RMUC Program Listening Sessions

The Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) is hosting three listening sessions to inform the development of CESER’s Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program (RMUC Program). The goal of the RMUC Program is to enhance the security posture of rural, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities and improve their ability to protect against, detect, respond to, or recover from a cybersecurity threat.  

The RMUC Program will prioritize investments in eligible utilities that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have limited cybersecurity resources
  • Own assets critical to the reliability of the bulk-power system
  • Own defense critical electric infrastructure

The primary objectives of the RMUC Program are to deploy advanced cybersecurity technologies (defined as any technology, operational capability, or service for electric utility systems that enhances a utility’s security posture), and to increase participation of eligible entities in threat information sharing programs.

Information gathered during the listening sessions will inform:

  • Outreach and engagement strategies to ensure all eligible entities are aware of program opportunities.
  • Program priorities, goals, design, and implementation strategies to ensure relevance for the target audience and active inclusion of resource limited utilities.

Who Should Attend

Listening sessions are intended for owners and operators of rural, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities, as well as stakeholders that support these utilities. 

What to Expect

The first listening session included a launch of the RMUC Program with opening comments from CESER’s Acting Principal Deputy Director Monica Neukomm, Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor Andrew Wills, and Rural and Municipal Utilities Cybersecurity Program Manager Dr. Cynthia Hsu. During the 90 minute launch and listening session, participants heard about the RMUC Program's purpose and goals, and had a chance to ask questions of the speakers. This was followed by two interactive sessions where participants had opportunities to communicate their cybersecurity priorities and challenges.
 
The second and third listening sessions will each be 60 minutes long and will focus on providing stakeholders opportunities for sharing their priorities and challenges. 
 
Suggestions, comments, and questions raised during the listening sessions will help CESER develop and design the RMUC Program. All listening sessions are virtual and free to attend. Sessions are closed to press. Registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions

Listening Session #4

Tuesday, October 25, 1 p.m.–2 p.m.

Registration link coming soon.

Past Sessions

Listening Session #1 – Official Launch of the Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program (RMUC Program)

The first listening session was held on August 18, 2022, and provided an overview of DOE’s RMUC Program and an opportunity for participants to provide input on the cybersecurity priorities and challenges that were relevant to eligible utilities.

Below is a video (approximately 18 minutes) of the RMUC Program launch, a transcript of the recording, and a copy of the slides presented.

Video Url
RMUC Listening Session 1
Video Courtesy of the Department of Energy

Listening Session #2: Electric Cooperative Utilities

The second listening session was held on September 15, 2022. The agenda included an overview of DOE’s RMUC Program, a presentation on some of the insights gained from the first listening session, and an opportunity for participants to provide input on the cybersecurity priorities and challenges that were relevant to electric cooperative utilities.

Listening Session #3: Electric Municipal and Small Investor-Owned Utilities

The third listening session was held on September 29, 2022. It focused on the unique needs of electric municipal and small-investor owned utilities and their key priorities.