This workshop is designed to provide program managers, program implementers, utility staff and other stakeholders the information and tools they need to effectively advocate for equity-focused programs and challenge traditional barriers to cost-effectiveness. We will unpack the problem by exploring the economic concepts of social goods and positive externalities (i.e. NEBs), learning how NEBs are treated differently by various states and jurisdictions, and learning how they tie into cost-effectiveness testing. We will then explore case studies highlighting different methods utilities and stakeholders have used to overcome obstacles to cost-effectiveness for programs with large social benefits.
Molly Podolefsky, Ph.D., Director, Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure, Guidehouse
Molly Podolefsky manages a multi-year contract overseeing portfolio evaluation activities for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and other Unisource gas and electric service providers. She oversees a large team of data analysts and engineers based in Guidehouse’s India offices and serves as a liaison between that team and North America, Europe and Middle East-based teams and clients. A passionate advocate for social equity, Dr. Podolefsky is actively engaged in inclusion, diversity and women’s leadership efforts within her firm and the energy community.
Dr. Podolefsky holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She conducts statistical modeling, research on non-energy impacts and net-to-gross differences, and surveys and process evaluations. She also leads technical and policy research for an engagement with NYSERDA assessing how to maximize equitable access to cooling for vulnerable populations in the face of climate change, while minimizing the grid impacts of increased load.