ScreenHunter_319 Apr. 20 20.03














It’s been a couple weeks since the 12th Annual Energy Forecasting Meeting taking place April 2-3, 2014.

As I reflect on the two days spent discussing energy trends, weather normalization, and forecasting challenges, I realize how quickly memories are pushed into the recesses of my mind in the face of life’s busyness and new challenges. To counteract this effect, I find that recalling meeting highlights keeps the material fresh.

When David Simons walked by my office this morning, I asked him what his meeting highlights were. You’ll remember David as one of our bright young analysts who gave the presentation on quantile regression. He mentioned the following:

  • I enjoyed how Martin Holdrich demonstrated the impact of age groups on the economy. There’s nothing like data to reinforce intuition. This is clearly something we need to consider in the forecasting process.
  • Jeff Johnson’s presentation on long-term weather drivers was a great way to understand weather trends and their uncertainty. Coupled with the other weather normal presentations and the round table discussion, weather normalization is clearly a challenge—especially in the face of this cold winter.
  • I don’t know if anyone views light bulbs like Stuart McMenamin does. But, the price point, payback, and quality of light argue that LEDs are here to stay.
  • I found Abdul Razack’s “thinking outside the box” approach to visualizing data very refreshing. It was great to see the multitude of ways we can depict data to help us seek out and understand relationships among variables.
  • And, who didn’t like, or need, Sunny Grigorova’s demonstration of simple stretches and exercises in the afternoon. That session was a great reminder of the importance of moving our bodies to improve our health and wellness while we’re in the workplace.

Each of David’s observations brought me back to Las Vegas and dredged up vivid pictures from each presentation. While I wish I could summarize each presentation here (they were all so excellent!), I encourage you to take a moment to recall something you learned at the meeting. Share your highlight with the rest of the group by leaving a comment!

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Mark Quan
Principal Forecast Consultant - Itron
Mark Quan is a Principal Forecast Consultant with Itron’s Forecasting Division. Since joining Itron in 1997, Quan has specialized in both short-term and long-term energy forecasting solutions as well as load research projects. Quan has developed and implemented several automated forecasting systems to predict next day system demand, load profiles, and retail consumption for companies throughout the United States and Canada. Short-term forecasting solutions include systems for the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Long-term forecasting solutions include developing and supporting the long-term forecasts of sales and customers for clients such as Dairyland Power and Omaha Public Power District. These forecasts include end-use information and demand-side management impacts in an econometric framework. Finally, Quan has been involved in implementing Load Research systems such as at Snohomish PUD. Prior to joining Itron, Quan worked in the gas, electric, and corporate functions at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), where he was involved in industry restructuring, electric planning, and natural gas planning. Quan received an M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles.