Intro to Electric Utility Systems for Non-Engineers | August 22-23

Electric Utility Systems for Non-Engineers 201 | August 24-25 | Online

An EUCI Program

Click Here to register $2395 (each course $1295)

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event


Introduction to Electric Utility Systems for

August 22-23, 2023 | Online :: Central Time

This course has been developed for non-engineers working for electric utilities or involved in business relationships with electric utilities. It provides a non-technical introduction to the concepts that form the basis for the design and operation of the integrated electric utility system. The concepts underlying legacy electric power systems and how the attributes of these systems affect their operation in today’s evolving market structure are addressed without reference to rigorous engineering techniques or mathematical analysis.  Challenges facing companies in today’s changing regulatory and operational environment are also discussed.

Participants will learn to recognize equipment and facilities in the field, understand their purpose and functioning, and develop a strong layman’s understanding of the underlying design, economics, and operation of electric power systems. Contemporary issues facing the designers, operators, and managers of modern electric power systems are also covered.

After completing the course, attendees will feel comfortable speaking with engineers from their company and asking follow-up questions to clarify their understanding of the issues that are being discussed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine the components of all functional areas of electric utility systems  
  • Consider the drivers of system design and operation  
  • Review the power system’s definitions and terminology 
  • Discuss the effects of industry and corporate changes on power systems design and operations, including:  
    • Alternative energy resources  
    • New concepts in system architecture such as the smart grid  
    • Emphasis on reliability and power quality 
  • Explain industry standards-related issues  
  • Discuss challenges created by the evolving regulatory/market environment  


August 22, 2013

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Introduction to Power Systems

  • Power System Overview and Electricity Basics
  • End-Use Loads and Load Characteristics

Power Generation

  • Steam Power Plants
  • Hydroelectric Power Plants
  • Renewable Energy Resources
  • Energy Storage

The Transmission System

  • Alternating Current Transmission
  • Direct Current Transmission
  • Transmission Structures
  • Transmission Interconnections, NERC, and RTOs


  • Power Transformers
  • Substation Equipment and Facilities

August 23, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

The Distribution System

  • Services and Secondary Lines
  • Line Transformers
  • Primary Line Equipment and Facilities
  • System Protection
  • Smart Grid

Electrical Losses

  • Line and Transformer Losses
  • System Demand and Energy Losses
  • Power Flow Model

Electricity Metering

  • Watt-Hour and Demand Metering
  • Metering High Voltages and Currents
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure
  • Special Metering Applications
  • Power System Restoration


Electric Utility Systems for Non-Engineers 201

August 24-25, 2023 | Online :: Central Time

In this one-and-a-half-day course, attendees will gain a deeper sense of all the aspects within an electric utility system. Diving into the details on the types of utilities, important organizations, renewables, balancing, economics, resiliency, and more, this class will provide you with more advanced concepts to further your holistic knowledge of the industry and to participate in educated conversations with your team.

Beginning with the electrical basics and spanning all the way to utility economics (rate cases, rate structure, expenses, assets, etc.), attendees will ease into more and more detail as the course moves forward, allowing for quick review for those who need a refresher (or for those who had just attended the Introduction to Electrical Systems for Non-Engineers program) but acknowledging that this is for those who are not brand new to the industry.

Although this course is paired directly after Introduction to Electric Utility Systems for Non-Engineers, it is not a pre-requisite for attending this event.

Learning Outcomes  

  • Review electrical concepts, including voltage, current, resistance, power, and energy
  • Walk through the details regarding distribution when it comes to design drawings, unbalanced current, and the complexities and science of underground cables
  • Dive into advanced concepts of transformers (i.e., wiring, instrument transformers, turn ration, tap changers, etc.)
  • Determine what power factor entails, why it’s bad, and how to improve it
  • Identify how energy markets, demand curves, baseload, forecasting, and more affect balancing
  • Assess renewables, energy storage, grid resiliency, and grid organization
  • Master utility economics concepts, which includes rate case processes, O&M expenses, shareholders, capital and stranded assets, and more


August 24, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Electrical Concepts

  • Review of basic electrical components
    • Ohm’s Law
    • Voltage
    • Current
    • Resistance
    • Power and energy


  • Walkthrough of the grid
  • Substation one-line basics
  • What is a feeder load profile?
  • Recognizing distribution design drawings
  • Unbalanced current
  • Complexities and science of underground transmission cables
  • How helicopters and drones are being used on the grid


  • How they work and how they’re made
  • How turn ratio determines voltage
  • How tap changers change voltage
  • How 120V and 240V residual wiring is connected
  • High voltage vs. high current
  • Delta/Wye transformers and systems
  • Line-to-line and line-to-neutral voltages
  • Understanding wiring from grid to house
  • Transformer banks
  • Instrument transformers
    • CTs
    • VTs

Power Factor

  • Why is low power factor bad and what is it?
  • Real, reactive, and apparent power
  • Improving power factor

Generation and Renewables

  • Series and parallel circuits
  • Difference between generator, motor, and engine
  • AC generator
  • Up-and-coming types of power generation


  • Balancing authority
  • Energy markets
  • Daily and yearly demand curves
  • How baseload and peaker plants are used in generation
  • System peak demand
  • Long-term energy forecasting
  • How the Duck Curve relates to renewable integration, surplus capacity, and ramp rate
  • How Electric Service Suppliers and Direct Access are changing the market
  • How Community Choice Aggregates are changing how utilities operate
  • How Qualifying Facilities and Independent Power Producers are changing utilities

August 25, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Energy Storage & Grid Resiliency

  • Types of energy storage and their use cases
  • Pumped hydro
  • How battery storage helps frequency response
  • Large grid storage examples
  • How demand response creates a flexible load

Grid Organization

  • FERC
  • NERC
  • Interconnections
  • Independent System Operators (ISOs)
  • Power Pools (PP)
  • Balancing Authorities (BA)
  • Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs)

Types of Utilities

  • Public Power Utilities
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Power Marketers
  • Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs)
  • Federal Power Agencies

Fundamental Utility Economics Concepts

  • Rate case process
  • Integrated Resource Plan
  • Difference between capital assets and O&M expenses
  • How do utilities make money?
  • Unintended consequences of the current rate structure
  • When a utility invests in an asset, where does the money come from?
  • Which costs are recovered in rates and which by shareholders?
  • Difference between an above-the-line and below-the-line cost
  • Depreciation of capital assets
  • Stranded assets
  • Why are utilities so risk averse?