$349 Registration Fee

Room 132 A
April 9, 2019 | 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM 


7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Continental Breakfast - Rooms 129 A/B



7:30 AM - 8:00 AM 




8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome / Introduction to Customer Assistance Synergy Group 


 Sheila Pressley, Dir, Customer Revenue Services, JEA


8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

Prepay Service: Enhanced Affordability for Low and Moderate-Income Families

Speakers:  Sheila Pressley, Dir, Customer Revenue Services, JEA
& Karen Hutson, Dir, Training and Support, Exceleron

  JEA's approximate 20,500 prepay customers consume between 8% and 10% less (weather normalized and excluding disconnection periods) than post-paid customers. The energy savings result from the customer's leverage of next-day consumption/cost data to make meaningful changes to control their utility expense. The program's account notifications, synergy with payment assistance and the availability of arrears management options bring about high levels of customer satisfaction. This voluntary program has been available to JEA customers since 2012.
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
The New LIHEAP Customer: Data Study Revelations

Speaker: Katrina Metzler, Exec Dir, NEUAC

The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) was funded in 2018 by the American Gas Foundation to perform a data study on customers served by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program nationwide.

In conjunction with partners at the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) and APPRISE, NEUAC presented in December 2018 a comprehensive look at the families served by this life-saving federal program that paints a detailed portrait and gives insight into the lives and motivations of these customers. 

Information includes demographic information including veteran status, employment status, and rate of disability among those surveyed, among other valuable information. It also includes experience with energy assistance, actions taken to meet energy expenses, energy insecurity scale, reasons for inability to pay, and healthy homes information.

 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Break – Refreshments in foyer near rooms 123 and 130
 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Optimizing Customer Assistance with Dedicated Agency Portal
  Speaker: Gerri Drummond, Credit & Collections Coord, TECO Energy

The Agency Portal is intended to provide Social Service Agencies the ability to view customer billing and payment information to assist low-income families in paying their energy bills. In addition, agencies are able to make financial commitments or promises to pay for natural gas and/or electric bills. Payments for these commitments are processed through normal payment channels. Agency leads (Site Admins) have reporting capabilities to view agent activities and commitments made by their agency. Site Admins are also able to invite new Users (Agency Case Workers) to participate in the Portal. New Users are enabled by the Utility after verification of completing the required Individual User Certificate.

 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Key Components of Customer Assistance Program

Patrick Johnson, Energy Assistance Manager, TXU Energy
Ronnie Mendoza, Mgr, Customer Assistance Program, Austin Energy
Elizabeth Paulson, Mgr, Community Relations Program, JEA


Key to the success of utility Customer Assistance Programs is the affordability of utility services for economically vulnerable communities which leads to the creation of value and sustainability for all.    Elements of well-designed Customer Assistance Programs (CAP) differ by geographic location, local and state regulations and business principles.  However, commonalities exist within CAP programs that can be modeled universally including partnerships with non-profit agencies, weatherization initiatives, bill management programs, and extended payment plans.  Three industry leaders will discuss utility best practices for the development and sustainability of well-designed Customer Assistance Programs

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Lunch - Rooms 129 A/B



1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Open Forum Discussion


Attendees, this is a great opportunity to bring Hot Topics and Top of Mind issues to discuss with peers in your industry with similar interest and challenges. 


2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Closing and Surveys

If you have a Synergy Group question, please contact:

Shawnna Ansley

Synergy Groups Manager

Industry Sponsor