Dennis W. Elsenbeck

Head of Energy and Sustainability, Energy Consulting Services Buffalo

A well-recognized expert in the energy field and a highly sought-after lecturer on a variety of topics across the U.S., Dennis collaborates with clients in shaping the “utility of the future.”

Dennis provides consulting services on a broad range of energy-related opportunities encompassing a forward view of supply, distribution and demand options. In his leadership role with a major U.S. utility for nearly 30 years, he brings to Phillips Lytle insight, analytics and business perspectives on long-term policies and the economic landscape. He assists clients with due diligence and regulatory compliance on energy transactions; regulatory counseling involving Public Service Commission proceedings; energy procurement and utility negotiations involving government entities and municipalities; procurement consulting regarding the reduction of energy costs and review of economic incentives; market-driven, integrated resource planning; and identifying commercial and technical issues associated with energy-related opportunities.

Dennis helps clients move critical energy projects forward by providing creative solutions and overcoming project challenges. He works to develop the voice of the consumer in energy policy and bill impacts as sustainability becomes a focus of energy policy.


Honors & Awards

  • City & State New York Energy & Environment Power 100, 2020-2023
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 250 List, Ranked #85, 2017
  • Leadership Buffalo, Annual Service Award, 2012
  • Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM), Annual Recognition, 2012
  • UB Engineering Alumni Association (UB EAA), “Engineer of the Year,” 2011
  • University at Buffalo Alumni Community Leadership Medal Recipient, 2010
  • Niagara Mohawk Career Development Award, 1993, 1995, 1997
  • Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Appreciation Award


  • University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, MEng, 1996
  • University of Rochester, M.B.A., 1992
  • State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, B.S., Industrial Engineering Technology, 1987

Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Speaker, “Going Green: Growing Our Workforce, Our Community & Our Economy,” Retool ’23, July 2023
  • Presenter, “Achieving Climate Goals – balancing economic viability with environmental justice,” Erich Bloch MDI Symposium, June 2023
  • Panelist, Buffalo Business First State of the Region – Energy, March 2023
  • Speaker, “Update on Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) Scoping Plan,” AWMA Niagara Frontier Section 2023 Annual Enrichment Seminar, January 2023
  • Panelist, “Climate Action Council Update – What’s Next?” 2022 Environment Conference, November 2022
  • Presenter, “A Case Study: Climate Tech Success in WNY,” Retool ’22, October 2022
  • Speaker, “New York State Energy Policy: Now and in the Future,” 2022 Turner Winter Series, Robert H. Jackson Center, February 2022
  • Presenter, “Carbon Neutral Fleets,” Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable, November 2020
  • Panelist, “Economics of Distributed Energy Systems,” Experience POWER, October 2020
  • Keynote Panelist, “Climate Leadership, Action & Resilience in a Post-COVID World,” “2020 Summit Reimagined – The Value of Building Business Resilience,” WNY Sustainable Roundtable, September 2020
  • Panelist, “How Clean Energy Will Power New York’s Recovery Efforts,” Virtual NYSEDC Annual Meeting, September 2020
  • Moderator, “New York State Proposes Transformational Economy-Wide Energy Roadmap for Meeting 2030 Targets,” Phillips Lytle Energy Law Webinar, July 2020
  • Speaker, “Why Climate Change Matters to Your Business,” WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable, January 2020
  • Panelist, “New York’s Economy with Carbon Reductions – Do Current Businesses have a Future?” The Business Council’s 2019 Annual Environment Conference, November 2019
  • Moderator, “Investing in Non-Wires Alternatives as a Solution to New York’s ‘Tale of Two Grids’ Challenge,” New York Energy Summit, October 2019
  • Panelist, “The Green New Deal: What Does It Mean for Albany’s Businesses?” Albany Business Review State of the Region Breakfast, June 2019
  • Presenter, “Distributed Energy Resources: How did we get here and where are we going?,” Air and Waste Management Association Eastern New York Chapter Lunch Meeting, October 2018
  • Panelist, “How Energy Infrastructure Can Further Rochester Economic Development,” Rochester Business Journal State of the Region Breakfast, June 2018
  • Panelist, “How Will Energy Infrastructure Advance Albany Economic Development?” Albany Business Review State of the Region Breakfast, June 2018
  • Speaker, “Economic and Environmental Sustainability – A Market-Driven Perspective,” Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable, May 2018
  • Panelist, “Are Environmental Issues Intrinsically Linked to New York’s Energy Policy? – NYS Energy Goals (REV, CES, RGGI),” The Business Council’s 2017 Annual Environment Conference, November 2017
  • Moderator “Distributed Energy Resources: How Did We Get Here & Where Are We Going?,” Phillips Lytle Energy Consulting Seminar, November 2017
  • Panelist, “What I Know Now That I Wish I Had Known in Graduate School,” New Graduate Student Professionalism Orientation, University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, August 2017
  • “Leveraging Market Input in Energy Policy,” Air and Waste Management Association, January 2017
  • “Defining Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and the Clean Energy Standard (CES),” The Business Council of New York State’s 2016 Annual Environment Conference, November 2016
  • “Utility Perspective of NY Prize,” Niagara 2016 Symposium on Microgrids, October 2016
  • “Neighborhood Solar in Low Income Communities,” Sustainable Development & Collaborative Governance Conference, September 2016
  • “Distributed System Platform (DSP) Demonstration on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” NREL What’s a Watt Global Panel, August 2016
  • “Introduction of the Distributed System Implementation Plan (DSIP), ”National Grid Stakeholder Engagement Summit, July 2016
  • “Strategic Energy Planning for Market Integration on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” National Town Hall Meeting, July 2016
  • “Market Engagement; Designing for Smart,” Smart City Forum, July 2016
  • “Reforming the Energy Vision and Regional Economic Development Opportunity,” North Country Alliance Annual Meeting, June 2016
  • “The Democratization of Energy: Climate Change, Renewables and the American Dream, The Business Council of New York State, June 2016
  • “Reforming the Energy Vision and the Integrated Transmission Grid,”Advanced Energy Center (AERTC) Conference, April 2016
  • “Integrated Resource Planning with Market Engagement,” Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century, April 2016
  • “Integrating Microgrids in Today’s Utility Structure,” Microgrid Market Summit East, March 2016
  • “Workforce Pipeline: STEM in the Classroom,” Western New York Physics Teachers Alliance, February 2016
  • “South Buffalo Infrastructure Study; Defining Energy Systems of Tomorrow, Today,” February 2016
  • “River Bend/South Buffalo Infrastructure Survey,” Buffalo Niagara Partnership Annual Meeting, June 2015
  • “Integrated Resource Planning in the Utility of the Future,” E-Week National Society of Professional Engineers, February 2015
  • “Hidden Hurdles to Innovation Reality,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers, August 2014
  • “Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; an Energy Catalyst,” New York State Society of Professional Engineers, Erie-Niagara Chapter, December 2012
  • “Energy Outlook and the Wholesale Market,” Greater Niagara Manufacturing Association, April 2006

Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • New York State Climate Action Council, Member
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Advisory Council
  • Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), Board Member
  • Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator, Advisory Board, Member
  • VDER Working Group, Member
  • Erie Community College Foundation, Board Member
  • University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dean’s Council, Member, Former Chairman
  • Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), Advisory Council, Member
  • Employ Buffalo Niagara, Executive Committee, Member
  • Greater Rochester Enterprise, Investor Representative

Past Activities

  • Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Three-Year Chairman
  • Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA), Board Member
  • Invest Buffalo Niagara, Steering Committee
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Campaign Chairman

Professional Associations

  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Executive Board Member
    • Energy Policy Group Lead
  • New York State Climate Action Council

Articles & Publications


  • Co-Author, “How Crypto Miners Can Support A Cleaner Energy System,” Law360, September 2022
  • Author, “How COVID-19 Crisis Response Informs Next Steps for Climate Mitigation,” POWER, August 2020
  • Author, “Leveraging the Voice of County Leadership: Response to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” NYSAC News, November 2019


  • Co-Author, “Alternative Energy & Power 2023 – USA,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, July 2023
  • Co-Author, “Alternative Energy & Power 2022 – USA,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, August 2022
  • Co-Author, “Alternative Energy & Power 2021 – USA,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, August 2021
  • Co-Author, “Alternative Energy & Power – USA,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, July 2020
  • Co-Author, “Alternative Energy & Power – USA,” Chambers Global Practice Guide, August 2019