The STAR Group Utility Search Conference®

The STAR Group Utility Search Conference® is useful for bringing together public utilities and affected stakeholders to produce a result (typically a large-scale infrastructure project or other major initiative) on which all stakeholders can agree. Click here to read about some of the results we have helped our utility clients and their communities achieve.

The STAR Group Utility Search Conference® has tremendous power when several solutions to the problem are still possible, such as new generation, transmission infrastructure, conservation, alternative energy, strategies for improved efficiencies, or some combination of the foregoing. Significantly, all stakeholders – including the utility – are represented equally in the process. This maximizes the exchange of meaningful information from all perspectives and generates shared understanding of the various issues and possible solutions that all stakeholders are willing to support.

STAR Group Utility Search Conference® Outcomes:

The STAR Group Utility Search Conference® produces the following important results:

  1. A series of recommendations for the utility to consider for solving the problem in question that all stakeholders are willing to support.
  2. A group of community leaders who:
  • Are willing to assist in implementing their recommendations
  • Have shared their information and positions while learning about those of others
  • Can fine-tune their recommendations and support the utility in public hearings
  • Are eager, able and ready to share their learning with other community members
  • Are willing to speak to regulators and permitting agencies about the community dialogue that led to the group’s recommendations
  • Help facilitate conversations among the utility and interested parties such as environmental groups and neighborhood leaders

The following chart identifies the key components of the STAR Group Utility Search Conference®:

Leadership Team Development

– Creation of 8 to 12 respected community leaders who are or become knowledgeable about the current energy issues in their defined geographic areas.
– A database of approximately 200 local stakeholders respected by their peers.
– A prioritized list of residents by their representative stakeholders group.
Each of these is used to build knowledgeable, local support.

STAR Group Utility Search Conference®

– Specific recommendations are developed by participants that address the immediate energy issue.
– A technical document written in layman’s language addressing the energy issue is provided to the client and the participants.
– All of the input from the event is documented for use by the client, participants and CWG members. This is an easy reference for understanding the thinking that generated the recommendations.

Community Working Group

Volunteers from the USC nomination pool are selected to assist the client in refining the USC recommendations into implementable results. Additionally, the CWG members are invited to make presentations at meetings of the general public and before regulatory bodies.

Technical Working Group

Local people with technical knowledge are selected to outline important information and to provide research sources to be used to educate the general public. They also give guidance to the client concerning neighborhood, political and regulatory issues that may deter the project.

Open House Meetings

Early involvement and input from the general public most often minimizes the impact of special interest groups.
These meetings often result in adjustments to a project that gains majority support by the public.