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Episode #105: 'Leadership & Evolution From The Utility C-Suite' with Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers Energy [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

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The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry...

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  • Dec 13, 2022
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As utilities grow in profile in the eyes of customers and in urgency in the eyes of politicians, the leaders who are steering these major companies and community pillars are being recognized for the critical role they play in society. Tough decisions have to be made, forward-looking views have to be considered, and any missteps of wrong decisions are subject to scrutiny and criticism in the media, in townhalls, and even in Congress.

Given that high-pressure situation, utility professionals would be forgiven for being hesitant to step into the C-Suite, but certain leaders have been unequivocally rising to the occasion in recent years to guide utilities into the energy industry of tomorrow. Last year, Garrick Rochow joined the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast when he was still freshly minted as the President and CEO of Consumer Energy, but at the time of recording this follow up episode with him he had just crossed the two year mark as the head of the Michigan power company. Garrick and Consumers Energy were kind enough to invite podcast host Jason Price to visit the Consumers Energy campus in person for this special episode to discuss what Garrick has learned in his time as CEO and what the future looks like for Consumers Energy.

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Thanks to the sponsor of this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast: West Monroe.  

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Jason Price: 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast. This is the show that brings leading minds and energy to the podcast booth to discuss the latest challenges and trends, transforming and modernizing the utility industry of the future. And a quick thank you to West Monroe, our sponsor of today's show. Now let's talk energy. I'm Jason Price, Energy Central Podcast Host and Director with West Monroe and on assignment in Jackson, Michigan at the impressive headquarters of Consumers Energy. And with me as always from Orlando, Florida is Energy Central Producer and Community Manager Matt Chester. Matt, we are privileged to be welcoming today's guest back to the podcast booth as he has been one of our early guests. Give us a rundown of that episode for those listening who may want to catch up with that earlier conversation.

 

Matt Chester: 

Absolutely Jason. So today's guest, Garrick Rochow. He joined us over a year and a half ago when he had just been selected to be the new CEO of Consumers Energy, Major Utility in Michigan. The title of that first episode with Garrick continues to ring true, rising to the moment, but creating a movement. In that episode, Garrick walked us through his mindset taking over as CEO of such a prominent utility and his vision for where the power provider could go in the future. So now over 20 months later, it seems like a great time to check in and see how the role has been treating him and I'm eager to hear all of the updates he has.

 

Jason Price: 

As am I. To recap, Garrick sits on 11 boards including the American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute and is devoted to his home state serving on Michigan's Economic Development Foundation, Business Leaders of Michigan and various educational and philanthropic groups in the state. He received his bachelors and masters in Michigan from MI Tech and Western University. So he certainly exemplifies the local boy done good for his beloved state and its people. With nearly 20 years at Consumers under his belt, Garrick was tapped to become CEO in 2021. He began as a site production manager in 2003 and worked his way up to Executive VP of Operations and now CEO of Consumers Energy, a Fortune 500 company.

But now that Garrick has completed a few laps as CEO, we thought it was high time to check in and hear how his team at Consumers Energy is doing. Amid what has been a tumultuous year for utilities. Between new policies for clean energy, rising commodity prices and reliability headlines which are top of mind for customers, it makes a lot of priorities to juggle. So let's hear how Garrick is handling it all. Garrick Rochow, welcome back to the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Jason and Matt, thanks for having me on the podcast and more important, welcome to Jackson, Jason, it's great to have you here. You're going to be like part of Team Michigan now. We're just going to adopt you into Team Michigan here. The amazing utility and the amazing state we have here.

 

Jason Price: 

Love it. Well it's been a fantastic visit so far. So Garrick, it's been almost two years since we last sat in these chairs. You had just taken over as CEO. Covid was still very much in front of us and the energy transition in Michigan was well underway. How have things been for consumers and customers in your service area?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

First of all, tomorrow December 1st is exactly two years, right? My two year anniversary to become CEO. So like a little celebration here.

 

Jason Price: 

Fantastic. Congratulations.

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Thank you. It has been amazing two years and a lot of credit to our coworkers. When I talk about in the last podcast the movement. The movement is really our coworkers, they do amazing things. And we in this year, really over the last two years have delivered a clean energy plan. I'll also talk about it as integrated resource plan, but this clean energy plan moves us out of coal by 2025. It's not just a commitment to net zero, it is the actual plan to get to net zero, one of the first utilities in the nation. First. One of the first utilities in the nation to be able to gradually exit coal, have a 60% carbon reduction by 2025. That's well ahead of the Paris Accord 1.5 degree scenario, calls for eight gigawatts of renewables build out, energy efficiency and storage. Natural gas from a reliability perspective changes the face of Michigan, great for the planet, great for our customers, great for our investors. And that's a big piece of what's taking place here over the last couple years.

 

 

Jason Price: 

Well that's impressive. Nothing really prepares for the role of CEO, but clearly this role suits you well and the road you took to get here was quite impressive. Compare and contrast for us, the experiences of first stepping into the role and where you are today. Are there moments you wish you had handled things differently? Any surprises, good or bad? Any lessons to share?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Oh my gosh, there's probably a laundry list like vaccines. I mean the Covid and the vaccine piece, that was a learning experience. There are so many different points of view, political, emotional around vaccines, but the Biden administration put in place for government entities to require the vaccine. And we looked at outside legal counsel, internal legal counsel and others and we felt like we fit that requirement. And so we started that communication with our coworkers and then we were exempted. But we took our coworkers through a lot of different variations and I don't think I in the organization were as transparent as we needed.

We talked a bit more as a requirement and we got to go do this versus it, we need to just be more real with people, more genuine, more transparent. So I learned a lot in that and just particularly on these issues that are sensitive and there'll be all kinds of sensitive, this isn't a statement about the pandemic or about vaccines. This is how we connect with our coworkers in a genuine and real transparent way, particularly on issues that are sensitive to let them know the why and let them know that we care for them and we're looking out for them.

 

Jason Price: 

Garrick, in the lead up I mentioned your commitment to the Michigan economy and the many boards you serve on Michigan's two biggest industries are the auto industry and the national headquarters for major pizza brands. And as a New Yorker, I will admit your pizza is excellent. So how is the state preparing for the auto transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles? And the same question for Consumers Energy. What is Consumers doing to aid Michigan in this transition?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

I'm sure you've seen it. There's an awesome collision or maybe it's not a collision, it's an intersection here. Dominoes, which is the largest delivery firm of pizza to your point. And General Motors in this case with their Bolt, their EVs, they're going to deliver pizzas with electric vehicles. They ordered 855 Chevy Bolt EVs to go do that. And so those two industries are, I said collide, maybe it's an important intersection. But that's absolutely what we're seeing across Michigan. What we're seeing across our industry. Like many energy companies, we have got residential programs, we have passenger vehicles, we have fleet programs that address for fleets, for school buses, for large fleet organization. But what I think is really unique is we are a concierge service. And so if you think, we've mapped out that customer journey, where are the highlights when you purchase an EV, where are the low lights?

And there's a definite experience that you go through. I went through it myself. When you first make the acquisition and make the purchase, you're all excited. And then you got to figure out what do you got to do to the home? Does my electric box support this? What size charger do I need? And what we offer now is a concierge service to help you through that, to help you find a qualified electrician to make sure you have what you need from a service perspective, from the electric side, the grid side, but also for your electric panel, making sure you have a charger, make sure you're on the right rate. It's really unique and we think it just makes that process that much simpler. A better customer experience if people make the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicle.

 

Jason Price: 

And you're doing this for residential and fleets?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

But the residential is the big focus right now, but the fleets are working with their transportation people to be able to make that business case.

 

Jason Price: 

Great. Well, so let's stick with auto because this is the home of the auto industry. The big three auto makers are rolling out new EV models and have pledged to go all electric by 2035. And Consumers and DTE in the other IOU in Michigan are racing to size up the grid and make necessary investments for the EV transition. What letter grade would you give Consumers on where you are compared to plan and what needs to get done the next few years to position Consumers for a path to hit the state's 2030 goals?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

So you want me to grade myself here? I don't even know if this is a fair question. Come on. You put me in a hard spot here and you should know I'm a hard grader too. So I'd give us a B. I'd give us a B. And here's what I would say. I just went through some of the good programs we have, but we've got an ambitious goal. We want to put a million EVs on the road in our service territory by 2030. That's our goal. And we want to make that, like I said, an easy and simple process to make that transition both from a fleet perspective and a presidential passenger vehicle perspective.

But we're at Secretary of State's records right now. So we're about 22,000 now. We've had 20% year over year growth, but it's off a low base. So we have to continue to look at where are the hiccups in that process to make that very simple for customers to make the choice. So when they're from the dealer or from the automaker dealer all the way through that. And because they're so new, there's many opportunities to improve that process flow.

 

Jason Price: 

We mentioned, and Matt had pointed out that you were on the podcast, it was about a year ago, it was March 2021, that was podcast number 34 and you had highlighted the importance of the work that Consumers Energy wanted to do to decarbonize. This is definitely on the top of mind for utilities across the country, but it sounds like you've accomplished a pathway to carbonize and at a faster rate than some of your peers. What's given you the confidence in setting those aggressive targets and how are you staying accountable to them and what has the reaction been like from your regulators and customers?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

We really frame it up as leading the clean energy transformation. There's a couple key words in there because clean energy is used in across the industry, but leading is a key piece and I don't need to explain that word, but the transformation. We really view this as a transformation of our industry. And so from a broader context perspective, this clean energy plan, there's very few utilities if any, that can say they have walked their way away from coal. And to the point of accountability, this isn't new for us. We ran 12 coal plants at one time, we're down to last five, two more retired in 2023 and the remaining three and 2025. But the important piece of this is it's not just goodwill, it's not just good intent. We have an actionable plan. We're working that plan right now and that plan saves our customers nearly $600 million.

So customers see a benefit from a financial perspective. Customers in communities in Michigan and the planet see a benefit from a reduction of CO2 and climate changing chemicals. And then our investors see a benefit or additional investment in renewables. And so it delivers across what we call our triple bottom line. So it makes good business sense. It's not just good intent, but it makes good business sense. The other piece I want to talk about our coworkers and what we know about our coworkers. They have a real passion around the ability to deliver something that has a lasting impact.

They do that with our customers each and every day. But this is an opportunity of a generation to be able to shape the footprint of how we generate electricity, go back to that word transformation. And our coworkers buy into that and our coworkers are passionate about it. So it's motivating. So we don't need somebody to, we have a plan, we're accountable to the commission, I guess because we filed an Integrated Resource Plan. But it's good business sense and our coworkers are passionate about it. And that's what holds us accountable to delivering on really a remarkable plan.

 

Jason Price: 

Let's stick with coal for a little bit more. So you've made great progress in shutting down coal plants and cleaning up the grid, but you and I know utilities cannot do this alone. And you have a governor who's made clean energy a priority. What are you doing in concert with state government to help accelerate this progress? And what does it mean for, sorry, what are you doing in concert with state government to help accelerate this progress and what does it mean for Consumers capital investment plans going forward?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

The governor's been outstanding, Governor Whitmer and the climate plan, Michigan's healthy climate plan that she has established over her first term, it's outstanding. And there's a couple key pieces. One to be out coal by 2030, and as you can tell by our clean energy plan, we're well on the way. The other thing is 2 million EVs on the road across Michigan. And so our important part is the million that we're delivering across our service territory. There's other important work and energy efficiency and electrification to make up that plan. And so we're closely connected to that plan, not only from a governor's office, but from the Michigan Public Service Commission as well. So how are we working together? There's the Inflation Reduction Act, there's the Infrastructure Investment Act, IIJA, and all of those are helping to move dollars into the state, both from a grid reliability perspective, from an EV perspective.

And so we've got a long history of working with the state. One of them was the Volkswagen settlement and making sure that we're applying and building out that electric vehicle infrastructure, charging infrastructure across the state. So those are examples. But one I want to highlight too is that working closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, those are the organization's responsible for locating jobs here in Michigan. And one of the things, we've had great announcements here over the last quarter, Guoxuan, a large company, is it's a battery. They make cathodes and anodes for lithium batteries, part of the automotive sector, 2 billion investment, 2,400 jobs located here in Michigan. We've been working closely with the state on that. Hemlock Semiconductor, one of the largest poly-silicon manufacturers in the world located here in Michigan is expanding. They make a lot of the parts that go into chips, semiconductors, but also solar panels.

And so we're creating the environment which supports this transition in Michigan as well. And nearly every company that looks at Michigan to locate here in the battery space, semiconductor space and other businesses is looking for clean energy. And our grid is greening with this clean energy plant. And then we have options for those customers for more renewable energy through our various programs. And so many of these companies want a 100% renewable energy. And so we're doing that and that's in combination with what we've built, what we're working on with Michigan Public Service Commission and the governor. It's an amazing place to invest. That's why we call it Team Michigan.

 

Jason Price: 

I like that. All right, let's talk about addressing some of your critics. So-

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Critics, I have critics? Come on.

 

Jason Price: 

All right. The criticism is towards utilities, not just Consumers, but Consumers included. The critics say that the utilities remain a barrier to the competitive market when it comes to increasing distributed energy resource adoption, which we all agree we need more of. So let's talk about that. Please share your thoughts around this.

 

Garrick Rochow: 

We're certainly supportive of renewables. We're certainly supportive of distributed energy and other resources. There's something that's unique though right now is that our utility customers are subsidizing that. So it's often... To put solar on your home or to put it in your yard, it's three times the cost of utility solar. If a customer chooses to do that, that's fine. But right now our utility customers, even our most vulnerable, are subsidizing on that customer to be able to make that choice. Now it's a difference of the wealthy versus those that are in low income. And when we think about diversity, equity, inclusion, it's just not right. It's just not right that our lowest income customers would be subsidizing some of the wealthiest customers to make a choice to put items on their home. And so for us, it is really about how do we as a utility ensure affordability and making sure that that's a utility that delivers for all our customers. It's particularly important in the space of diversity, equity, inclusion.

 

Jason Price: 

Let's switch gears for a moment. Let's go over to gas. And I would like to talk to you about the future of gas. So since Consumers is both a gas and electric utility, share with us where you expect investments to be around gas assets. As far as I understand, gas has historically generated higher returns than electric. So how are you managing this potential trade off and how are you communicating this to your shareholders? In other words, what does the future of gas look like at Consumers?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

I don't see it as a trade off. We anticipate our gas business and our gas system to be here through at least 2050, at least. It's an important resource. It's an important resource from an electric generation perspective. Without gas generation, we don't have a reliable grid, period. And so that's an important piece as we look forward to the future. Same with home heating. Home heating, natural gas provides particularly in climates like Michigan, an affordable and low cost way to heat the home. And so we're going to continue to make investments across our gas system to ensure the safety of that, to replace materials and ensure we've got an asset there that delivers to our customers for a long time. But here's what the differentiator for us is that we believe it can be cleaner than it already is. So it's certainly cleaner than coal, but there's more things that we can do.

And so often we talk about our natural gas business is a safe, reliable, and affordable. That's how we always talked about in the past. And now we say safe, reliable, affordable, and clean. And here's our commitments... By 2030, we're going to be net zero methane. That means no natural gas escaping from our system. We know that's 25 times more potent in the environment, net zero by 2030. There's no other utility that's talking that way. The other goal that we set up this year is to be net zero across our carbon footprint, across the gas missile by 2050, but by 2030, a 20% reduction in scope three emissions.

So now we're even addressing customer emissions that might come from the hot water heater or the furnace. And we can do that, we can do that. We have hydrogen, we have renewable natural gas, we have energy efficiency, we have offsets, we have other technologies that allow us to do that. And so natural gas does not have to go the way of coal and it won't go the way as coal if we are forward thinking and progressive and plan for that. And that's really safe, reliable, affordable, being clean. It's how we're leaving the clean energy transformation

 

Jason Price: 

Let's stay with gas. As we all know, gas prices are increasing and worldwide supply is uncertain. Recognizing of course that the US is a net exporter of gas, but the pricing is based on market forces, not US forces. Michigan has long cold winters, utility customers are frustrated. What are you doing for the customers in these tough times, both in terms of education and helping them reduce their energy bills?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

First of all... Let's step back and then just look at the big picture here. We have customers that are suffering and there's a lot of things going on. It's what they're paying at the grocery store, what they're paying at the gasoline pump, it's maybe healthcare. And as you pointed out, with commodity costs increasing, particularly natural gas, they're seeing it on the energy bill as well. And we have to do something about that. That's our responsibility. It's a care that we have for our coworkers. It's a care that extends to our customers. We have to do things to solve that for our customers. And so this is really important to us as a company. And so from a communications perspective, we're out there communicating to inform, that's an important first step. Not just to inform, but to give them tips on what they can do. You can make small changes in your thermostat and make a big difference in the bill.

80% of the natural gas bill is just consumption. So again, small change in the thermostat can make a big difference. Sealing the door can make a big difference. Our energy efficiency programs that we have that are existing today can be aimed at those most in need, and that's what we need to do. In addition to that, we got to continue to help those in need. Working with local nonprofits, getting dollars in the hands of those that most need it. That is critically important during this time as well. In addition to that, we're going to give away 30,000 nest thermostats and we're giving those away to those low income customers. Again, with the intent of helping them during this time with their energy use. And so it's really important that we help them through this time.

 

Jason Price: 

Let's stay with your customers for a moment. You joined Consumers nearly 20 years ago and customer expectations were far different than they are today. Consumers has good relationships with its customers and it's shown in your JD Power scores. I want to talk about customer experience. What are your plans in customer experience in the upcoming years and how do you expect to get there?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

We have an amazing team. We measure through the customer experience index, which is a forest index, we can see it, the customer experience real time. We can see it through our digital technologies website and the social technologies. We can see it in our traditional contact centers, we can see it in our IDR technology. We can see that experience real time. And there's a whole room right here in Jackson on the first floor there that allows us to monitor that, look at that and make changes. And so we can see if a customer's having a problem with a move in move out or customers as a whole, and then we correct that from a process perspective or we correct that from a technology perspective. So we see it, we make that better, we make that process simple. So part of it is making process simple and easy for our customers, and the final step is making them enjoyable.

So that's an important piece. The other important piece is affordability and making sure, and we talked about that with not only our low income customers but all customers. So we're focused on getting the cost out of the organization and making the bills affordable for our customers. We're focused on improving electric reliability of the electric grid. There's a lot of room for improvement. We certainly see storms and weather patterns increase in intensity. And so we're making improvements there, kind of the blocking and tackling of the business. And then we want to make sure that we have what we call products and we can offer products. When I say products for our customers, it's things like energy efficiency. We consider that a product, our EV, the concierge program. We consider that a project, renewables our product. We want to make those accessible for our customers for the choices they make. And so that's another important piece of how we see our work now, but also in the future.

 

Jason Price: 

When we did connect last time in 2021, the energy landscape did look different. We were still in the thick of Covid pandemic, whereas today you're facing rising commodity prices and potential recession looming. How have these factors had to impact the way you approach your clean energy program?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

It's only further reinforced it, to be honest with you. Just further reinforcement of our clean energy plan. Our clean energy plan as filed in our integrated resource plan, saves our customers $600 million. It's good business sense. In addition to that, the Inflation Reduction Act offered a production tax credit for solar. That has the opportunity to save on a conservative side, $60 million per year for our customers. And as we bill out solar, those costs come down, that's savings for our customers. In addition, solar and wind, the fuel is "free," but in comparison with fuel that you have for natural gas. So it performs a nice hedge. And so again, it's not exposed to the same commodity cost increases our volatility you might see with natural gas. And so it's again, a hedge. And so the financial case only gets better for renewables. And so yes, there are certainly a lot going on in the economic environment. It's only further reinforces the direction we're headed.

 

Jason Price: 

All right, so we're talking about renewable, we're talking about clean energy. It's certainly perhaps affordable and clean. But the third tripod, I guess of that leg of is reliability. And looking at, for example, California to Texas, severe weather events have challenged reliability and caused immense consternation in recent years. Michigan is unique in its own landscape. What are the ways in which you're dealing with reliability challenges and how can you overcome these?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Bifurcate them a little bit. So I talk about reliability of the grid and reliability of supply. So let me start with the supply. We've got good energy law in Michigan. We're required as a Load Serving Entity to have supply and demand that matches. And we do all kinds of low loss load expectation studies to make sure that we can deliver the supply side in Michigan. And when we look forward even with coal plant retirements, with the renewables build with natural gas as a backup, we're long capacity. So we feel good about the reliability on the supply side. The grid is where there's need for improvement and we've seen particularly the intensity of storms increase as a result of climate change. In addition to that, Lake Michigan, particularly when it's warm in the summer months, intensify storms as they come across the Midwest. And so our customers are seeing 70 mile an hour winds here in Michigan.

And so that's different. These systems were designed for 45 mile hour winds. And so there's important investments that are being made across the electric grid that are already underway. We're also improving our response. We're also looking at more under grounding, more fusing to make the system smaller. A lot of that's underway. It used to be, again, going back 20 years, on a good day, over 24 hours, we might restore 50 to 60,000 customers. We can restore over a 100,000 customers in a 24 hour period. And we're continuing to look at how we advance that. And so our July storm, our August storm, we've seen great advancements in smaller outages, which is a sign of our investments, less customers impacted for the same weather pattern and faster restoration, headed in the right direction, more work to do.

 

Jason Price: 

All right. So this is my last question before we get to the lightning round, which is the fun stuff. But bear with us with this final one. It sounds like you certainly have a game plan, you really thought through much of what's in front of you, but as everything, nothing always goes according to plan. Do you have any notable hurdles in the cross here coming your way? Anything that you're looking at your peers and the utilities to try to mitigate some of the challenges that may be lurking around the corner?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

We feel really good about where we're at and I really believe in Mission Clarity. If you get too many things up on the horizon, the organization gets distracted and you don't do anything really well. And so we're really clear about this mission of competitive rates that creates affordability, that's number one. Number two is reliable electric grid and preparing that for the future. That really touches on resiliency. And the third is leading the clean energy transformation, which we've got a plan, we're executing on a plan, that's the steps that are really going to make sure we're ready for the future, today, but also as we move forward.

 

Jason Price: 

Fantastic. All right. So we're now entering the lightning round. So for our audience, and for everyone who may not be familiar with this is an opportunity where we get to learn more about Garrick Rochow, the person rather than the professional. And we're going to throw you a handful of questions. You keep your response to either one word or phrase. Are you ready?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Ready.

 

Jason Price: 

Who in your household tends to forget to shut the lights off?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

I have a 15-year-old son. You know the answer.

 

Jason Price: 

Do you reach for the salty or sweet snacks?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Sweet tooth. Sweet tooth.

 

Jason Price: 

If there was a song that was played every time you walked into a boardroom or meeting, what would it be?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Macklemore Glorious.

 

Jason Price: 

If you have a free dinner invite to one person, past or present. Who are you bringing to dinner?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Abraham Lincoln. What a time in history.

 

Jason Price: 

What would you say to someone weighing a career in utilities versus elsewhere?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Go for it. This is an amazing industry and it's a transformation. That's an exciting place to be.

 

 

Jason Price: 

Well done. You've perfectly navigated the lightning round for doing so. We grant you the final word. What's the message you hope the utility audience listening in today takes away from this conversation?

 

Garrick Rochow: 

We talk about a lot of stuff, and I'm excited about our future, but I want to tell you what differentiates us from any other utility or energy company out there. It's our coworkers, hands down. We all have poles, we all have bucket trucks, we all have offices, we all have gas lines. The one thing that's different is our people. And I'm really appreciative of every one of our coworkers in this organization. They do amazing things. They're committed to our purpose in delivering every day to our customers. And I'm so thankful for every one of them.

 

Jason Price: 

Terrific. Thanks again, Garrick. It's been great to catch up and get your perspective at the CO desk. We love to keep this conversation going, so not only we will perhaps reach out again to chat on this podcast perhaps a year from now, but we'll invite you to Energy Central, the community to leave their questions and comments in the site for this podcast. But for now, thanks so much for your insight and we look forward to you and our community members for keeping these important conversations going at Energy Central.com.

 

Garrick Rochow: 

Thank you so much for the opportunity. I love it. More time in Jackson is what I heard.

 

Jason Price: 

For sure. You can always reach Garrick through the Energy Central platform where he welcomes your questions and comments. We also want to give a shout out of thanks to the podcast sponsors that made today's episode possible. Thanks to West Monroe. West Monroe brings the nation's largest electric gas and water utilities in their telecommunication, grid modernization and digital and workforce transformations and customer experience. West Monroe brings a multidisciplinary team that blends utility operations and technology expertise to address modernizing aging infrastructure, advisory and transportation, electrification, ADMS deployments, data and analytics and cybersecurity. And once again, I'm your host Jason Price. So stay plugged in and fully charged in the discussion by hopping into the community at Energy Central.com. And we'll see you next time at the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.

 


About Energy Central Podcasts

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 of your peers working in the power industry.

The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason PriceCommunity Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.  

If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We’ll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you’d like to see broken down in more detail in a conversation, feel free to send us a note to nominate them.  For more information, contact us at community@energycentral.com. Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility.  We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors. 

Happy listening, and stay tuned for our next episode! Like what you hear, have a suggestion for future episodes, or a question for our guest? Leave a note in the comments below.

All new episodes of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast will be posted to the relevant Energy Central community group, but you can also subscribe to the podcast at all the major podcast outlets, including:

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