Elevating and Equitable Engaging Rural Voices in the Energy Transition

California has long been a leader in the clean energy and climate transition, yet disadvantaged communities continue to be left behind.  This is particularly true for rural communities, which face ever-increasing challenges with fragile grid systems, a lack of distributed generation, complications responding to public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events, disparate geographics, and local government capacity limitations.

This panel will link utility, government, and implementation to present solutions for engaging rural California voices in the energy transition, including:

  • Community approaches to energy programs.  California community choice aggregators (CCAs) are load serving entities with unusual latitude in initiatives to address local needs.  Josh Brock, Vice President of Calpine, will discuss lessons from CCAs throughout the state, drawing upon extensive research and evaluation of programs serving disadvantaged communities.
  • Enhanced customer communications.  James Riley, Partner at Appos Advisors, will draw upon decades of experience working with investor-owned utilities to share lessons in how to qualify and engage customers in assistance programs, and best methods for supporting rural communities during PSPS events.
  • Local and inclusive energy and climate solutions.  The Town of Truckee is a local jurisdiction that is quickly becoming a leader in community-based climate and sustainability solutions.  Anna Klovstad, Former Mayor, will define successful local stakeholder engagement strategies, agency collaboration tactics, and changes to the Town’s policies and priorities to support climate solutions.

Panelists will discuss specific approaches to working with underserved communities and how these approaches have translated into program designs and solutions that can be applied in rural communities throughout California. 


  • Josh Brock (He/Him), Calpine Energy Solutions, Vice President – CCA Commercial Operations
  • James Riley, Appos Advisors, Partner
  • Anna Klovstad, Town of Truckee, Former Mayor
  • Courtney Henderson (Moderator), Resource innovations, Head of Market Strategy
  • Sherry Hao (she/her), Sierra Business Council, Climate & Energy Program Director