Print Page | Sign In | Join AESP
DSM Certificate
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 6 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.


Phoenix, AZ - March 24-27, 2020

Philadelphia, PA - August 4-7, 2020




Courses 1 to 4 are completed online while courses 5, 6 and the Capstone project will be delivered on location.

Each online course takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete and will be made available 6 weeks prior to the in-person training. Contact us for more information.


The program includes six courses, four online and two in person. Courses one through four can be taken as a bundled package or individually on demand. To earn the certificate, you will join a training cohort and complete six courses and a capstone project. 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. 


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. By completing this course, you will be able to:

  • 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 actors 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. By completing this course, you will be able to:

  • 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. By completing this course, you will be able to:

  • 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. By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe why contracts and contract management matters, and the steps to ensuring contracting success
  • Identify pre-contracting needs and how to prepare for going out to contract
  • 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


Course 5: DSM Program Cycle 1


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 first of the three DSM program cycle components, that of program planning and design. By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe how a utility operates, and plans for demand side management within their operations
  • Illustrate the economic rationale for demand side managemen
  • Define cost effectiveness tests, and describe and discuss how to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis
  • Recall and describe the components of a DSM portfolio, including the key metrics used for program design, planning, and evaluation
  • Articulate the difference between technical, economic and achievable potential
  • Outline how a Program Theory Logic Model is constructed and used
  • Illustrate the relationships between market barriers, adoption and savings risk
  • Outline the objectives for undertaking market research
  • Identify the future implications for DSM program planning and design.


Course 6: DSM Program Cycle 2


DSM program managers can expect to learn about the remaining two components of the DSM program cycle, which includes implementation and evaluation. Although two very different components, DSM program managers will learn of the complex yet strategically significant relationship between the two. By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the DSM program management job function
  • Describe common program implementation strategies and structures 
  • Recall and discuss the importance of managing your customer's experience
  • Outline the growing importance of customer engagement, and identify key best practices
  • Define and describe the key types of marketing metrics and how they are used to measure effectiveness
  • Outline the components of EM&V, and identify what is measured
  • Define statistical uncertainty and its importance to EM&V
  • Describe why attribution is important to DSM programs
  • Outline the uses and value of impact, process, and market evaluations, and common methods for completing these evaluations


Capstone Project


The AESP DSM Program Management Capstone is a project that 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.

To receive the Certificate of Excellence in DSM Program Management, you must complete all 6 modules, the capstone project and pass all module tests with an 80% or higher.

You can earn up to 1.6 CEUs for passing all 6 courses.




$1999 or 10 points - AESP member

$2499 - Non-member

For more information, contact


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