2017 Symposium: The Impact of Demand Response Technology on the Electricity Sector

Evolution of Demand Response Technology and Wholesale Markets with Joel B. Eisen and Michael P. Lee

Considering the Benefits and Impacts of Demand Response Technology with Tim R. Dodge, Ron Domitrovic, and Melissa Powers

Practical and Legal Issues to Modernizing Technologies in the Grid with Michael Panfil and Shelley H. Welton

 Keynote Address by Alexandra B. Klass

*Professor Eisen’s discussion is not included in the first panel’s recording


Event Information:

The North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology (“JOLT”) 2017 Symposium brings together an outstanding group of experts to discuss the impact of smart metering, smart solar inverters, new storage systems, and other demand response technology on the electricity sector. It has already been demonstrated in Texas that a combination of smart metering coupled with time of day economic incentives on electricity prices can significantly alter and shift the demand for electricity. The use of smart metering also has potentially significant economic and environmental impacts. Time shift in the use of electricity has the potential of promoting significant economic efficiencies because the cost of producing electricity varies within the day, time of year, and availability of intermittent sources. Additionally, smart metering also has significant environmental impacts because of the potential ability to alter demand to availability of renewable sources. Potential questions to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: connection between demand response devices and competitive markets; the role of Public Utility Commissions in traditionally regulated states in encouraging alternative pricing and availability of demand response devices; the importance of demand response devices to the continued penetration of renewable energy and less need for back-up generation; the integration of demand response devices with other technological and computing control; and the role and use of electric utility “push or control” devices outside of the customers control.

The UNC School of Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics is sponsoring the 2017 JOLT Symposium.

The event was held on Friday, February 24, 2017 from 8:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. in Chapel Hill at the Carolina Club.

For directions to the Carolina Club and information on where to park, click here.

Registration Information:

The registration form can be found here.

Please fill out the registration form and email it to Breegan O’Connor at se.ncjolt@gmail.com. Registration closed on February 16, 2017.

Payment will be collected at the door. Please bring cash or a check to pay the appropriate fee.

Registration Fees*

Attorneys Registering for CLE credit (3.25 Hours of CLE Credit)$85
General Public$35
Non-UNC Students$20
UNC Students and FacultyFree

*Includes buffet lunch

Symposium Schedule:

8:00 – 8:30 AM Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 8:40 AM

Opening Remarks

8:40 – 9:20 AM

Evolution of Demand Response Technology and Wholesale Markets

Moderated by Professor Jonas J. Monast, C. Boyden Gray Distinguished Fellow, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Center on Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3)

Joel B. Eisen, Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at the University of Richmond School of Law

Michael P. Lee, Energy Industry Analyst at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

9:20 – 9:35 AM

Q&A with First Panel

9:35 – 10:35 AM

Considering the Benefits and Impacts of Demand Response Technology

Moderated by Professor Maria Savasta-Kennedy, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Externship Program

Tim R. Dodge, Attorney at the North Carolina Utilities Commission

Ron Domitrovic, Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute

Melissa Powers, Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of Law at the Lewis & Clark Law School

10:35 – 10:50 AM

Q&A with Second Panel

10:50 – 11:00 AM

Break and Refreshments

11:00 – 11:40 AM

Practical and Legal Issues to Modernizing Technologies in the Grid

Moderated by Professor Victor B. Flatt, Thomas F. and Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law and Director, Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3)

Michael Panfil, Director of Federal Energy Policy and Senior Attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund

Shelley H. Welton, Ph.D. in Law Candidate at Yale Law School and Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law

11:40 – 11:55 AM

Q&A with Third Panel

11:55 – 12:20 PM

Keynote Address

Alexandra B. Klass, Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School

12:20 – 12:35 PM

Q&A with Keynote

12:35 – 12:40 PM

Closing Remarks

12:40 – 1:30 PM




Keynote Speakers and Panelists:

Keynote Speaker:

Alexandra B. Klass*. Alexandra B. Klass has extensive experience with environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law. She is currently a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota where she teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law. Ms. Klass is also a prolific writer and selflessly devotes her free time to bettering her community. She is the co-author of Energy Law, Energy Law and Policy, and The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law. Additionally Ms. Klass currently is a member of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy legal committee, and represents clients pro bono in cases involving environmental law, natural resources law, and energy law.


Tim R. Dodge. Tim Dodge is a staff attorney with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Tim has a B.S. degree in Natural Resource Policy and a Masters of Public Administration, both from North Carolina State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from UNC School of Law (2009). Prior to joining the Public Staff in January 2011, Tim worked as a legislative analyst (2001-2006) and as legislative counsel (2009-2010) for the Research Division at the North Carolina General Assembly, where he staffed the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee, and the House Energy and Energy Efficiency, Water and Water Infrastructure, Environment and Natural Resources, and Judiciary III Committees. Tim also served as Commission Staff for the several legislative study commissions, including the Environmental Review Commission, the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change, the Legislative Study Commission on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure, and the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture. Tim’s primary focus since joining the Public Staff has been electricity issues, including renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS) compliance, certificates of public convenience and necessity for renewable energy facilities, least cost integrated resource planning, avoided costs, and other proceedings.

Ron Domitrovic. Dr. Ron Domitrovic joined the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in 2009 and is a program manager in its Power Delivery & Utilization Sector. He is responsible for guiding EPRI’s research related to the energy efficiency of end-use equipment, including lighting, data centers, and appliances, with a focus on air conditioning, refrigeration, and thermal systems in buildings. He supervises the EPRI End Use Laboratories, where he leads a team in the design of laboratory testing apparatus and in the evaluation of device and system performance. Prior to joining EPRI, he was the president of Redwood Electric Corporation, providing services for the construction of electrical and specialty systems in commercial, residential, and light industrial buildings. In his early career, he conducted research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Buildings Technology Center and the University of Tennessee Thermal Science Research Center. He is an active member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), where he has served on technical committees, including TC 8.7, Variable Refrigerant Flow. He has published numerous papers and articles on thermal systems. He received a B.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in construction management from the University of Florida, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Joel B. Eisen*. Joel B. Eisen is currently a Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at the University of Richmond School of Law. He teaches and writes in the areas of energy law and policy, environmental law and policy, climate change, and the Smart Grid. Additionally, Mr. Eisen has co-authored an extensive amount of books, treatises, and articles, including the leading textbook on energy law, Energy, Economics and the Environment: Cases and Materials. Mr. Eisen also was a Fulbright Professor of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law in 2009 where he researched how to improve environmental conditions in China.

Michael P. Lee. Michael Lee is an Energy Industry Analyst in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mr. Lee joined the Commission in 2010, and works on issues that include distributed energy resources, demand response, and wholesale market design. Mr. Lee is the project lead for Commission staff’s annual Demand Response and Advanced Metering Report, which is required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Mr. Lee also serves as a Commission’s liaison to the North American Energy Standards Board with a focus on wholesale electric standards development. Prior to joining FERC, Mr. Lee was the Director of Integrated Resource Planning at the Maryland Public Service Commission, where he proposed and collaborated on the design and implementation demand response policies, certified distributed energy resources, and facilitated curtailment service provider efforts in the state. Mr. Lee also oversaw the state’s renewable portfolio standard. Earlier, he served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Department of Legislative Service, Maryland General Assembly, where he provided economic and policy guidance. Mr. Lee has also provided energy, economic and regulatory consulting services to DOE Headquarters, DLA Energy (Defense Energy Support Center), and state regulatory agencies.

Michael Panfil. Michael Panfil is currently Director of Federal Energy Policy and a senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund. His work is dedicated to designing a more environmentally friendly, economic, and efficient electric system through federal, state, and regulatory efforts, and advocating for the deployment of smarter technology, improved design standards, and sustainable practices to reduce emissions in the United States. Previously, Mr. Panfil has advocated for demand response, smart grid technologies, and time-variant pricing enhancements in California and New York.

Melissa Powers*. Melissa Powers is currently a Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and an Associate Professor of Law at the Lewis & Clark Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, climate change law, the Clean Air Act, torts, and administrative law. Ms. Powers also currently is a co-chair of the Research Committee of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. Ms. Powers previously has been a Clinical Professor at the environmental law clinic at Lewis & Clark, the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, and an attorney at public interest environmental law firms.

Shelley H. Welton*. Shelley H. Welton received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a M.P.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is currently a Ph.D. in Law Candidate at Yale Law School and an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Ms. Welton teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, environmental law, energy law, and climate change law. She also was previously the Deputy Director and Earth Institute Climate Law Fellow at Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law.


*Indicates forthcoming publication in North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology, Volume 18