Committee on Consumer Affairs

Final Program  (Using agenda content available as of June 25, 2016) 

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Sunday, July 24

Location: Broadway F
1:00 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.

Community Solar Customer Preferences and Customer Protections

Locally-sited, customer supported solar projects - known as "community solar," "shared solar," or "solar gardens" - have become an intriguing new deployment model allowing customers, including low and moderate income customers, to participate in the growth of solar power. This rapidly expanding model creates the opportunity for more deployment of solar energy.

The session will highlight the recent consumer preference research from Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and the Shelton Group that was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, consumer protection regulations from Maryland’s community solar program, and lessons learned from utilities and third party providers.   State Commissioners will provide an overview of the consumer protection and education tools available, and are there others that might need to be considered.     

Moderator: Hon. Maida J. Coleman, Missouri

Discussion of Current Consumer Protections and Education:
Hon. Tim G. Echols, Georgia

Hon. Gladys M. Brown, Pennsylvania

Dan Chwastyk, Utility Strategy Manager, SEPA  

Paula Carmody, People's Counsel, Maryland Office of People's Counsel

Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access

Carmine A. Tilghman, Senior Director - Energy Supply, UNS Energy

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2:25 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Business Meeting

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The Consumer-Centric Utility Model

NRECA will present on its recently released report “The Consumer-Centric Utility Future.”  As the electric utility industry confronts changes in technology, economics, policy and consumer expectations, America’s electric cooperatives offer up the consumer-centric utility (CCU) as a model that will foster innovation for the benefit all energy consumers. Cooperatives believe the consumer-centric utility model, a model that aligns the goals of the utility with the interests of consumers, both promotes innovation and mitigates the risks that come with rapid change.  When co-ops and other utilities adhere to a consumer-centric utility model, they thrive by meeting and exceeding their consumers’ expectations, leveraging new technologies, offering new services and ensuring affordable, reliable power.

Speaker: Jan Ahlen, Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

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