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Business Fundamentals for Engineers and Utility Personnel

February 10, 2023 | Online

Sponsored by EUCI

Click Here to register $895.00

Supplement your current expertise with critical insight into wider business concepts and skills to accelerate your career and help develop the management skills needed to lead your industry. This course will provide the opportunity to analyze and appreciate the global perspective of your work in a different way and understand today’s changing and complex utility business environment. It will give you a competitive edge that expands your insight and understanding of today’s utility business:

  • Identify the implications of emerging technology on electric utility business operations
  • Apply theories learned in this course to solve real day to day problems
  • Understand the existing and evolving business structures and the regulatory environment of utilities
  • Practice organizational management tools such as leadings teams and controlling projects

After this course you will walk away with a greater understanding of the inner workings of a utility business and the many new external factors acting upon it. You will become more proficient with utility finance, economics, marketing, project management, organizational leadership, and human resource management skills. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and review the basics of accounting and finance related to utilities
  • Discuss utility markets and economics
  • Review the basics of marketing and how it applies to the utility industry
  • Discuss project management steps and how methodology can improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while lowering prices and defects
  • Identify strategies to be a successful leader
  • Discuss how to effectively categorize, plan, and create effective meetings and agendas



9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Utility Finance & Accounting

  • What is an integrated resource plan?
  • The difference between rate base, rate case, and rates
  • What is a Public Utility Commissions and a rate case process?
  • The regulating entities governing a utility company
  • What is unique about how utilities make money?
  • Where does the money come from when a utility invests in an asset?
  • How do utilities earn money using the rate making formula?
  • Difference between an above the line and below the line cost
  • What costs are recovered in rates and which by shareholders?
  • Why utilities are so risk averse
  • Difference between Capital (Asset) and O&M (Expense)
  • How depreciation of capital assets work
  • Accelerated depreciation
  • Decoupling
  • Understanding the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cashflows
  • Describe the primary forms of a business organization
  • Understanding financial statements, their purposes, and uses
  • Primary forms of financing activities
  • How to find the most common questions about a business from the financial statements
  • Debt to total asset ratio
  • Gross profit rate
  • What is the current ratio?
  • Stranded assets


  • Different energy markets and how they balance a demand curve
  • Responsibilities of a balancing authority
  • How are utilities natural monopolies?
  • Pros and cons of a monopoly
  • Deregulation and what it means for you
  • Differences between Investor-Owned Utilities, Municipalities, Cooperatives, and Community Choice Aggregates
  • Benefits and negative aspects of being a vertically integrated utility
  • How upcoming disruptive business models and technologies are changing the traditional model of a utility
  • What utilities should invest in now to stay relevant


  • How to conduct market research and why it’s important
  • The only marketing strategy you will ever need: R (Research) + STP (Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning) + PM (Product Mix) + I (Implementation) + C (Control)
  • How to use the Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning technique for a focused effort
  • How to use the Product Mix to get the right combination of Product, Place, Promotion, and Price
  • Inside-out vs. outside-in products
  • How to determine what your next product should be
  • Difference between Customers, Evaluators, and Potentials
  • Disruptive innovation examples in the electric utility industry
  • Using marketecture and architecture

Project Management

  • How to succeed at each step of a project
  • Initiate, plan, execute, document, monitor/control, and close
  • Identifying project, activity, and complexity risks
  • Risk mitigation tools and strategies
  • Conducting first-rate kick off meetings
  • Preparing a Work Breakdown Structure
  • Find and manage the critical path
  • Balancing priorities between scope, schedule, and budget
  • How to avoid the most common causes of project failure
  • Incorporating the qualities of a successful project manager
  • How LEAN methodology can improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while lowering prices and defects
  • How LEAN applies to such a regulated environment
  • How to identify and eliminate waste
  • How to identify and focus on value added activities


  • How to categorize a meeting type and manage them differently
  • Alternatives to meetings
  • How to prepare for a meeting to increase efficiency
  • How to create an effective agenda
  • Who to invite
  • How to effectively use roles during a meeting
  • Types of people in meetings and how to direct each


Brent Olsen, President, 3 Phase Consulting

Brent has 25+ years of experience working for large electric utility industries including Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, and Portland General Electric. He has worked in distribution, transmission and generation engineering and is currently a Project Manager for Specialized Energy Operations where he manages the installation of generation facilities, microgrids, distributed energy resources, and various grid edge research and development projects. He leads a user group of utility professionals who follow and discuss business and technological changes in the electric utilities industry. 

Brent is an electrical engineer specializing in utility power systems with a masters in Energy Policy and Management and an MBA. He is also a PMP, has a degree in Spanish and is the two-time winner of Portland General Electric’s Project Manager and Project of the Year awards.