$495 Registration Fee

May 19, 2020 | 8 am - 3 pm
Room: 202 C 


7 am - 8 am

Breakfast Buffet - Ballroom C



7:30 am - 8 am 




8 am - 8:30 am

Welcome & Introductions to Customer Assistance Synergy Group


Facilitator: Sheila Pressley, Dir, Customer Revenue Services, JEA


8:30 am – 9:15 am

Understanding Low Income Customers as People First

Speakers: Nat Treadway, Managing Partner, Distributed Energy Financial Group, LLC

  Facilitator: Amanada Heimbach, Customer Policy & Assistance Admin, Minnesota Power
  Summary: Utilities strive to better understand low-income customers as people first, in order to better serve them beyond the typical pilot program, discounted rate or payment approach. Despite an improving economy, a recent survey of households earning less than $50,000 reveals 48% of survey respondents indicate some, or frequent, trouble paying their utility bills. Moreover, more than 50% of certain demographic categories—respondents in households with children, younger respondents, and renters—have trouble paying their utility bill. The most surprising finding is employed respondents indicate a higher level of trouble paying their utility bills than unemployed respondents. Gain an in depth understanding of low-income consumers and armed with this understanding develop solutions that improve affordability for all.
9:15 am – 10 am
Energy Assistance - Models of  Effective Collaboration
  Speaker: Katrina Metzler, Exec Dir, NEUAC
  Facilitator: Bonnie Temme, Mgr, Community Relations Program, SRP
  Summary: There are many configurations for delivery of energy assistance services across the country. Katrina Metzler, Executive Director of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition, will walk us through models for effective partnership between utilities and non-profits to best deliver energy affordability programming to customers with limited resources. She will explore partnerships with non-profit fuel funds, LIHEAP providers, Community Action networks, health agencies, and other partners to reach those most in need.
10 am - 10:15 am
Coffee/Tea Break
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Building Blocks for Impactful Customer Assistance Programs (CAP)
  Panelist: Ronnie Mendoza, Mgr, Customer Assistance Programming, Austin Energy
Gretchen Alexander, Community Care Mgr, Clark Public Utilities 
Kim Rikalo, Mgr, Residential & Assistance Delivery, SMUD

  Facilitator: Elizabeth Paulson, Mgr, Customer Assistance Program, JEA

Discussion Topics:

  • Knowing your State Laws
  • Importance of Benchmarking
  • Developing a CAP Framework
  • Measuring Impact of CAP
11:45 am - 12 pm
Q & A and Summary of the Morning's Sessions
  Facilitator: Francine Artis, Customer Solutions Supv., City of Tacoma
12 pm - 1 pm
Lunch - Ballroom C



1 pm – 2:30 pm

Open Forum Discussion

  Facilitators: Claire Bartolomeo, Payment Assistance Outreach Supv., PSE&G &
Kim Campbell, Sr. Mgr., Customer Advocacy, TXU Energy


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


2:30 pm - 3 pm

Closing and Surveys
  Facilitator: Sheila Pressley, Dir, Customer Revenue Services, JEA

If you have a Synergy Group question, please contact:

Shawnna Ansley

Synergy Groups Manager

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