are interested in new technologies, more rate options, and access to cleaner energy choices. Utilities’ grid modernization efforts will help meet these new needs and demands from their customers.

About the Interviewee

Dr. Sanem Sergici is a Principal in The Brattle Group’s Boston, MA office specializing in program design, evaluation, and big data analytics in the areas of energy efficiency, demand response, smart grid and innovative pricing. She regularly supports her clients in their strategic and regulatory questions related to retail rate design, emerging technologies and grid modernization investments.

Dr. Sergici has been at the forefront of the design and impact analysis of innovative retail pricing, enabling technology, and behavior‐based energy efficiency pilots and programs in North America. She has led numerous studies in these areas that were instrumental in regulatory approvals of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) investments and smart rate offerings for electricity customers. She also has significant expertise in development of load forecasting models; ratemaking for electric utilities; and energy litigation.

Dr. Sergici is a frequent presenter on the economic analysis of DERs and regularly publishes in academic and industry journals. She was recently featured in Public Utility Fortnightly Magazine’s “Fortnightly Under 40 2019” list.  She received her Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Northeastern University in the fields of applied econometrics and industrial organization.

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