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Industry Heavyweight John Hofmeister to Deliver Keynote at 2017 Energy Professionals of Ohio Conference, presented by ENGIE Resources

October 10, 2017

In news that underscores the challenges confronting Ohio’s deregulated energy markets, the Energy Professionals of Ohio announced that John Hofmeister, Founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy and former President of Shell Oil Company, will deliver the talk “The Power of the Status Quo” as keynote presenter for its 2017 annual conference. The event, which is being presented by ENGIE Resources, will be held at Le Méridien Columbus on Nov. 2.

Hofmeister, who is a key member of the bipartisan United States Energy Security Council, will share his unique insights on driving change and maximizing opportunities in a difficult regulatory environment. 

Greg Bechert, board member of Energy Professionals of Ohio and co-owner of Scioto Energy, said the association is honored to have this renowned industry leader kick off this year’s event. 

“Mr. Hofmeister is an authority on the inner workings of the energy sector and knows the infrastructure essential for ensuring competition and customer value over the long term,” explained Bechert. “His talk is sure to bring an added perspective on how we as an organization can respond to regulatory pressures. It will set the stage for the wide range of issues we plan to cover during the conference.”

In addition to Hofmeister, Chairman Asim Z. Haque of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will provide critical updates on PowerForward: Exploring Technologies. This is the commission’s three-phase exploration of high-tech improvements to the state’s electricity grid. 

The first two phases were completed this summer and entailed a detailed examination of new wave grid technologies. The third phase is expected to be complete in the first part of 2018 and will bring the conversation back to the PUCO’s role in grid modernization and to the regulatory and policy changes needed to achieve improvements.

The conference will also feature Rep. Mark Romanchuk, who will provide an update on HB 247. This legislation in effect would implement full deregulation by replacing the state’s system that was enacted in 2008 with one that would eliminate the controversial electric security plans (ESPs), in addition to a range of other provisions. Today, ESPs allow companies to propose multi-year rate plans that critics say favor utilities by having customers pay more than market value for power. 

A roundtable on this subject, as well as several other issues impacting Ohio’s regulatory landscape, will follow Romanchuk’s presentation. The conference will also include two other panel discussions – one on the market’s response to shale gas and another on the transformation taking shape in the industry’s model for defining and delivering customer value. 

Bechert said he is particularly excited about the content the group plans to cover at this year’s meeting. 

“The 2017 agenda is packed with issues and topics that are relevant to virtually any energy professional with interests in the state’s power and gas markets,” he added. “There will most certainly be something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to learn more about Ohio’s market, recent innovations in technology, key trends in delivering customer value, or how to get involved in important regulatory issues, the 2017 EPO annual conference will be the place to achieve those objectives. 

Registration to the 2017 EPO annual conference is limited. Industry professionals interested in signing up or viewing additional agenda details can click here. Early bird pricing is available through Friday, Oct. 13.

The EPO is a rapidly growing organization dedicated to providing a forum for enhancing the industry and educating the public and policy makers on the benefits of a strong and competitive energy market. For more information on how to join, visit