Print Page | Sign In | Join AESP
Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management
Share |



Designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel as a demand-side management professional. In a cohort-based program, you complete 5 courses and a Capstone project to earn the Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management. The Certificate provides prospective employers, or utilities as customers, the assurance that you have the essential knowledge required to manage demand-side management programs, and the skills required to succeed. To clarify the intent of this educational program – this is an assessment-based certificate program that will provide the learning outcomes as described. This is not a Certification program that requires ongoing fees or professional development hours to maintain; nor does it provide post-nominal letters or initials.


This course will be delivered in two parts:

Courses 1-4:
Delivered online. Self-paced. The online courses take approximately 1-2 hours each to complete and will be made available 6 weeks prior to the in-person training.

In-Person Course and Capstone Project:
Course participants will meet in-person for 4 days in a city and date that will have been predetermined before the start of the course. Here they will attend live lectures to complete the In-Person Course, then work collaboratively with a team to complete a Capstone project.


Full Course:

Member Price: $1,999 USD, or (10) Group Member Points
Non-Member Price: $2,499 USD


Online courses:
To Purchase any of the course listed below, click here.

Course 1-4 Bundle:
Member Price: $799 USD, or (4) Group Member Points
Non-Member Price: $1,199 USD

Course 1 - Energy Basics:
Member Price: $149 USD, or (1) Group Member Point
Non-Member Price: $249 USD

Course 2 - Utility Fundamentals:
Member Price: $249 USD, or (1) Group Member Point
Non-Member Price: $349 USD

Course 3 - Utility Business Models:
Member Price: $249 USD, or (1) Group Member Point
Non-Member Price: $349 USD

Course 4 - Contract Management:
Member Price: $249 USD, or (1) Group Member Point
Non-Member Price: $349 USD

2020 Cohorts:

The Washington, DC (October 13-16, 2020) and Phoenix, AZ (October 20-23, 2020) cohorts are postponed until further notice. Please contact AESP for further details. 

Click here for other training opportunities

Course Outline

The Certificate of Excellence in DSM program Management Course includes five courses, four online and one in person. Courses one through four can be taken as a bundled package or individually on demand.

Whether you take just one online course or complete the full certificate program, our curriculum will provide the knowledge, insights, tools, and resources that will help you succeed as a demand-side management professional. 

To earn the Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management, you must complete all 5 Courses, the capstone project and pass all module tests with an 80% or higher. 


Course 1: Energy Basics


Energy. We use it every day, but why is it important? Who uses it? How is it generated and transmitted to end users? This course will enable DSM program managers to answer these foundational questions.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the key trends in energy use across North America
  • Identify Large-scale energy end users and how they use energy
  • Recognize key energy resources and the energy generated
  • Examine the process of transmitting energy
  • Classify units of measurement for different types of energy
  • Recognize the composition of key factors within the U.S. and Canadian energy industries


Course 2: Utility Fundamentals


You may work in the demand-side management industry, but do you know how this industry, or even utilities for that matter, came about? This course helps DSM program managers understand basic industry fundamentals, including its origins and the complex relationship between regulation and operations.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Recall how legislation and regulation have shaped the industry
  • Identify how federal, state, provincial, and local regulation provided North American utilities a framework to standardize their operations
  • Identify the regulatory policy tools for increasing adoption of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed energy resources.
  • Recognize the impact of regulation on utility operations, as well as the various levels of regulatory oversight.
  • Recognize current policy and regulatory trends that are impacting the future of the utility industry


Course 3: Utility Business Models


Much has changed to the traditional utility business model over the past decade. This course is designed to enable DSM program managers to understand how utilities traditionally operate (make money) and how their traditional operations are being disrupted through the advent of new policies and technologies.

Learning Outcomes:

  •  Define and describe the traditional utility business model
  • Identify how a utility generates revenue
  • Identify the major changes occurring to traditional generation and transmission that are impacting the utility business model
  • Describe how utility customers adoption of new technology is changing the utility business model
  • Explain how improved access to new technology and real-time information is impacting utilities' relationship with their customers


Course 4: Contract Management


Contract management matters, especially so for a demand-side management program manager who uses contract vehicles to manage and execute all their work. This course instructs attendees on the best practices in contract, budget, change, and risk management necessary for successful project and program management.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe why contracts and contract management matter, and the steps to ensuring contract success
  • Identify pre-contracting needs and how to prepare for going out to contact
  • Describe the steps and components of the solicitation process
  • Outline how to initiate, setup, and manage a contract successfully post-award
  • Identify best practices in managing vendor and financial risk, and how to enact change management
  • Identify how to initiate and manage change within a contractual relationship
  • Define and describe the project-close out process


In-Person Course:


The demand-side management program cycle is an iterative process, one that is tracked, measured, and improved over time. We will introduce this process to DSM program managers during this course, which will outline the origins, significance, and future implications of DSM, and the importance of economics in all aspects of the DSM program cycle. This course will also cover the three DSM program cycle components, program planning and design, implementation, and evaluation. Although implementation and evaluation are two very different components, DSM program managers will learn of the complex yet strategically significant relationship between the two.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe how a utility operates
  • Explain what a load profile is and its relationship to customer energy use
  • Define demand side management and why it makes economic sense
  • Describe and discuss how to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis
  • Recall the key metrics used for program design, planning, and evaluation
  • Outline the steps for conducting portfolio planning
  • Describe the common research studies and data gathering methods
  • Illustrate the relationships between market barriers, adoption and savings risk
  • Outline what Program Theory is, and how logic model are constructed and used
  • Identify the correct sequence of events for designing a program
  • Describe common program implementation strategies and structures
  • Outline and describe data tracking systems, their uses, value, and options available
  • Recall and discuss the importance of managing a customer's experience
  • Identify how to approach developing an integrated marketing strategy and its benefits
  • Recall the key types of marketing metrics and how they measure effectiveness
  • Define and describe the types of evaluation
  • Recall and describe simple energy engineering calculations, and simulation and statistical models
  • Describe why attribution is important to DSM programs
  • Define and articulate how free ridership, spillover, market effects, and NTG impacts DSM programs
  • Outline the uses and value of a process evaluation
  • Describe how a market evaluation helps inform program design and evaluation activities
  • Outline the importance of baseline research and market studies

Capstone Project

The AESP DSM Program Management Capstone project directly reinforces the information learned in the trainings and requires individuals to apply these skills to a real-world professional scenario. It is worked on collaboratively as a team and must be completed to receive the program manager certificate.


    In order to earn CEUs, all registrants must meet course requirements and earn a score of 80% or higher on the final course test.

    Courses 1-4 (Online): 0.8 CEUs (0.2 Per Course)
    In-Person Course: 0.8 CEUs
    Total: 1.6 CEUs


    Start or Return to Online Course

    Make sure you are logged in to your AESP account before clicking below to enter the AESP Learning Portal.

    If you have any questions, please contact

    Go to AESP eLearning Platform

    The Certificate of Excellence was developed by the Cadmus team which includes ILLUME Advising, Dunsky Energy Consulting and Grounded Research.

    Latest Tweets

    Contact Us

    15215 S 48th St, STE 170
    Phoenix, AZ 85044
    Tel: 480-704-5900

    Privacy Policy