Energy Experts International (EEI) is an international management consulting firm providing expert knowledge and experience in energy supply, delivery, and utilization systems. EEI was established in 1998, initially as a natural gas and petroleum engineering consulting firm working on pipeline projects. Today, the company is a full service management consulting firm providing an array of services to the natural gas, petroleum and electric power industries.
EEI provided pipeline inspection services for the first time on a pipeline expansion project in North Carolina in 2001. The company’s field services continued to expand to encompass natural gas cathodic protection and pressure control work (regulation). In 2011, EEI began providing electric distribution inspection and storm response services. Today, all of these services have been consolidated under the Field and Technical Services department. In August 2014, EEI opened its Southern California Operations Office, currently located in San Bernardino, California, to support our increasing demand for supporting our major clients in Los Angeles and San Diego.
EEI has developed a very extensive network of clients and industry liaisons. While EEI’s domestic consulting work expanded to the east coast, EEI worked with major clients such as the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company and other industry organizations, such as the Gas Research Institute (today GTI). In the early 2000’s, international consulting services were expanded initially to Japan to address research and investigative efforts for various major Japanese natural gas and electric power companies. Subsequently, EEI has worked in other Asian and Mid-Eastern countries, such as mainland China, Israel, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Bangladesh, to provide energy training and education on a variety of topics.
In 2007, EEI expanded its operations to Europe by opening an office in Brussels, Belgium. Brussels is known as the center of European energy and climate policies. Our presence in Brussels provides the company with a unique vantage point to interact with key European energy industry stakeholders and decision makers. We are meeting the EU energy policy challenges in the areas of natural gas, power and renewable energy by establishing a direct involvement with European energy consortia and energy sector associations. Our EU office in Belgium allows us to better understand the global energy picture from an EU stakeholder’s perspective.
As a result of the steady growth of the last several years, a dedicated Eastern Regional Office was established in Newark, New Jersey in 2010. Subsequently, in 2013, a fully dedicated Midwest Office was established in a suburb in Schaumburg, Chicago. Both of these Regional Offices enhances our ability to address issues specific to our clients from a regional perspective. The Midwest continues to be the hub for the energy business, and the New Jersey office’s proximity to New York City allows us to stay abreast of Wall Street, the nation’s financial engine. In the fall of 2014, the Regional Operations Office was established in Washington DC to coordinate the activities of the Eastern and Midwest Regions. In addition, the DC Office allows us to stay abreast of critical energy policies, directives, and regulations with access to key industry contacts in the nation’s capitol.
In the spring of 2013, EEI opened its Engineering and Technical Services Center in San Ramon, California. Its primary role is to provide an array of engineering expertise for both the gas and electric transmission and distribution engineering functions. The Center operates two separate divisions, each dedicated to the gas and electric functions.
In 2014, EEI established two offices in California (Laguna Niguel and Petaluma) to serve the needs of California residents and businesses seeking alternatives for establishing its utility services, as well as to have options in the management of their energy demands. As energy demand continues to outpace the population growth, EEI is in the forefront to provide effective consultation and services to promote the efficient and cost effective utilization of energy while reducing the carbon footprint on our environment.
EEI opened two new offices in May 2016. The Valve & Actuation Services Division, located in Newark, California, will be involved in the installation, replacement and repair of valve actuators, which are the devices that allow the valves to operate automatically. The Fresno Office, centrally located between the Northern and Southern California markets, will be strategically positioned to provide direct local engineering support and energy consulting to local businesses and clients in the Central Valley. The long term vision for this office is to expand EEI’s consulting services for utility customer services in the commercial and industrial business sectors.
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
Joe Bronner, P.E.
Mr. Joe Bronner has 44 years of experience in gas engineering and operations. He held positions in engineering, engineering technical, and operations management during a 40-year career working at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), including gas operations, gas supply, gas system maintenance and technical support, gas transmission, and gas measurement and control. He has four years with EEI as a measurement and control consultant. He has represented PG&E on the AGA Transmission Measurement Committee for 12 years and served as committee chairman in 2009.
Les Buchner, P.E.
Les Buchner has over forty years of experience across almost all facets of California’s regulated natural gas industry, including engineering, operations and planning, strategic planning, business management, regulatory strategy and filings development, and testifying as an expert witness in regulatory proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Buchner worked with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company for over 35 years, and most recently has been leveraging his broad and extensive gas industry knowledge by providing expert consulting services to PG&E’s Gas Operations organization in support of their gas distribution and transmission rate case filings. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, a Master of Business Administration degree from St. Mary’s College, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.
Mr. Jim Carson worked 37 years for Fisher Controls as a sales engineer and in various levels of sales management with their local representative Associated Process Controls. Upon retiring from Fisher Controls, Jim has worked eight years at EEI. His focus has been in the energy industries beginning with nuclear power application support of engineering contractors such as Bechtel. For the last 20 years with Fisher, he has worked with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) on natural gas regulation products. Jim was involved with selection, trouble shooting, and maintenance of regulation equipment. Since joining EEI, Jim has worked on projects involving gas regulation training and product testing. His expertise is in training and course development.
Elaine Chow-Davis, P.E.
Prior to joining EEI in 2006, Ms. Elaine Chow-Davis worked for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in pipeline system design (transmission) and gas regulatory policy. Ms. Chow-Davis has 20 years of experience in the gas utility industry. Her expertise includes codes and standards work in operations and engineering to ensure compliance as well as human-factors usability. She has also researched and prepared “white paper” reports on a wide range of natural gas utility topics, including regulation, market issues, engineering and operations. She also provides project management and engineering support for natural gas utility client projects. Ms. Chow-Davis graduated from the University of California, Davis with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.
Mr. Chuck Cotting has 46 years of experience in the Natural Gas Industry. He has extensive operational management experience, a strong blend of engineering, performance measurement and budgetary experience and knowledge combined with sound technical, financial and managerial skills. Former workplaces include National Grid, KeySpan Energy Delivery, Boston Gas Company, Lynn Gas Company, NEES, and Mystic Valley Gas Company, NEES.
For 37 years with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Mr. Hyndman was responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of electric and overhead facilities. During his career he held positions of Distribution Engineer, General Foreman, Senior Specialist, and Gas and Electric Superintendent. Mr. Hyndman was chairman of the State of California’s General Order 95 and 128 Rules committee. He retired as the Gas and Electric Superintendent for the San Francisco division. After PG&E, he was an independent consultant, specializing in General Order 95 issues. Mr. Hyndman also worked for an “Applicant Design” firm concentrating on electric facilities in the San Francisco and North Peninsula areas of California. Some areas of expertise include electric overhead and underground distribution standards, electric underground cable restoration and replacement, and distribution substructure problem resolution.
Carol Hynes, P.E.
Ms. Carol Hynes is a registered Professional Engineer with experience in natural gas engineering and operations. She has expertise in design and project management for gas distribution, transmission, and aquifer storage facilities. She is experienced in utility operations, project management, transmission integrity management, distribution integrity management and management of compliance programs. Ms. Hynes worked for AGL Resources and Nicor Gas for 35 years prior to joining EEI in 2015.
Mr. John Lloyd has 36 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Industry. He is a High Pressure Pipe Welder/CPWI, SoCal Gas Pipeline Welding Inspector. Most projects are in oil and gas construction, new and old, and he has done pipe work in over 15 states. He has worked in Alaska for 18 years doing projects for BP and Conoco Phillips.
Mr. Ernie Papadoulias has 30 years of experience in natural gas engineering while working at National Grid. He has worked in the natural gas code and regulatory world and more recently in compliance activities. He has developed database/web site systems designed to serve up gas installation, maintenance and operations procedures to National Grid’s U.S. staff. He is currently developing database/web site systems for National Grid as an EEI employee. Mr. Papadoulias’ former workplaces include Ebasco Services Inc, Burns & Roe, Chemapec Inc, and National Grid (previously KeySpan, previously Long Island Lighting Co).
Mr. Tom Reimer is a QEW with 25 years of management experience, with 34 years of experience working with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Areas of knowledge include: electric overhead and underground distribution new business construction standards; electric overhead maintenance practices; electric underground substructure maintenance and reconstruction; electric underground cable restoration and replacement; electric overhead and underground 3rd party work inspection processes and procedures; General Orders 95 and 128 interpretation and application; distribution substructure problem resolution; electric overhead to underground conversion (Rule 20a-c); pre and post estimating project review; recreation of post project documents, typically project “as-built” drawings; critical path project planning and sequencing; creative resolution recommendations for atypical project problems; quality control audits during and upon completion of construction; and construction and maintenance related field safety monitoring and audits.
Jim Robertson, P.E.
Mr. Jim Robertson has 38 years of engineering experience with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in gas distribution and transmission in area of measurement, regulation, and filtration. He specified and assisted with the design of the metering and regulation equipment (control valves) for major intertie stations, power plant stations, and large transmission stations. He reviewed projects for new metering stations requiring ultrasonic or turbine meters for correct meter type, size, and design layout. Mr. Robertson also reviewed major pressure control stations for control valve selection and basic design layout. He oversaw development of a PG&E design standard for major control valve stations. He approved and provided PE stamp for major station metering and regulation design drawings. In previous years he developed standard drawings and specifications for district regulator station design.
Doreen Sam, P.E.
Ms. Doreen Sam retired from Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) with 34 years of experience in natural gas engineering. During her career she spent over 20 years working on all aspects in the design of metering and regulating facilities. In her final position with the utility, she was managing a group of engineers, technical consultants and CAD designers responsible for every phase of designing standard meter set assemblies and regulator stations. In addition, Ms. Sam was responsible for maintaining the energy content measurement system. Prior to her last assignment with metering and regulation, she spent over 10 years working in the System Engineering and Planning groups which analyzed distribution and transmission pipeline networks using simulation software. She held positions of increasing responsibility in the Transmission Planning group. During this time, she identified opportunities to increase the flexibility of storage field and compressor station operations by the additions of some valves and crossover piping. Ms. Sam is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California, with a BS degree in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and has an MBA from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
As a technical writer for over 40 years, Ms. Donita Sevedge developed expertise in every aspect of technical documentation for a wide variety of audiences, including field service representatives, engineers, programmers, and end users. She has eight years writing technical documentation for EEI clients, working with gas and electric engineers and technical publications staff to create and release documents defining the work standards and procedures required for company personnel to do their jobs professionally, safely, and in compliance with company standards and government regulations. Throughout her career, she successfully learned and documented new technical material for diverse subjects and audiences: programming and design instructions for computer-aided design developers and users (Cadence Design Systems, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard), supercomputer/array processor programmers (Saxpy Computer Corporation; Floating Point Systems, Inc.), chip developers and users (Weitek Corporation), mainframe computer programmers (Synthesized Computer Systems, Inc.), and PC and terminal users (Wyse Technology).
Ms. Jas Staso is a Program Manager with 27 years of experience in the gas and electric utility industry. In her career with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Ms. Staso was the Test Manager during the multi-year implementation of a new customer care and billing application, as well as the introduction and incorporation of SmartMeter technology relevant to customer billing. She joined the Center of Excellence for Deployment and Service Introduction to contribute process development and solidify the COE’s presence on all IT projects. In her most recent assignment, Ms. Staso is partnering with multiple lines of business to transition a legacy library of information to a single enterprise-wide document repository for technical information. She brings experience in application functionality testing, User Acceptance Testing, training capabilities, quality assurance, business-needs analysis and business process development. Ms. Staso earned her BS in Business Management from the University of Redlands, California.
Mr. Jack Stiltz worked 32 years for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) before retiring in 1993. During this employment he held the following positions: Gas Service Supervisor, Gas Construction Supervisor, Gas Transmission and Regulation Supervisor, Gas General Foreman and Gas and Electric Service Superintendent. In 1995 Mr. Stiltz opened and operated a landscape company which he later sold in 2009. He joined Energy Experts International in 2010 as a part time employee. Mr. Stiltz worked as a field inspector on the 243-12 Regulator Replacement Program and as the Field Coordinator for the Pacific Gas and Electric Meter Protection Post Program. As a SME, he presented an overview of Gas and Electric Service work to newly hired Engineer trainees to broaden their overall experience and skills in the utility industry. He also helped prepare a bid package for a PG&E, Gas Meter Atmospheric Corrosion Project.
Mr. Jim Walsh’s early years of employment was in the construction and home improvement industry, both working onsite and as a sales/estimator. In 2003 he went to work with PG&E working in their Mapping department. In 2008 Mr. Walsh became an Electric Engineering Estimator where he estimated and designed large and small projects for 8 years. He retired from PG&E in June of 2016 and began working for EEI following his retirement.