BlueOceanSystems attends NARUC Winter Meetings – ReCap

March 3, 2016

To:     Blue Ocean Systems Business Network

From: Heidi Wagner – Blue Ocean Systems

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)

 Winter Committee Meetings

Each year NARUC holds a Winter Meeting to discuss the most current issues in the utility industry.  The meeting brought together commissioners from across the country with subject matter experts to examine key issues, challenges, and opportunities for consumers, service providers, and public officials through the convergence of traditional utility services in the energy, water, and communication sectors.

Regulators continue to face challenging issues:  the Clean Power Plan, pipeline safety, rate design, net metering, nuclear waste, and broadband and other telecommunications matters. The traditional gas, electricity, telecom, water and transportation issues are evolving rapidly. It is very challenging to keep pace with these changes and understand how they affect all stakeholders. The winter meeting provided meaningful discussions to assist all stakeholders to meet their challenges.

Of great interest to Blue Ocean Systems was The Staff Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs session on the Review of Utility Billing and Customer Care. The panelists were Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher for Energy and Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute, and Chetrice Mosley, Executive Director of External Affairs, IURC. An Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) Billing Symposium held in November 2015 was the catalyst for the NRRI Research paper that was introduced. The IURC Symposium provided an opportunity for open dialogue among 75 invited participants representing Indiana electric, natural gas, and water utilities, IURC, and consumer interests.  NRRI researchers surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia for information on billing rules and related communications, and consumer complaints data.  There was a presentation on (1) the different goals and objectives for utility billing and customer care systems held by utilities, Commissioners, consumer interests, and society at large;(2) state billing rules, noting similarities and differences and identifying important topics included in many state rules: (3) complaints data by industry type and topic.

The reports will be out in early March and the NRRI webinar on Billing will be on March 17th! http://nrri.org/events-details/?event_id1=40

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