14th Annual AESP-NEEC Conference Speaker Biographies

Ronald Araujo is Manager of Energy Efficiency at Northeast Utilities. Ron has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry working in various roles within the Northeast Utilities. His broad background includes work in operations management, project/product management, and the marketing and sales of energy/energy services to major commercial and industrial customers. He is a former Board member for the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships and is a current board member on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board (EEB). Other accomplishments include being a speaker for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s nationally televised broadcasts on energy management and restructuring of the electric industry.

Currently Mr. Araujo is the manager of Residential Energy Efficiency Implementation in Connecticut for Northeast Utilities. The Residential Energy Efficiency Implementation team manages and implements electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs to residential customers of Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas. Ron has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Connecticut and a certified energy manager with the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

Domenic Armano is Vice President of Customer Solutions at First Fuels. Domenic brings deep domain and operational experience to FirstFuel customers. Prior to FirstFuel, Domenic was Director, Strategy & Innovation at Johnson Controls where he was responsible for the evaluation of new technologies relevant to Johnson Controls businesses. At Johnson Controls, Domenic forged critical relationships with entrepreneurs, universities, national labs, technology incubators and venture capitalists. In addition, he conducted due diligence of many energy technology companies which resulted in alliances and strategic partnerships. Before that, Domenic was a Regional Engineering Manager responsible for developing over $300MM in energy efficiency and renewable projects, including the comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit at the historic Empire State Building.

Domenic holds an MBA from Boston University, an MS in Engineering Management from Tufts University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Gabe Arnold joined NEEP in April 2014 as the Project Manager for NEEP’s Commercial Advanced Lighting Controls (CALC) project, a new Advanced Lighting Control demonstration and deployment initiative. He also provides support to the DesignLights Consortium and NEEP’s efforts with appliance standards and other emerging technologies. Gabe has more than 15 years’ experience in the energy efficient lighting industry as a designer, program implementer, and consultant. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is Lighting Certified by the NCQLP.

Janet Gail Besser is Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs for the New England Clean Energy Council, where she leads the Council’s policy and advocacy efforts to accelerate New England’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies. Previously, she was Vice President, Regulatory Strategy and Policy at National Grid, and Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Janet has been an executive and expert consultant at two leading consulting firms, Analysis Group and Lexecon, and held senior roles at the Massachusetts Energy Office and New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. She also served as policy director for a DC-based national independent power association, and began her career as a small hydro developer and low-income consumer advocate. Janet is a nationally recognized expert on a wide range of energy policy issues with deep relationships across the industry. She earned a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College.

Matt Buecker is senior marketing specialist for energy efficiency programs at Baltimore Gas and Electric. Matt currently leads the marketing efforts of BGE’s residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. He is responsible for strategic planning, advertising campaign development, and the management of customer research and communications. In 2009, he managed the marketing launch of 11 residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. To date, these programs are saving customers over 1.7 billion kWh annually and have been nationally recognized with numerous awards including ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Ben Davis is the Director of the Electric Power Division at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, where he has worked for over six years. At the DPU, Ben has focused largely on the implementation of the state’s clean energy policies, including: solar generation; long-term contracts for renewable generation, including offshore wind; nation-leading energy efficiency programs; electric rate decoupling; grid modernization and smart grid; time-varying rates (dynamic pricing); and electric vehicles. Ben has served as a DPU representative on several multi-agency efforts to implement clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies in the Commonwealth. Ben’s role also includes oversight of the competitive retail supply market and electric distribution company regulation regarding system reliability, emergency response, and service quality. Ben graduated from the Kennedy School of Government in 2008 where he earned a Masters in Public Policy, with a focus on energy and environmental economics and policy. Ben also holds a BA from Harvard University.

Liz Hanna is an Associate Project Manager with the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), in the Energy Efficiency Services group. Liz manages the Emerging Technologies and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC) program for the commercial/institutional sector. Liz has previously worked on policy and regulatory affairs, and in NYSERDA’s renewable energy programs.

Asa Hopkins is the Director of Energy Policy and Planning at the Vermont Public Service Department. For the last three years, he has led the team within the PSD that serves as Vermont’s state energy office. Prior to coming to Vermont, Asa helped to lead the first Quadrennial Technology Review at the U.S. Department of Energy as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He also worked on appliance energy efficiency standards and building energy modeling at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory after completing his PhD in Physics at Caltech.

Peter Klint is a Program Manager for Emerging Technologies at Northeast Utilities (NU) working across all of NU’s portfolio companies to coordinate emerging technology efforts, identifying and qualifying technologies that will help meet the future energy efficiency goals of Northeast Utilities. This role includes a seat on the Massachusetts Technology Assessment Committee, a working group of eight Massachusetts-based program administrators assessing new energy efficiency technology and collaborating with the Policy Working Group (PWG) led by Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) in Connecticut.

Peter has been engaged in developing and implementing emerging technology throughout his career. Prior to joining NU, as part of Fraunhofer’s TechBridge Program, he supported the development of emerging energy technology coming out of leading universities and start-up incubators. Previous to Fraunhofer, he supported private equity business development in the energy, telecommunications and information technology sectors. He also worked for several Massachusetts-based start-ups in systems engineering roles, partnering with sales, marketing and engineering teams to deliver market-changing solutions. Peter holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Northeastern University.

Raya Salter is Senior Utility Advocate at the National Resources Defense Council. Raya focuses on the development of new utility business models creating markets for and increasing the use of clean and renewable energy in the low income sector. Before joining NRDC, Raya was a regulatory attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked to engage utilities, regulators, policy makers, and opinion leaders to foster clean and renewable grid modernization. Prior to becoming an environmental advocate, Raya worked as a regulatory attorney at the law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf in New York City, representing energy industry participants in matters relating to regulation by state public utility commissions and federal agencies, transactions involving energy assets, participation in organized electric markets and inter and intra-state transmission. Before becoming a lawyer, Raya worked in youth and adult community-based organizations. Raya has a JD from Fordham Law School and a BA in economics from Wesleyan University.

Jeff Schlegel is an independent consultant specializing in policy analysis, planning, evaluation, research, program strategies, and regulatory issues for energy efficiency, low income, and demand response programs. He has more than 30 years of experience in the energy field, and much of his experience has been with public advisory boards and multi-party collaboratives. Currently in New England, Jeff is working for the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board (EEB).

Peter Zschokke is Director of Regulatory Strategy for National Grid, an international energy company with gas and electric utilities in the Northeast. In this role, Peter is a recognized expert in all regulatory issues regarding grid modernization, Smart Grid design and pricing. He represents National Grid on regulatory issues for Grid Modernization in MA, New York’s Reforming Our Energy Vision proceeding and National Grid’s Smart Grid Pilot. Peter is an expert on Time-Variant pricing, demand response, capital trackers, cost allocation, cost recovery and management audits. Peter is a graduate of Boston University with multiple degrees in Economics.