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Conference Schedule

Below is the list of conference tracks and a day-by-day schedule for the 2011 National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference. The symbol § is used to indicate general sessions or workshops for which Continuing Legal Education credit was offered. CLE credit was approved by the state bars of Florida (19.5 hours), Louisiana (10 hours), Minnesota (8.75 hours), Pennsylvania (13 hours) and Wisconsin (22.5 hours).

Track A – Energy Availability and Sustainability
Track B – Weatherization and Energy Efficiency
Track C – Energy Assistance and Education
Track D – Energy Policy and Advocacy
Track E – Vulnerable Populations
Track F – Assorted Topics
Track G – Utility and Fuel Programs

Note: Click on a presenter's name for a link to his or her conference presentation and/or handouts where designated.

Monday, June 27, 2011

9:00-10:30 a.m.                      Opening General Session

Introductions:                          Cindy Datig, Chairperson, National Low Income Energy Consortium
                                                Tom Stovall, Chairman, National Fuel Funds Network
Welcomes:                              Christine Tascione, Vice President, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
                                                 Marlene Santos, Vice President-Customer Service, Florida Power & Light Company
Turtle Etiquette:                      Allison Hammill, Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program
Closing Remarks:                  George Coling, National Fuel Funds Network
                                                 David Fox, National Low Income Energy Consortium

At the opening session of NEUAC 2011, attendees heard from leaders of the host organizations and special guests. They also got the lay of the land for events during the three days of the conference.

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.            Session 1

A         Public Perceptions of Energy Consumption and Savings

Moderator:                              Chris Baker, AARP Public Policy Institute   
Presenters:                             Tawanna Dillahunt, HCI Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
                                               Shahzeen Attari, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

Consumers have a vested interest in saving energy.  In fact, decades of public awareness campaigns have promoted energy efficiency and conservation measures as opportunities to minimize costs to individual households as well as to achieve a healthier economy and a cleaner environment.  But is this message getting through to consumers?  That question was the focus of this workshop.  Participants learned how many consumers are taking advantage of opportunities to save the most energy and what they really know about their energy consumption.

B         Non-profit Weatherization Programs:  Benefits Beyond Energy

Moderator:                               Lindsay Parke, Connecticut Light & Power/Yankee Gas
Presenters:                              Heather Gullen, Energy Outreach Colorado
                                                Matt Macon, Florida Power & Light Company 

Weatherization provides energy savings to non-profits that provide basic needs to the communities’ vulnerable populations. This workshop explored existing programs that assist nonprofits with access to energy efficiency programs. It also examined benefits that can be obtained by reducing overhead and freeing up precious resources for community programs and services. 

C         Dialogue with Federal Officials

Moderator:                               Mark Wolfe, National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association
Presenter:                                Nick St. Angelo, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
                                                Charlotte Abney, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
                                                Lauren Christopher, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services oversees more than $5 billion-a-year Low Income No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout Energy Assistance Program funding to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, five insular areas and 160 Tribes and Tribal organizations. Representatives of this office were on hand to discuss LIHEAP funding and answered questions on administrative and programmatic issues.

D         §  Keeping Households Connected to Energy:  Arrearage Management and Discount Programs

Moderator:                               Jim Jacob, New Jersey SHARES
Presenters:                              Molly Martin, Ameren Missouri
                                                Dave Rinebolt, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy                                 

Even in the best of times, LIHEAP often is not enough to ensure that low-income households stay connected to their utilities. Utilitity arrearage management and discount programs are frequently a necessary partner to LIHEAP.  This session looked at the important role these programs play in maintaining low-income households’ energy security.

E        Making Energy Affordable for Public Housing Residents

Moderator:                               Deb Davis, NiSource 
Presenters:                              David Anderson, The Chicago Housing Authority
                                                Valeria Bullock, PECO – An Exelon Company
                                                Sam Raynold, Broward County Community Action Agency

A majority of public housing residents across the country are responsible for paying their own utility bills as a condition of continued housing. These residents may or may not be eligible for LIHEAP, depending upon local LIHEAP regulations. This session addressed alternative methods for reducing the energy burden of this vulnerable population.

F          Hot Topics

Facilitators:                              Jim Phillippo, Integrys Energy Group/Wisconsin Public Service
                                                Gloria Thirdkill, Laclede Gas
Presenters:                              Jackie Berger, APPRISE: "Insights and Recommendations from Evaluations of Low-Income Energy Assistance Programs"
                                                John Cook, Boston University School of Medicine Center, Division of General Pediatrics: "Household Energy Insecurity as a Component of Cumulative Family Hardships"
                                                Edward Gingold, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: "How to Organize Successful Fundraising Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations and Have Fun Doing It"
                                                John Grindrod, Sacramento Municipal Utility District: "Fuel Fund Fundraising Options/Tactics and Marketing That Works"
                                                Vernon McQueen, Progress Energy Florida: "It's More Than a Light Bill (Teach Them How to Fish)"
                                                Jennie Miller, Energy Outreach Colorado: "Outcomes – Can’t Live With Them, But Can’t Live Without Them!"
                                                Lynn Page Snyder, National Association for State Community Services Programs: “Health Impact Assessment of Advanced Metering”

Attendees joined tables of their colleagues and presenters for 15-20-minute sessions of discussion or hands-on demonstration, and then moved on to other tables.

G         Word of Mouse: BTW Twitter is a Tweet Success

Moderator:                                Carolyn Newton, Alabama Power Company                                                                   
Presenter:                                 Greg Allbright, Change for a Dollar LLC (Presentation 1, Presentation 2)                 

This workshop helped to make the case that the success of social networking is indicative of the evolution of our internet culture.  Once myths are dispelled, social media provides a model for internal applications, and organizations would be wise to utilize it or at least consider its strategic and tactical advantages.  In this session, conferees learned how a successful company has integrated and interwoven this important tool in delivering important message points and has helped to expand its outreach and communication strategies/impacts to broad audiences. 

12:30-1:45 p.m.                      Luncheon and Keynote Address

                                                  “Bridges Out of Poverty”

Speaker:                                   Ruby Payne, aha! Process, Inc. (Presentation, Handout)

Ruby PayneAnyone who is interested in working to counter poverty or its impact on people and businesses learned from listening to the NEUAC keynote luncheon speaker, Ruby Payne, Ph.D. – a career educator and author who is dedicated to positively impacting the education and lives of individuals in poverty. Since the mid-1990s, Payne has been speaking to audiences around the world about the effects of poverty on students, families and communities and on how to better understand and support people from all economic backgrounds.

Payne is the author of numerous books, including A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty. But Bridges is more than a book. It’s also an approach that helps employers, community organizations, social-service agencies, and individuals address poverty in a comprehensive way. In her address, Dr. Payne discussed the Bridges model and the ideas, structures, and concrete tools a community needs to reduce and prevent poverty.

2:00-3:15 p.m.                        Session 2

A         Dynamic Pricing: A Ticking Time Bomb or an Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Moderator:                               Marti Doneghy, AARP
Presenters:                              Trevor Roycroft, Roycroft Consulting (Presentation, "PowerCents DC" video)
                                                Judith Schwartz, To The Point                      

A number of utilities around the country have adopted time-of-use pricing, which means that the price of electricity varies depending on when the consumers use it. Time-of-use pricing is facilitated by the installation of smart meters, which electronically track how much electricity is used and when it is used.  Time of use pricing may result in lower bills for some consumers.  Other consumers may see higher bills.  This workshop examined the impact of time-of-use pricing for low-income consumers.

B         Training a Green Jobs Workforce to Meet the Needs of Weatherization Programs

Moderator:                               John Rich, Mid America Assistance Corporation
Presenters:                              Mitch Miller, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
                                                Delia Meraz, Southern California Gas Company

This workshop explored how states have or are ramping up to train auditors for green jobs.  It examined not only Department of Energy workforce standards but also local and regional partnerships through which colleges and universities can train people to conduct audits and become raters. Its focus, in particular, was on programs involving contractors and college students in Pennsylvania and California.

C         Fuel Funds Extravaganza! See How It’s Done!

Moderator:                               John Grindrod, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Presenters:                              Barbara Gomes, New Jersey SHARES
                                                Kathy Kifaya, Orange County Community Action Program
                                                Anthony Spears, Minneapolis Community Action Program

In this session, representatives of fuel funds from around the country shared what works, what doesn’t and what innovative methods have been tried in fundraising, meeting clients’ needs and outreach.

D         §  Lightening the Load: Three Programs that Improve the Bottom Line of a Family’s Budget  (EITC, Lifeline, SNAP)

Moderator:                               Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado
Presenters:                              Pamela Gallant, Universal Service Administrative Company
                                                Marx Gedeon, Minority Development & Empowerment, Fort Lauderdale, FL
                                                Louis (Felipe) Pinzon, Hispanic Unity, Hollywood, FL

This workshop focused on three essential federal low-income assistance programs to help put food on the table, connect households to phone service and improve low-income workers’ basic budgets.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the low-income telephone Lifeline discount program and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) programs can help vulnerable households who are struggling with utility bills meet other essential needs.

E         §  Bridges Out of Poverty: “Could You Survive in a World of Poverty, Middle Class or Wealth?”

Moderator:                               Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund
Presenter:                                Linda Barnes, Entergy Corporation (Presentation, "People Like Us" video, "Tammy's Story" video)
This workshop introduced a different framework or perspective for understanding poverty. It explored one’s ability to survive in the world of poverty, middle class and wealth.  For some participants, it may have been a new experience; others actually may have lived these experiences.  During the workshop, participants explored the concrete experiences of people living through generational poverty and had an opportunity to develop and discuss the mental models of poverty, middle class, and wealth.  Participants were encouraged to share their experiences and reactions to the material presented. Video clips and group exercises were incorporated in the discussion to help demonstrate these concepts.

F          THINK! ENERGY with E-Power

Moderator:                               Mary  Thompson Grassi, PPL Electric Utilities
Presenters:                              Robin Reinarts, National Energy Foundation
                                                Kelly M. Van Dusen, National Energy Foundation

THINK! Energy with E-Power is an interactive school-to-No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout program for grades K-12 whose primary objective is to develop a culture of energy efficiency in No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashouts and schools throughout the PPL Electric Utilities service territory with measurable energy savings. This interactive program served as both an introduction to the many components of the THINK! ENERGY with E-Power program for various grade levels and as a fun way to increase your own knowledge of energy efficiency.

G         Reach Out: Utility Discount Programs for Education and Success

Moderator:                               Carmen Rudshagen, Southern California Gas Company
Presenters:                              Ted Humphrey, Southern California Gas Company
                                                 Aida Velazquez, San Diego Gas & Electric Company                       

This workshop explored how low-income utility discount programs help to target both energy bills and the repair/replacement of energy-efficiency measures.  These measures include the repair and/or replacement of heating systems, water heating systems, air conditioners and refrigerators, lightning upgrades and energy-education sessions just to name a few.  Success through various outreach initiatives such as utilizing community groups, targeting ethic and non-English-speaking neighborhoods and extending assistance hotline hours were discussed.  Conferees also learned how advances in automatic enrollment lead to increases in penetration levels helping to reduce overall program administrative costs.

3:45-5:00 p.m.                        Session 3

A         Renewable Energy Roundup: A Review of Federal and State Policies and Proposals to   Promote Renewable Energy Use 

Moderator:                               Edward Gingold, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Presenters:                              Mandy Mahoney, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
                                                Fred Mayes, Energy Information Administration
Geothermal, wind, and solar.  This session exposed participants to the burgeoning renewable energy industry and how it contributes to a more secure energy future for low-income families.  Presenters provided an overview of current and emerging federal and state programs that are accelerating renewable energy technologies.  The newly released research report by Duke University, “Renewable Energy in the South,” provided data points on successes and failures to help participants determine whether the future is bright for renewable sources of energy. 

B         Multi-family Weatherization: Challenges, Benefits and Solutions

Moderator:                               David Carroll, APPRISE
Presenters:                              Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado
                                                Cathy Lezon, Northeast Utilities

Overcoming challenges of weatherization in multi-family dwellings can be a daunting task. In this session, conferees learned how states have faced these challenges in developed multi-family weatherization programs in order to serve more households. Discussion included leveraging of funding, new models for program delivery, client education strategies and success stories, and working with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

C         §  Improper Payments Begone! Strategies for Strengthening LIHEAP Program Integrity

Moderator:                               Jacqueline Holmes, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Presenters:                              Lauren Christopher, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Presentation, Handout)
                                                Jackie Hutchinson, Human Development Corporation, St. Louis
                                                Kay Joslin, LIHEAP Clearinghouse

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services staff provided a program integrity update since the June 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office on LIHEAP fraud prevention. Topics also included the status of recommendations from the HHS Program Integrity Work Group, the current program integrity controls grantees already are using and best practices for improving LIHEAP program integrity.

D         §  With a Little Energy We Can Do Wonders:  Coordinating Programs to Maximize Benefits

Moderator/Presenter:             Jo-Ann Choate, Maine Housing Authority
Presenters:                              Randy Chapman, Texas Legal Services Center
                                                Jim Dieterle, AARP New Jersey
                                                Richard Moffi, Vermont Department for Children and Families

It is likely that an applicant for LIHEAP or Lifeline is also eligible for one or more other benefit programs.  However, it is often surprisingly complicated for state agencies to link their efforts and databases to help clients maximize the benefits for which they are entitled.  This session highlighted several successful efforts at coordination and will explore some of the obstacles to successful coordination.

E         §  Bridges Out of Poverty, Part 2: Do You Know the Hidden Rules?

Moderator:                               Amy Davis, Entergy New Orleans                
Presenter:                               Toni Green, Entergy New Orleans (Presentation, "Robbery" video)

The big problem with hidden rules is that they’re seldom articulated.  Knowing the hidden rules of all classes can help people in poverty gain power and influence—and move out of poverty if they so choose. This workshop, a continuation of the theme initially presented in workshop 2E, discussed the hidden rules and provided an opportunity for participants to better understand our own behaviors and the behaviors and points of view of others.  Also, the session discussed the impact of language and present examples of the casual register compared with the formal register.  Our use of language can heavily influence how we are perceived, thus influencing our relationships with others.  Knowing and understanding the registers of language and story structure can help us understand the different relationships that exist among the economic classes.

F          A New Look at Assisting Customers

Moderator:                               Deb Davis, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania                
Presenters:                              Judith Martin, Omaha Public Power District                    
                                                Dave Munk, Resource Action Programs                     
                                                Shirley Niemeyer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln                     

This workshop featured two effective programs with the same goal. NEAN is a statewide coalition of utilities, human service and governmental agencies, and community leaders. This coalition created and funded the "Get a Head Start on Energy" program, which was piloted statewide in partnership with Nebraska Early Head Start program professionals. Curriculum materials were used in-No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout with hands-on instruction. Participants received a No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout energy-efficiency kit containing low-cost weatherization items they installed with their facilitator. Pre- and post-evaluations indicated knowledge and behavioral changes in participants. After this successful pilot, NEAN expanded the use of the program to non-profits across the country. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services' Easy Savings Program, meanwhile, has helped more than 60,000 Oklahoma households take immediate action to save on their bills while receiving new products and learning new habits to take control of their energy usage and costs. Traditional assistance is sometimes viewed as a hand out, but new program options can represent a hand up, delivering ongoing bill savings, comfort and personal empowerment.

G         Will Smart Grid and Smart Metering Take Over the World?

Moderator:                               Paula Odom, Entergy Texas, Inc.                
Presenter:                                Ted Reguly, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Everything that draws electric power within the No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout has the potential to become part of the smart grid one day, which ultimately will save energy and offer valuable savings to consumers. The smart grid includes power generation and runs through streetlights, appliances and efficiency technology embedded in buildings and No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashouts.  Conferees learned how this infrastructure is building energy-efficient communities, enabling a cleaner, leaner, and greener world. They also learned how these innovative strategies ultimately will overcome some initial resistance leading to smart control networks and devices. Additionally, they learned how vast improvements in communication strategies are helping to win communities in understanding its value and merits.

5:30-7:00 p.m.                        Evening Reception

Colleagues gathered for an opportunity to network in a casual atmosphere while enjoying light hors d'ourves and Cuban music from a live, local band.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

8:00-8:45 a.m.                        NFFN Annual Membership Meeting

9:00-10:30 a.m.                      Plenary Session 1

                                                  “Where Electricity Comes From: Does it Matter to Consumers?”

Moderator:                                Joel Eisenberg, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy
Speakers:                                Mary Thompson Grassi, PPL Electric Utilities
                                                Rick Gilliam, SunEdison, LLC
                                                John Harpole, Mercator Energy, LLC
                                                John Hutchinson, Electric Power Research Institute

Natural gas, wind, coal, biomass, sunshine, uranium.  All are fuel choices for electric generation that impact multiple issues, not the least of which is consumer prices.  After an interactive audience exercise, the panel presented information and discussion concerning electric generation fuels and the advantages and trade-offs between traditional fossil fuels and renewable energy sources now and into the future.

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.            Session 4

A         Where Electricity Comes From: Does it Matter to Consumers? (Plenary Session Follow-up)

Moderator:                                Joel Eisenberg, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy
Presenters:                               Rick Gilliam, SunEdison, LLC
                                                 John Harpole, Mercator Energy, LLC
                                                 John Hutchinson, Electric Power Research Institute

This workshop was a follow-up to the plenary session that immediately preceded it and gave conferees an opportunity to explore the issues in greater depth.

B         ARRA Funding and Beyond

Moderator/Presenter:              Jerrold Oppenheim, Democracy and Regulation
Presenters:                               Robert Adams, U.S. Department of Energy
                                                 Penni McLean-Conner, NSTAR
                                                 Theo MacGregor, MacGregor Energy Consultancy

In many states, ARRA money and local effort have created a large increase in infrastructure. With ARRA funds disappearing, there will be an opportunity to preserve this infrastructure by actions at the state and local levels. This session discussed how to keep the momentum going in replacing ARRA funding and preserving  the low-income weatherization  infrastructure.

C         §  Leveraging Fuel Fund Resources: Fuel Funds On The Fly

Moderator:                               Skip Arnold, Energy Outreach Colorado
Presenters:                              Roger Colton, Fisher, Sheehan & Colton
                                                David Rinebolt, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy

A number of new fuel funds have been created or had funds supplemented as a result of a variety of litigation actions. These funds are generally managed by nonprofits. The session described the various litigation approaches utilized to create the funds and how the partnership has put these funds into operation, in some cases, in as little as two weeks.

D         §  Bridging 21St Century Technologies and Essential Consumer Protections

Moderator:                               Marti Doneghy, AARP
Presenters:                              CD Hobbs, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida
                                                Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen's Energy Program                       

The words “smart grid” and “smart meters” have been cropping up in many state and federal utility proceedings, but how do these new technologies affect low-income households’ relationships to essential energy services?  What essential consumer protections must be in place to ensure affordable access to No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout energy?  In this session, experts discussed charting a path forward that doesn’t leave the vulnerable behind.

E         §  Loss of Utility Services: The Socio-economic Impacts

Moderator:                               John Rich, Mid America Assistance Corporation                     
Presenter:                                Viletta Coombs, Florida Legal Services

Through video, statistical analysis and research data, this workshop presented important issues surrounding the fact that utilities are integral to basic human needs such as food and shelter. It also discussed the socio-economic impacts that occur when families lose their utilities. For example, the loss of utilities may result in a loss of subsidized housing and subsequent No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashoutlessness; children may be placed with the state due to a parent’s failure to provide adequate housing. The presentation also explored: funded and unfunded state and federal programs and mandates as well as public benefits that are theoretically in place to address these issues; ways and means to protect funds, particularly trust funds that are intended for programs and mandates to address these issues; and how utilities may directly impact and drastically improve upon these issues without fiscal consequences.

F          Developing Tribal LIHEAP Programs: Guidance for New Coordinators

Moderator:                               Deb Davis, NiSource
Presenters:                              Charlotte Abney, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
                                                Patrick Strickland, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina                       

A representative from the federal LIHEAP office and experienced Tribal LIHEAP coordinators discussed designing and implementing Tribal LIHEAP programs. The discussion focused on HHS block grant policy, flexibility and responsibility, state and Tribal agreements, guidance on setting up programs, policies and systems, and common hurdles to overcome.

G         Oil, Propane, Coal and Wood: Deliverable Fuel Assistance to the Rescue

Moderator:                                 Sadie John Kroeck, Peoples Natural Gas                
Presenter:                                 Helen Hoefer, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, NY
                                                Roger Rees, Oregon HEAT

Providing assistance for low-income fuel consumers is very challenging for not only for utilities and agencies but also for deliverable fuel vendors, especially now due to affordability issues. As bulk-fuel costs continue to rise, the impact of federal LIHEAP dollars are diminished.  This workshop explored the challenges this raises to low-income fuel consumers and what is being done to meet these challenges.

12:30-1:45 p.m.                      Luncheon

                                                  "NEUAC Goes to the Movies"

Our Tuesday luncheon represented a change of pace from the traditional speaker format, providing an opportunity to network and get to know colleagues seated nearby along with a chance to view videos of successful public service announcements, commercials and news clips on energy-related issues.

2:00-3:15 p.m.                        Session 5

A         No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout Energy Technology and Consumer Information: What’s Hot, What’s Not and Why

Moderator:                               Charles Milsted, Florida State Office -- AARP              
Presenters:                              Jim Kapsis, OPOWER
                                                Ethan Goldman, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

Recent news reports describe a variety of new No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout energy technologies that promise to revolutionize No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout energy use.  They suggest that consumers will benefit from much better energy information, automated appliance controls, fewer and shorter power outages and help in saving energy and money.  In this session, experts sorted through the claims and consider which new technologies consumers will actually use.

B         Canadian Experience: Warm Up Winnipeg and Green Communities Canada

Moderator:                               Mitch Miller, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
Presenter:                                Kate Taylor, Green Communities and BUILD, Peterborough, Ontario  Canada ("Affordable Energy Canada" and "Warm Up Winnipeg")

The session covered two innovative energy efficiency and training programs from Canada. “Warm Up Winnipeg” is a utility and bill reduction program offered by BUILD in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Projections to date indicate the program will reduce utility bills for lower-income families by $7 million over the next decade. As part of the program, BUILD also is training marginalized workers to gain access to the trades, creating green jobs.  Green Communities Canada has over a decade of experience in the low income energy retrofit sector. Green Communities Canada’s work focuses on low income program design and delivery, as well as building capacity and fostering partnerships in the low income retrofit sector.

C         Coordination of LIHEAP with State and Utility Payment Assistance Programs

Moderator:                               Jo-Ann Choate, Maine Housing Authority
Presenters:                              Jackie Berger, APPRISE
                                                Roger Colton, Fisher, Sheehan & Colton

State offices and utility companies have used many different models for coordinating their low-income energy bill payment assistance programs with LIHEAP.  New guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services advises grantees on allowable uses of LIHEAP in coordination with these payment assistance programs. This presentation discussed several coordination models that have been implemented around the country, the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches and whether and how the new guidance from HHS affects the implementation of these models.

D         §  Aiding and Abetting: The Role of Legal Services in Helping Low-Income Clients on Utility Issues

Moderator:                               Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center
Presenters:                              Randy Chapman, Texas Legal Services Center
                                                Harry Geller, Pennsylvania Utility Law Project

In every state, legal services lawyers are working with clients, community agencies, and policymakers to provide individual representation and policy advocacy before legislatures and public utility commissioners on utility issues.  In this workshop, attendees heard from two veteran legal aid lawyers about their efforts to improve the lives of clients.

E         Good Health and Energy Dependability

Moderator:                               Edward Gingold, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Presenters:                              John Cook, Boston University School of Medicine Center, Division of General Pediatrics
                                                Lynn P. Snyder, National Association for State Community Services Programs

This session examined the empirical data supporting correlations between good health and energy dependability. It introduced Weatherization Plus Health, a voluntary initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy to promote strong, effective collaborations between weatherization and healthy No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashouts around the country. Experts shared their work and study results with participants, who left with usable data and contacts to help with their advocacy.

F         Roundtable: Shop Talk for Tribes

Moderator:                               Jerry Snell, Cherokee Nation
Presenters:                              Kay Joslin, LIHEAP Clearinghouse
                                                Terry Ross, San Carlos Apache Tribe
                                                Jose Solarez, Gila River Indian Community
                                                Heather Sunday, Muskogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma
                                                Janet Ward, Cherokee Nation

During the workshop, attendees had achance to pick two table topics and listen to short presentations from experienced Tribal LIHEAP directors and federal staff on a variety of subjects.

G         You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But Tell Me About Water Assistance Aid!

Moderator:                                John Rich, Mid America Assistance Corporation
Presenters:                              Tori Hobbs, Tacoma Public Utilities
                                                Lori Phillips, Tacoma Public Utilities

The inability to pay water bills in full and on time costs utilities money and creates significant hardships for low-income households.  In coming years, the expense of replacing an aging infrastructure and the steady pressure of inflation also will drive up costs more, and more utilities will have customers with an inability to pay.  In this session, conferees learned how one innovative utility is helping its customers overcome these daunting issues while encouraging water conservation and bill affordability and providing assistance with infrastructure needs.

3:45-5:00 p.m.                        Session 6

A         Solar Heat for Low-income Families: A Long-term, Carbon-neutral Solution to Fuel Poverty in Heating States

Moderator:                              Toni Green, Entergy New Orleans
Presenters:                             Joe Berney, Renewable Energy Sites, LLC
                                               Jason Edens, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance

Is solar heat an appropriate and cost-effective technology that can significantly mitigate fuel poverty?  In this workshop, attendees heard about pilot programs in the states of Minnesota and Oregon where solar energy is used to reduce costs for No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout water and air heating, increase access to renewable energy technology for all citizens, and decrease the carbon footprint of households. Participants gained an understanding of the funding mechanisms and policy implications needed to expand renewable technology as a tool for lowering energy costs of low-income households.   

B         Weatherization 101: How to Get Low-Income Families to "Buy In"

Moderator:                              Jo-Ann Choate, Maine Housing Authority
Presenter:                               David Carroll, APPRISE
                                               A. Tamasin Sterner, Pure Energy

A great deal of attention is being paid to weatherization due to the combination of high energy prices, the downturn in the economy and the recent influx of funding at the federal and state levels for weatherization activities. But what are the benefits of weatherization, and  how do we get clients to participate actively in energy-usage reduction and conservation? This session, brought back by popular demand from NEUAC 2010, explored opportunities to engage families in reducing their energy usage and get them to “buy in” to conserving energy.

C         Linking Energy Education with Energy Assistance

Moderator:                              Mary Ellen Vanni, Fuel Fund of Maryland
Presenters:                             Alicia Miller, WARM Training Center
                                               Jennie Miller, Energy Outreach Colorado

This session demonstrated how energy education can be linked with fuel assistance to provide long-term benefits in addition to crisis assistance.   Attendees learned the basic principles of effective energy education, how the service can be cost-effectively linked to fuel assistance programs and how to address some of the challenges of a successful collaboration.

D         §  How to Win Friends and Influence Policymakers

Moderator:                              Bree Raum, American Gas Association
Presenters:                             Tim Lau, PECO – an Exelon Company
                                               Steve Martino, Office of U.S. Rep. Allen B. West (R-FL)
                                               Michelle McGovern, Office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
                                               Whitney Schraw, Consumers Energy                                               

When you get an appointment with a policymaker or staffer, you only get a few moments to get your message across.  How to be most effective in this brief period is an art.  This session presented the "do’s and don’ts" of advocacy, using LIHEAP advocacy as example. Attendees heard firsthand from U.S. Senate and House of Representatives staffers about the best way to advocate for your position and also heard from representatives of a nonprofit organization and a utility about how they try to influence policymakers and create key relationships.

E         From Our Children to Our Elderly: The Many Aspects of a Client’s Life and Needs

Moderator:                              Della McCurdy, Florida Power & Light Company
Presenters:                             Johnetta Brown, National Fuel Funds Network
                                               Joe Guarinello, HeartShare Human Services of New York
                                               Ursula Williams, The Pantry of Broward, Fort Lauderdale, FL

This workshop examined LIHEAP and other support programs and services from the client’s perspective and addressed needs at various stages of a client's life.  Specific information about the New York City foster care program was covered, such as how many children are in care citywide, how the current financial climate has affected them and what happens when they grow up. It also explored the steps that an agency takes to help foster children stand on their own when they reach the legal age of adulthood. The workshop looked not only at the needs of children but also another vulnerable population: senior citizens. The elderly often have significant needs but do no seek help out of pride. In many cases, they not only struggle to take care of themselves but also care for grandchildren.

F          Keeping a Roof Overhead: Getting Through Tough Times

Moderator:                              Michael Bradford, Project SHARE, The Salvation Army-Georgia Division        
Presenter:                               Cindy McQuaide, Dollar Energy Fund
                                               Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund

This workshop explored how innovative organizations are helping poor families affected by rising essential energy costs manage during tough times.  The Dollar Energy Fund is administering a program for Allegheny Power that reaches low-income households and seniors in multi-unit buildings using Dollar Energy’s BPI Certified Auditors. The program is marketed to landlords who, in turn, allow Dollar Energy and Allegheny Power to present the benefits of the program to the families and seniors who live at the facility. The program is highly effective at helping the companies achieve “assumed” or “deemed” savings of kilowatt hours toward goals set forth by the regulatory bodies in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.

G          It’s My Story, and I’m Sticking With It!

Moderator:                              Carolyn Newton, Alabama Power Company                
Presenters:                              Peggy Burnett, Alabama Power Company
                                               Rhonda Harper, Citizens Energy Group (Presentation 1, Presentation 2 -- Citizens Gas)

Almost all utility companies are affected by low-income households' financial problems. One of the outcomes they must address occurs when customers lose service due to an inability to pay. During this workshop, presenters shared success stories -- innovative ways to further service to low-income clients through trust funds, financial assistance, No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout energy improvements and education.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

9:00-10:15 a.m.                      §  Plenary Session 2

                                                 “State Regulatory Commissions:  Low-Income Issues and Advocacy” 

Moderator:                              Sandra Sloane, New York State Public Service Commission 
Speakers:                               Ron Binz, Chairman, Colorado Public Utilities Commission
                                               David C. Coen, Vermont Public Service Board
                                               Eddie Roberson, Tennessee Regulatory Authority

When making decisions concerning utility rates, consumer rules and utility programs, state regulatory commissioners must balance the needs of many constituents including consumers, utilities and society in general.  One constituency is sometimes overlooked: low-income utility customers.  A panel of current and former regulatory commissioners discussed how they consider the needs of vulnerable households and how the advocacy community can, and should, influence regulatory proceedings.

10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.            Session 7

A         Fairness and Financing: Exploring Different Strategies to Finance Energy Efficiency Programs

Moderator:                              Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center                
Presenters:                              Elizabeth Chant, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
                                                Mandy Mahoney, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
                                                Mark Wolfe, National Energy Assistance Directors' Association

While many No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout improvements such as better insulation or solar panels can fully pay for themselves over time, securing financing for their initial cost is often a substantial hurdle. The federal stimulus program has been instrumental in making billions of dollars in new funding available for state- and utility-sponsored energy-efficiency programs.  Attendees heard how states and local governments are using these dollars to help residents, including low-income families, to finance energy-efficiency and renewable-energy improvements.

B        Neighborhood Blitz: A Community Seized by Energy-Use Warriors!

Moderator:                              Morgan Stewart, Entergy Louisiana                 
Presenters:                             Heather Anderson, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)
                                               Ingrid Woods, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)

A Quick No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout Energy Check-up is a fast way to increase the energy efficieny of your No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout.  Energy-use professionals come to your No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout and check the conditions of its insulation, heating and cooling system, lighting and appliances.  In addition, other energy savings methods are indentified to help increase customer savings.  In this session, attendees learned how one utility company and its partners are helping its customers address energy usage issues and how its strategic outreach blitzed a neighborhood of limited- to moderate-income renters and No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashoutowners with powerful options to save energy, money and the environment.  The session also covered lessons learned from this powerful customer outreach initiative and its tactical impacts going forward.

C         Opening the Safety Net: Maximizing Partnerships, Maximizing Contacts

Moderator:                              Linda Yamauchi, Southern California Edison
Presenters:                             Tanya Brothers, HeartShare Human Services of New York
                                               Valeria Bullock, PECO – An Exelon Company

Do you have difficulty ensuring that clients are protected while providing assistance? Building a relationship between energy providers and human service agencies is essential to protecting our vulnerable populations. This session provided “how to” answers to ensuring that clients are protected.  Halting terminations or obtaining extensions of time for assistance grants is sometimes a daunting task. The presenters provided “keys” to addressing these issues from the utility and human service perspectives.

D         §  Saving Lives:  Keeping Utility Service on in Medical Emergencies

Moderator:                              Chris Baker, AARP
Presenters:                             Tibrene DaFonseca, Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston
                                               Roger Colton, Fisher, Sheehan & Colton
                                               Sandra Sloane, New York State Public Service Commission

A little explored, yet critical, consumer protection involves state policies to protect utility consumers caught in life- or health-threatening circumstances.   The maintenance or restoration of utility service is sometimes, literally, a matter of life and death.  This session covered policies that protect utility consumers faced with medical emergencies.

E         Energy Action Network:  Engaging Vulnerable Populations

Moderator:                              Alita Corbett, Pepco Holdings
Presenter:                               Angela Pace-Moody, Citizens Utility Board, Chicago
                                               Jennifer Smith, CEDA of Cook County

The Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA) partners with the city of Chicago, the Field Museum, local utilities and the philanthropic community to administer the Energy Action Network Program, which engages community-based organizations in the environmental movement by providing capacity-building support, information and additional resources. This, in turn, helps the community-based organizations as they promote and inform their local communities about how to make their energy more affordable through efficiency and conservation.  This workshop gave an overview of the EAN program’s origination, funding, progress, successes and challenges.

F          Developing Partnerships to Measure Performance: Strategies from State LIHEAP Directors

Moderator:                              Leslie Lee, Division of State Service Centers, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services       
Presenters:                             Janet Cesner, Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Services
                                               Richard Moffi, Vermont Department for Children and Families
                                               Akm Rahman, Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development

The session provided participants with strategies and best practices for partnering with stakeholders (e.g., public utility companies, vendors, public utility commissions, federal government, etc.) in order to collect data and measure performance. State LIHEAP directors presented information in a panel discussion format with a question and answer period.

G         Help! My Service is Off, and I Can’t Get it Back On!

Moderator:                              Jackie Hutchinson, Human Development Corporation, St. Louis
Presenters:                             Gloria Thirdkill, Laclede Gas Company
                                               Beth Pace, Vectren Corporation

Presenters shared innovative ways to help with the restoration of needed gas and electric service. Restoration is accomplished through No Deposit Bonus With No Max Cashout visits and a comprehensive outreach program, working with local agencies and fuel funds, to reach clients who are without service. For example, Laclede Gas also works directly with community partners such as fire departments to identify customers needing help repairing unsafe conditions, providing a potential lifesaving service as well.

12:00-1:30 p.m.                     NFFN Awards Luncheon & Closing Session

Attendees gathered for the presentation of the National Fuel Funds Network’s highest honors and then looked ahead to NEUAC 2012 in New Orleans on June 11-13, 2012.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.                      Post-Conference Session

Meeting of U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s LIHEAP Performance Measures Implementation Work Group (PMIWG).

© 2011, National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference, presented by the National Fuel Funds Network and National Low Income Energy Consortium