General Sessions

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Monday, February 13, 2017

General Session

Ballroom South
8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Remarks from The Honorable Greg Walden, Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives.
9:00 a.m.
21st Century Utilities: The Role of Infrastructure, Innovation, and Investment

America relies on an aging utility infrastructure, much of which is in dire need of replacement. A large portion of our pipeline distribution system, drinking water infrastructure, and electrical grid is well over 100 years old and is now nearing the end of its useful life. Although thousands of miles of additional high-voltage electric transmission lines and significant oil and gas pipelines are planned over the next several years, permitting and siting issues threaten their completion. This, combined with the impact of severe weather events on a deteriorating distribution system highlight that now more than ever is a critical time to upgrade our nation’s utility infrastructure.

The investment needed to upgrade this infrastructure is immense. On the water side, the cost over the coming decades to replace aging pipes could reach more than $1  trillion. Yet, this work to upgrade our utility infrastructure needs to be done to ensure not only safe and reliable utility service, but also long-term economic growth for our nation.  Private investment in broadband providers has been very robust, but more will be necessary to bring 21st century services to these utility segments and consumers throughout the country, especially in less dense and rural parts of the country.

There is a silver lining to this story. As we upgrade and invest in our nation’s utility infrastructure, there are endless opportunities for innovation, from smart meters and battery storage to alternative ratemaking. If harnessed correctly, innovation in the utility industry could not only improve the customer experience by making a safer and more reliable system, but also save energy and result in utility service that is more productive and efficient. The panelists will discuss their ideas for how to tackle this monumental issue of upgrading our nation’s aging utility infrastructure in ways that optimize new technology and innovation.

Hon. Robert Powelson, NARUC President, Pennsylvania

Chris Crane, EEI Vice Chairman, President and CEO, Exelon
Chris Franklin, CEO & President, Aqua America
Jack Gerard, President & CEO, API
Pierce Norton, AGA Board Chairman, ONEGAS
Jonathan Spalter, President & CEO, USTelecom

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

General Session

Ballroom South
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Federal Outlook for 2017

Insights from federal and legislative leaders policymakers for 2017


Cyber Issues

Moderator: Hon. Robert Powelson, Pennsylvania, NARUC President

Participants: Hon. Rick Mroz, New Jersey

Hon. Rick Santorum, Former Senator, Pennsylvania

Jonathon E. Monken , Senior director, System Resiliency and Strategic Coordination in the ITS Division of PJM Interconnection.


One on One with FERC

Hon. Cheryl LaFleur, Acting Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Insight from Capitol Hill

Remarks by Hon. Bill Shuster, Chairman, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

General Session

South/Central Ballroom
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
A National Focus on Resiliency

This joint session is focused on the Department of Defense’s increasing priority on energy resiliency measures. The DoD wants to ensure that, even if a catastrophic storm hits or adversaries target the power grid, critical DoD installations can still carry out their mission-essential functions. 

Representatives from the Air Force, Army, and Navy will discuss issues related to funding for energy resiliency projects, private-sector partnerships and opportunities, and barriers to success such as the regulatory and/or the DoD contracting process.  Specific relevant case studies, such as the Hawaiian Electric-Army energy resiliency project and the APS-USMC micro grid, will be explained.

Moderator: Hon. Judy Jagdmann, Virginia

Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, United States Air Force

Michael McGhee, P.E., Executive Director, US Army Office of Energy Initiatives

John Kliem, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Program Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment)

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
What Regulators Need to Know about Stopping Consumer Utility Scams

Over the last several years, the volume and complexity of scams aimed at utility consumers have been growing. Scammers are using technologies such as Caller ID spoofing and fake utility interactive voice response menus. Although it is difficult to quantify total losses, it is estimated that millions of dollars annually are stolen by criminals impersonating utility representatives. These scams also can undermine consumer confidence in a utility, unfairly damage its reputation, and place an added burden on its customer service operations.

What is being done to address this problem and what can State commissions do to educate consumers and help stop these scams? In this session, attendees will learn about an industry collaborative across North America to share data and best practices and implement initiatives to inform and protect customers. Attendees will also learn about emerging technologies to eliminate Caller ID spoofing, as well as State efforts to crack down on these scams and educate consumers on how to identify potential scams and whom to contact to report suspicious activity.

Hon. Jack Betkoski, Connecticut

Hon. Ann Rendahl, Washington

Ellin Katz, Consumer Counsel, Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel

Jared Lawrence, Vice President Revenue Services, Duke Energy Customer Services

Brent Struthers, Senior Policy Advisor, Neustar, Inc.