Tours / Special Events

Workshop:  Making Good Presentations

Date:  Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Cost:  $25.00/per person

Great ideas do not sell themselves. They have to be communicated to colleagues and clients in a compelling way. This session will offer advice on: (1) what to include and, perhaps more importantly, what to leave out; (2) creating visual aids that significantly enhance your presentation; (3) making a good impression on your audience; and (4) avoiding the most common mistakes presenters make. The most often ignored rule is that the goal of your talk is not to "present the paper" but rather to "hook" the audience with a few key concepts that will make them want to learn more.


Washington DC Twilight Tour

Date:  Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Cost:  $55.00/registrant, $75.00/guest attendees

Come join your energy friends and colleagues for a guided bus tour of Washington, D.C.! The monuments come alive during the twilight tour, which also features memorials, Capitol Hill, the White House, and other iconic buildings by moonlight. The guide will live narrate the stories that have formed our country and informs us today.


Net-Zero House Tour

Date:  Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Cost:  $37.00/registrant, $45.00/guest attendees

Please join USAEE on a tour of DC's first net-zero house. A few years ago NCAC-USAEE's Past President Andy Knox embarked on a multi-year project to retrofit his home using commercially available technologies to achieve net-zero energy consumption and GHG emissions.

Andy has generously offered to open his home to a small group tour. During the visit to the home, Andy will discuss the regulatory, logistical, engineering, and financial challenges of this project.

A light lunch of sandwiches and snacks will be provided on the bus ride to the event.

Click here to read an article Mr. Knox published in Energy Engineering in 2015, where he discusses the logistics and challenges of getting to net-zero.


Tour of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Producing Operations

Date:  TBD

Cost:  TBD

As in previous years, USAEE intends to organize a technical site visit to a location of significant interest to energy economists and practitioners, immediately following the conference.

As of March 2018, USAEE is engaged in making arrangements to organize a visit to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area to tour Marcellus shale natural gas producing operations. In 2011, USAEE undertook a similar visit the Marcellus shale region, which was extremely popular with members.

Gas production in the Appalachian region has grown from 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) in January 2008 to over 26 bcfd in December 2017. Most of the production in the Marcellus play, which extends from New York to West Virginia, has come from Pennsylvania, where cutting edge technology such as horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and multi-well pads is being used to release the gas trapped in the impermeable shale rock.

Tour details are still being finalized, but will likely involve an overnight stay (tentatively Weds-Thurs,); the likely cost per participant will be between $150 - $200, excluding accommodation costs.


Workshop - Energy Risk Management: Understanding Hedging, Futures and Option Markets

Date:  Sept 26, 2018, 2:15pm to 6:30pm

Cost:  $125.00 person - conference registrants, $175.00 US - non-registrants. Includes coffee break & refreshments

Approx # of participants: 40 - 50 participants

Location: Adams Room


Alan H. Levine, CEO and Chairman, Powerhouse, Washington, DC
Alan is an internationally recognized expert in pricing and business practices in the energy industry. A petroleum specialist for over 40 years, Alan is a highly regarded authority on the relationship of energy futures to cash petroleum markets. He was consultant to NYMEX at the inception of the heating oil contract, the first successful energy futures contract, in 1978 and is a hedge advisor to many energy interests.

Elaine E. Levin , President, Powerhouse, Washington, DC
Elaine has worked in energy futures with Alan since 1988, creating and executing hedging strategies for energy producers, refiners, utilities, distributors and end users. Elaine has lectured on energy futures before many state associations and taught the topic at numerous professional meetings, including the nationally recognized Fuel Management University.


Prices for all types of energy are subject to lots of variation with serious implications for net profit. Futures markets arose to help companies deal with the uncertainty of pricing. These markets have become benchmarks of international pricing for oil and natural gas. Despite the widespread adoption of price risk management using futures contracts, many industry participants misunderstand the purpose and construction of futures markets and their related options. This has created a mythology surrounding futures markets and their uses. In this workshop, we will discuss using real world examples:

  • The financial instruments available to energy price risk managers
  • The role futures play in determining price
  • How options work and are used by energy producers and marketers
  • The changing venues for electricity hedging
  • The availability of exotic futures instruments for protection against adverse weather and non-standard swaps
  • The psychology of markets and technical trading

Composition of Audience:

This seminar is geared towards energy professionals that either may not deal directly with the energy futures market but would like to better understand it, or those that deal with particular aspects of the energy futures market and would like to broaden their understanding.

Energy economists, government regulatory or advisory agencies, academia, students, energy consultants, banking and finance professionals, energy engineers, law firms, industry participants looking to understand more about energy risk management and trading.


Lunch 2:15 to 2:45

Welcome and Introductions 2:45 to 3:00

Meet our instructors, Alan Levine and Elaine Levin. Both are veterans at creating and implementing energy hedging programs.

Understanding Risk and the Vocabulary of Risk Management and Trading 3:00 to 3:30

Each component of the supply chain is affected by price risk. Production, refining, processing, transportation and marketing companies all address and manage price uncertainty. This session covers

  • The types of price risk energy companies face?
  • Speculating vs. hedging
  • The hedging venues: Forwards, Futures, and Over-the-Counter Markets
  • Learning the trader's lingo

Futures Markets: The Intersection of the Physical and Financial 3:30 to 4:30

Futures contracts may be the simplest expression of a financial transaction. These simple contracts have profoundly affected the way in which petroleum and natural gas is priced. Market driven price discovery and contract standardization are today's accepted elements of energy pricing. Futures markets have typically been treated as esoterica by much of the financial community despite the simplicity of futures contracts. We'll cover

  • The mechanics and cash flows of a futures hedge
  • How companies use futures to manage price risk and grow their business
  • The connection between futures markets and local physical pricing

Break 4:30 to 4:45

Option Markets: 4:45 to 5:30

Options are a different instrument available to control price risk. They are used to create risk management structures including caps, floors and collars. You will learn:

  • How energy companies use calls and puts
  • How are options priced
  • The different types of options: American, European and Asian
  • Knowing when to use an option vs. a futures contract

Advanced Topics in Risk Management 5:30 to 6:30

In our last session, Alan and Elaine will discuss two topics beyond the basic hedge.

  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) instruments allow for the customization of hedging instrument. Swaps and swaptions can fine tune hedging programs by location or volume. Energy interests can now hedge more than price alone. Weather derivates have evolved to allow buyer and sellers of energy to handle volumetric risk. We will explore the advantages and risks of OTC trading.
  • Technical analysis uses trading activity to forecast price action. This session will cover the basics of technical analysis and why it is important.