Committee on Consumer Affairs

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Consumer Affairs
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Mount Vernon B
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Robo Calls
With the FCC’s recent actions to eliminate unwanted robo calls received on landline and now wireless phones, the panel will explore the spread of unsolicited sales calls and what consumers can do to help curb the problem.

Moderator: Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi
Bikram Bandy, Do Not Call Program Coordinator, Federal Trade Commission
Kevin G. Rupy, Vice President, Law & Policy, USTelecom
Antonio Sweet, Technology Advisor to the Chief Technologist, Federal Communications Commission


2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Networking Break


2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Review of Utility Billing and Customer Care: Current Issues and Future Directions
An Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) Billing Symposium held in November 2015 was the catalyst for the NRRI Research Paper being introduced today. The IURC Symposium provided an opportunity for open dialogue among participants representing Indiana electric, natural gas, and water utilities, IURC, and consumer interests. NRRI researchers surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia for information on billing rules and related communications, and consumer complaints data. Other information sources for the Paper included a literature review, sample utility bills, and utility and commission publications. Learn the NRRI Research Paper findings as the presentation reviews: (1) the different goals and objectives for utility billing and customer care systems, held by utilities, Commissioners, consumer interests, and society at large; (2) state billing rules, noting similarities and differences and identifying 16 important topics included in many state rules; (3) complaints data by industry type and topic.

Moderator: Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher for Energy and the Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute
Hon. Jim Huston, Indiana
Chetrice Mosley, Executive Director of External Affairs, IURC


2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Update from NASUCA
Recently taking the lead of NASUCA, new Executive Director David Springe and President Bob Nelson will provide an update on the Association and ways that NARUC and NASUCA can work together to benefit consumers.

Bob Nelson, President, NASUCA
David Springe, Executive Director, National Association of Utility Consumer Advocates


3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Keeping Michigan Warm Coalition
The Michigan PSC has adopted a successful collaborative approach for reaching vulnerable populations with needed assistance that is now being expanded to handle broader consumer issues. The panel will explore what works, what doesn’t, and what new ideas may be useful in reaching customers facing a myriad of issues who need assistance.

Moderator: Hon. John Quakenbush, Michigan
Monica Martinez, Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm and Ruben Strategy Group
Melissa Seifert, Government Affairs, AARP
Jamie Curtis, Director of Energy Assistance Services, The Salvation Army
Winston Feeheley, Manager of Corporate and Government Affairs, DTE Energy


4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Consumer Attitudes Regarding Utilities and Utility Commissions
An expert at polling utility customers, John Ashford will present updated information that can help Commissions and utility companies better reach customers with information that is meaningful and helpful to them.

Moderator: John Ashford, Chairman, The Hawthorn Group, L.C.