Michael Sullivan

Senior Vice President, Utility Services

Dr. Sullivan is a Senior Vice President at Nexant, Inc. In addition to his duties at Nexant, he is a teaching fellow in Energy Policy in the Public Policy School at the University of California, Riverside. He is a recognized expert in utility business planning, customer research design, and program evaluation. In his 35 year career in the utility industry he has directed numerous research and business planning projects involving utility customers: the design of pricing and information feedback studies, end-use surveys, customer value of service studies, studies of customer satisfaction with service, evaluations of DSM programs, and studies of utility customer preferences for new service offerings and rates. In recent years, Dr. Sullivan has led evaluations of energy savings obtained from the largest home energy report programs in North America, including those provided by PG&E and Duke Energy using vendors like Opower, Tendril and Simple Energy. In addition, he has designed and carried out a number of important pilot studies testing the impacts of new customer facing technologies such as prototype two-way communicating appliance load control devices; in-home displays (provided by Ecobee, Honeywell and others), smart thermostats (provided by Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell), EV charging stations with sub-meters (provided by Chargepoint and others) and home energy management systems provided by GE and others.    

In addition to the above work he has served as technical advisor on research design and surveying to a number of teams carrying out important industry research. For example, for the past five years he has been providing technical guidance to the US Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability regarding the use of customer interruption cost estimates in evaluating the economic value of utility service reliability and resilience. In conjunction with this consulting assignment, he and other members of the Nexant team have authored a soon to be published guidebook providing guidance to utilities concerning the measurement of the economic value of service reliability and resilience as well as a design for carrying out a national study of customer interruption cost for the US. Furthermore, Dr. Sullivan was a member of the DOE/LBNL Technology Advisory Group overseeing the design of pilot studies of dynamic rates being carried out by a number of U.S. utilities as well as several other projects to design and evaluate dynamic pricing pilots and feedback experiments being carried out by U.S utilities. He was the lead author of EPRI’s Guidelines for Designing Effective Information Feedback Pilots: Research Protocols. Consulting in the utility industry for over 20 years, Dr. Sullivan’s clients have included many of the country’s largest utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric, SEMPRA Energy, Southern California Edison, SMUD, Exelon, Puget Sound Energy, Duke Energy, Southern Company, Salt River Project, and Cinergy. He has also done extensive work for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute. Outside the utility industry, Dr. Sullivan consults with a variety of Fortune 100 companies including Toyota Motor Corporation, International Paper Company, and Google in matters related to customer perception of products and services, and satisfaction.

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