ZerO-In Dialogue #3 on Consumer Engagement for G-NZEBs

Consumer Engagement for G-NZEBs

Grid interactive buildings are smart – enabling data analytics to optimally manage loads, occupant preferences, and grid requirements. However, there is growing recognition that technology alone cannot achieve energy efficiency goals. Occupant behavior and preferences must align with energy conservation and demand response objectives. The dialogue hosts Mary Ann Piette from LBNL, showcasing CalFlexHub, a platform for advancing dynamic energy management.

The California Load Flexibility Research and Development Hub (CalFlexHub) brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts from numerous sectors—including industry, utilities, academia, manufacturers, and non-profits—to identify, evaluate, develop, fund, and demonstrate promising pre-commercial energy efficiency and distributed energy resource technologies that are flexible, interoperable, and grid-integrated. A key objective of the program is to identify ways to improve the usability of technology solutions to increase consumer benefits.

The discussion, third in the series, hosted Mary Ann Piette (Director, Building Technology and Urban Systems Division; Director, Demand ResponseResearch Center, LBNL), Mary Tyler Holmes (Deputy Director, Indo-Pacific Office, USAID/India), Atul Bali (Chief General Manager, National Smart Grid Mission), Apurva Chaturvedi (Senior Clean Energy Specialist, USAID/India), Tanmay Tathagat (Director, Environmental Design Solutions) and Piyush Varma (Associate Director, EDS [MAITREE]).  



  • Introduction to ZerO-In Dialogues 03
    Apurva Chaturvedi (Senior Clean Energy Specialist, USAID India)
  • Address – Moving towards Net Zero Emissions
    John Smith-Sreen (Indo Pacific Office, USAID)
  • Grid-Interactive Net Zero Energy Buildings – Opportunities for Consumer Engagement
    Piyush Varma (Associate Director, Environmental Design Solutions)
  • CalFlexHub – A Platform for Advancing Dynamic Energy Management
    Mary Ann Piette (Director, Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
  • Q&A
    Tanmay Tathagat (Director, EDS [MAITREE])
  • Vote of Thanks
    Atul Bali (Chief General Manager, National Smart Grid Mission)

1.Mary Tyler Holmes (Deputy Director, Indo-Pacific Office USAID | India)

Mary Tyler is serving as the Deputy Director of the Indo-Pacific Office overseeing a portfolio of $140 million. She has served in Education and Democracy & Governance roles in postings in Africa, the Balkans, and South and Central Asia as well as Washington. MaryTyler has over 20 years of experience in the International Development sector in strategic planning, project design and implementation, organizational change management, assessments and evaluations, human and institutional capacity building, International Religious Freedom (IRF), and Human Rights as well as Civil-Military Cooperation. Ms. Holmes has led key strategies for USAID, established a Sector Council on Strategic Religious Engagement, and has regularly engaged with counterparts at the NSC, Department of Defense, and the Department of State as well as International Donors and Bi-lateral Governments representing USG priorities.


2.Atul K Bali(Chief General Manager, National Smart Grid Mission)

Atul Bali is an Electrical Engineer who has over 28 years of rich experience in the power sector. His experience spans design, engineering, monitoring, and successful implementation of SCADA/EMS/DMS projects. He has worked in NHPC, POWERGRID, and PFC, the Navratna Public Sector Undertakings of Ministry of Power, Government of India. He has been associated from concept to commissioning of the Unified Load Despatch & Communication Scheme and has also supervised the implementation of IT-based distribution reform projects under the prestigious Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP).


3. Mary Ann Piette (Director, Building Technology and Urban Systems (BTUS) Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Mary oversees Berkeley Lab’s building technology research activities for the U.S. Department of Energy which covers appliance standards, technology analysis and tools to accelerate deployment, new building technologies, modeling and analysis, commercial and residential building systems integration, grid-interactive communications, and integration with EVs, storage and PVs. Her most recent work is exploring how to accelerate decarbonization while ensuring equity and affordability. 

Mary Ann also leads the new California Load Flexibility Research and Deployment Hub (CalFlexHub) which will pioneer new technologies, and advanced communication and controls to enable buildings to receive automated dynamic pricing and GHG signals.

Mary Ann has authored over 95 peer-reviewed publications related to energy efficiency and demand response and has worked at LBNL since 1983.  She is a board member of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy where she chairs the Research Advisory Board. 


4.Apurva Chaturvedi (Senior Clean Energy Specialist, USAID India)

Apurva is a clean energy professional currently working as Senior Clean Energy Specialist in the energy division of Indo-Pacific Office in USAID/India. She has over 15 years of experience in the clean energy and power sector. She has experience of designing, leading, and managing several clean energy programs at USAID. Her area of expertise is strategy formulation and program design & management. She is currently leading the distribution utilities, smart grids, e-mobility, and energy efficiency portfolio of USAID’s clean energy program in India. Prior to USAID, she worked for British Council, British High Commission, as Project Manager-Climate Change for four years. She has done her Master’s in Microbiology with specialization in Environment microbiology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights.


5.Tanmay Tathagat (Director, EDS [MAITREE])

Tanmay leads the Environmental Design Solutions [EDS] team of consultants working on climate change policies, energy-efficient building design, building code development, energy efficiency policy development, energy simulation, and green building certification process. Tanmay has extensive experience in green building design, energy simulation, architectural and mechanical design, and green building certification process. Since 2002 EDS has worked on over 200 green building and energy efficiency projects worldwide. Tanmay hails from New Delhi. He completed his M.S in Building Design from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA in 1996.


6. Piyush Varma (Associate Director, EDS [MAITREE])

Piyush is an Associate Director at Environmental Design Solutions (EDS). He has extensive experience in the Buildings and Appliance Energy Efficiency domain. He has demonstrated experience of more than 14 years in the design and execution of energy-efficient and net-zero energy buildings with an emphasis on low energy cooling systems, water efficiency, waste management, and resource efficiency, development of policies and software tools for building energy efficiency, conducting market research and impact assessment studies, and, Standards and Labeling (S&L) for appliances and equipment.

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