• Phone: 617-353-4298
  • E-Mail:  pfoxp@bu.edu
  • Office: 514B
  • Office Hours:
    Tues. 02:00PM - 04:00PM
  • Address: Boston University Questrom School of Business
    595 Commonwealth Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215

Profile Summary

Peter Fox-Penner is a Professor of Practice in the Questrom School of Business and the Director of Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy.  His research and writing interests are in the areas of electric power strategy, regulation, and governance; energy and climate policy; and the relationships between public and private economic activity, including corporate social responsibility.  He is the author of Smart Power, a book widely credited with foreseeing the future transformation of the power industry now used and cited all over the world, as well as other books in this area.  He also teaches courses on sustainable energy and electric power in the Questrom School of Business.  The work of the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy and Peter’s projects through the Institute can be viewed here.  In addition, since 2014 he has been a Senior Policy Scholar at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy.

Peter has led a career that includes leadership in academia, government, and the private sector.   From 1996 through 2015, Peter was a Principal specializing in energy and regulated industry matters at The Brattle Group, where he remains an Academic Advisor.   During his time there, Peter was on the firm’s Executive Committee, directed the Washington Office, and then became the firm’s longest-serving Chairman.  During his tenure at the firm he helped the Brattle Group grow from a small regional consulting boutique into a globally-recognized brand with offices all over the world.  He also played an integral role in designing a unique corporate governance framework by which the firm has become an intergenerational, self-governed, privately-held firm.  During this period his work was quoted as authoritative in a Supreme Court Decision and he participated extensively in litigation involving Enron and the California electricity crisis

From 1994-1996 Peter was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy unit (EERE) and a Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Among other duties during this period, he led policy and budget formulation at EERE, implemented the largest part of the first official U.S. Climate Change Action Plan and the path breaking Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle, represented the U.S. government in California’s power deregulation and parallel federal efforts, and defended the federal government against the unsuccessful 1994 shutdown.

Prior to 1994 Peter was a Vice-President at Charles River Associates, where his work centered on electric utility policy and regulation, and a research engineer at the Illinois Governor’s Office of Consumer Services, one of the original utility consumer advocates first established in the U.S., and a researcher at the University of Illinois’ Energy Research Group (ERG).  ERG was one of the original three interdisciplinary energy research centers in the United States and helped contribute to the first formal national energy policy adopted by the U.S., President Nixon’s Project Independence.

Since 1996, Peter has also been actively engaged in outside business and civic activities.  He currently serves as Chief Strategy Advisor to Energy Impact Partners, as a board member of an energy efficiency company, Lighting Retrofit, Inc., and as an advisor to EOS Energy Storage.  He has previously been on the board of, or been an Advisor to, The Solar Foundation, the Center for National Progress, the Brookings Institution Energy Program, the United Nations Foundations, the Energy Foundation, the Global Energy Group, Gridpoint, and other groups.   In 1977, Peter co-founded one of the original anti-nuclear-power U.S. groups, the Prairie Alliance and in 2000 he co-founded Environment 2004, an environmental political group that was subsequently merged into the League of Conservation Voters.  He has also been a policy advisor to numerous presidential campaigns.  

Peter’s outside interests include music and sound recording.   He is a rank amateur R&B and jazz drummer and the founder of a series of sound recording studios that have become Pogo Records.

  • Current CoursesOpen or Close

    GSM PL851 F1 Sustainable Energy Business Models and Policy

  • PublicationsOpen or Close

    Journal Articles:

      Fox-Penner, P. (2014). Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure for Urban Energy Systems. The Solutions Journal,

      Fox-Penner, P., Zarakas, W., Sergici, S., Bishop, H., & Zahniser-Word, J. (2014). Utility Investments in Resiliency: Balancing Benefits with Cost in an Uncertain Environmen. The Electricity Journal, 27(5),

      Fox-Penner, P. (2013). The Future of US Energy Utilities, AD. The Oxford Energy Forum,

      Fox-Penner, P., & Wharton, J. (2011). SureWestís Transformation and Its Lessons for Todayís Electric Utilities. The Brattle Group,

    Books:

      Fox-Penner, P., Gary, T., Shaun, L., & Romkaew, B. (2015). Market Power and Market Manipulation in Energy Markets: From the California Crisis to the Present. Reston: Public Utilities Reports, Inc.

    Other Publications:

      Fox-Penner, P. (2016). "Energy, Growth and Altruism: Forty Years On".: Mitchell Foundation Blog.

      Fox-Penner, P., Chang, J., Hagerty, M., Gorman, W., Cash, D., & Berwick, A. (2016). Clean Energy Resource Options for Massachusetts to Meet the Greenhouse Gas Goals in the Global Warming Solutions Act. Boston: The Brattle Group.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2016). Innovation, Meet Deployment: Climate Policy's Twin Imperatives.: Huffington Post.

      Fox-Penner, P., Tuschida, B., Sergici, S., & Mudge, B. (2015). Comparative Generation Costs Scale and Residential-Scale PV in Xcel Energy Coloradoís Service Area.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2014). Presentation with NRRI on: Prospects for Radical Change in the U.S. Electric Industry: What Can Utilities and State Utility Regulators Do Today?.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2014). Presentation to the APPA Annual Board Meeting on: Public Power in the Age of Smart Power.

      Fox-Penner, P., Weiss, J., Shavel, I., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Exploring Natural Gas and Renewables in ERCOT, Part III: The Role of Demand Response, Energy Efficiency, and Combined Heat & Power.

      Fox-Penner, P., Weiss, J., Shavel, I., & Ruiz, P. (2013). Exploring Natural Gas and Renewables in ERCOT Part II: Future Generation Scenarios for Texas.

      Fox-Penner, P., Harris, D., & Hesmondhalgh, S. (2013). A Trip to RIIO in Your Future?.: Public Utilities Fortnightly.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2013). Presentation at the CA Energy Efficiency Industry Council on: The Future of Electric Utility Business Models: The View from 2013.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2012). Moderated discussion at the Clean Energy Summit on: Empowering Consumers with Options. Las Vegas

      Fox-Penner, P. (2012). Session Chair at the Aspen Energy Policy Forum on: Electricity: Seeking Progress in an Uncertain Environment: Regulatory issues. Aspen

      Fox-Penner, P., & Chang, J. (2012). Presentation to the State Grid Energy Research Institute on: The Future of Electric Utilities in the U.S. and China. Beijing

      Fox-Penner, P. (2012). Renewable Energy Standards: If It Ainít Broke, Donít Fix It.: Climate Progress.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2011). Invited Participant, PG&E/RMI Electricity Roundtable: Exploring Innovative Strategies for a Distributed Energy Future.

      Fox-Penner, P. (2011). Presentation to Enel on: The End of the Traditional Utility. Rome

      Fox-Penner, P. (2011). Presentation at the Electricity Policy Research Group on: The Future of Utilities: Business Models and Strategy. Cambridge

      Fox-Penner, P., Eckles, R., & Guard, C. (Accepted). Bulk Power Markets in hte United States: Challenges and Recommendations.: ISE Working Paper to the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • General ServiceOpen or Close

    Service to the School:

      Boston University, Committee Member, Boston University Climate Action Plan Task Force. (November 1, 2016 - Present).

      Boston University, Committee Member, Met College Program on Sustainability. (July 15, 2016 - Present).

      QST, Curriculum Development Activities, Course/Module Design Lead, EES Concentration. (January 1, 2016 - Present).

      Boston University, Committee Member. (July 1, 2015 - Present).
      IOC Advisory Board


    Service to the Profession:

      Professional/To the Academy, Board of Advisors of a Company, EOS Energy Storage. (January 1, 2016 - Present).

      Professional/To the Academy, Interaction with Industry, Energy Impact Partners. (January 1, 2016 - Present).
      Chief Strategy Officer


      Professional/To the Academy, Board of Directors of a Company, LRI, Inc. (January 1, 2016 - July 1, 2016).