Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs

Renaissance Ballroom East
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
9:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.
Socializing the Cost of Solar

Solar energy is popular with customers and utilities. But, the debate on how to pay for residential solar is far from over. Some states have experienced a solar cost-shift to non-solar customers and, as a result, new demand rates for solar customers. Some utilities are implementing community solar projects that supposedly benefit all customers in a neighborhood. How are low-income customers being affected in this solar revolution? Join us as this panel examines the “cost” of residential solar.

Moderator:

Cynthia L. Muir, Director, Office of Consumer Assistance, Florida PSC

Panelists:

William H. Malcolm, Sr. Legislative Representative/State Advocacy, AARP

Galen Barbose, Electricity Markets & Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Tony Sanchez, NV Energy

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Fighting Utility Customer Scams

Over the last several years, the volume and complexity of scams aimed at utility consumers have been growing, costing customers millions of dollars annually. Scammers are becoming more aggressive and have added deceptive technologies such as caller ID spoofing and convincing but fake utility IVR menus. What is being done to address this problem and what can state commissions do to educate consumers and help stop these scams? Join this presentation to learn about Utilities United Against Scams, an industry collaborative across North America to share data and best practices and implement initiatives to inform and protect customers.

Panelist:

Jared Lawrence, Vice President of Revenue Services, Duke Energy, LLC

10:15 – 10:30 a.m
Networking Break
10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Disability Access Communications — The Digital Migration
(Joint Session with the Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications)

While providers manage the transition of network structures to digital and IP configurations, the equipment and services themselves and how they are being used by people with disabilities have also been undergoing radical changes. Hint: It’s not the TTY anymore, and hasn’t been for years. This panel will provide an overview of how the consumer and specialized equipment markets, equipment distribution and telecom relay programs, and state and federal policies are evolving. We’ll delve into the status and future of disabled access in the digital/IP world and how people with disabilities themselves are managing and driving change to continue

Moderator:

Jeff Richter, USF Director, Wisconsin

Panelists:

Laurie Flaherty, Coordinator, National 911 Program, USDOT

Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC

Gregg Vanderheiden, Professor, iSchool, and Director of Trace R&D Center, University of Maryland

Christian Vogler, Director of Technology Access Program, Gallaudet University NASRA/TEDPA, Invited