In The News

2020 July Member Webinar | Catherine Luthin, Eric Bratcher, Owen Brady

The Future of the Power Grid

by Catherine Luthin, President, Luthin Associates, Inc., Eric Bratcher, Senior Zoltar, 5 and Owen Brady, MBA, PMP, Manager, Future of Heat, National Grid

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 | 2:00-3:00pm (EDT) 

As renewable generation assets are increasingly concentrating in areas of abundant natural renewable resources, we are seeing profound impacts to both spot and forward market prices, including increased volatility and sometimes undesired consequences.

This conversation will illustrate some of the positive and negative economic impacts these changes are in having on the power industry, like the increased frequency of negative wholesale power prices and increased spot price volatility, and briefly touch on some solutions that states like Texas and California are using to address these problems.

As we look to transition the power grid of the future to include more renewables, how do we do this as quickly as possible with little disruption to our home and business operations?  I believe a solution that leverages existing systems where appropriate, making it easier for people to meet their needs while accelerating and reducing the cost of the transition, is the ideal solution. The Future of Heat team is exploring innovative technologies and product offerings to evolve our gas business so it. The future of the heat team at National Grid is exploring innovative technologies to evolve our gas business so it can continue to support lowering carbon emissions and can serve as an integral component of our sustainable energy future.



Catherine Luthin is a female entrepreneur, successful innovator, and pioneer in energy management and sustainability, with over 30 years of industry experience within corporate, nonprofit, and regulatory environments. She is the Founder and President of Luthin Associates, a leading energy management consulting firm that helps public and private sector clients develop and implement proactive energy strategies, better source energy, operate more efficiently, integrate renewable energies, and achieve significant cost savings. With extensive experience in the education, healthcare, and real estate sectors, Luthin Associates has helped clients drive more than $500 million in cost reduction opportunities.

A nationally recognized leader in the energy industry, Luthin is currently on the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified Energy Procurement Board. In 2019, Luthin became an AEE Fellow, a grade of membership for those who made a significant contribution to the energy management and alternative energy industry. In prior years, Luthin received the Energy Service Professional of the Year Award from the AEE-NY Chapter as well as the International Professional of the Year Award from AEE. She also serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Consumer Power Advocates (CPA), which helps large, institutional nonprofits in the education and health sectors decrease energy costs through regulatory affairs and programs that shape energy policies in New York State.

Luthin received her MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. 

Eric Bratcher has worked in the deregulated energy market since 2002 and has tremendous experience in data analytics, pricing, load forecasting and strategy development. Eric adds irreplaceable value to 5’s stakeholders, including clients, suppliers and team members, through his aptitude for problem-solving and his desire to educate others. Since joining the team in 2012 as the head of 5’s analytics team, aka the Nerds, Eric has raised the bar for what clients expect from their energy advisory team.
In his role as Senior Zoltar and Lead Market Analyst, Eric advises 5’s clients and team members on product structuring and operational solutions. Eric embodies the spirit of the entire team at 5, a group of highly experienced professionals who go beyond the services of traditional brokers by delving into data and converting the resulting information into actionable strategies that positively impact clients’ bottom lines.
Prior to joining 5, Eric served as Director of Pricing and Load Forecasting at First Choice Power, where he developed and managed commercial and mass-market pricing and load forecasting models for the business. His vast understanding of the wholesale electricity market began with his work in risk management and wholesale settlements for TXU Energy and as a settlements analyst for a natural gas conglomerate prior to deregulation. Because his background spans from start-up retailers to Fortune 500 companies, Eric brings an expertise that is both wide and deep.
Eric received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Owen Brady is the Manager of the Future of Heat team in National Grid’s Customer group. He and his team work to bring together companies, customers, and communities to create shared value while solving complex energy challenges. Owen has always believed in the power of uniting stakeholders around common goals and is confident doing so is the only way we will solve the energy dilemma facing our species.
In his time at National Grid, Owen created the industry’s first commercial gas demand response program, which was awarded the inaugural Utility Industry Innovation in Gas award by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in 2017. He also served as the business lead for the Future of Heat portfolio in National Grid’s downstate NY rate case, which proposed $90M worth of new initiatives, including integrating geothermal loops into the gas utility portfolio. Before moving to New York City and joining National Grid, Owen was the Key Accounts Representative for Vermont Gas Systems in Burlington, VT, where he helped to establish the first Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) tariff in the contiguous United States and brought the first “virtual pipeline” company in the United States, NG Advantage, onto the gas system.
Owen holds an EMBA from Columbia University, an EMBA from London Busines School, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont. In addition, he earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2014.