Community + Customer Engagement

Thursday, March 14, 2019

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Real Solutions for the Low Income Segment
Speakers: Octavio Verduzco, CARE & Assistance Programs Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Shawn Collins, Director of The Energy Project, a program of Opportunity Council
Chris Drake, Avista Demand Side Management Manager, Avista Corp.
Understanding the culture of poverty is key to designing successful limited income programs. After taking a closer look into poverty, we’ll hear about successful programs that are designed to create customer engagement and satisfaction with limited income households.

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Evolution of Prepay: Providing Customers More Control and Choice
Speakers: Yolanda France, Director, Customer Billing & Accounting, Salt River Project
Noah Solomon, Senior Research Analyst, Chartwell, Inc.
Salt River Project’s M-Power program has evolved into North America’s largest electric prepay program. Enabled by the company’s deployment of second-generation smart meters, M-Power’s new token-free infrastructure will allow customers to manage their accounts with a dedicated M-Power app while maintaining a real-time in-home display. In this session, learn how changes to this already popular program will continue to keep customers satisfied as it promotes energy efficiency and helps the utility control operational costs.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Can Renewables Save the World? Communicating Complex Green Energy Initiatives
Speakers: Jason Zyskowski, Senior Manager of Planning Engineering + Technical Services, Snohomish County PUD
Rick Edwards, Director – Community Relations, NorthWestern Energy
Steven Eddy, Manager of Government Relations, Tucson Electric Power
In today’s environment, there is a tremendous focus on the use of renewable resources to meet our energy needs. With the changing utility landscape comes the challenge of communicating complex green energy information to our customers and the general public. Attend this interactive session to learn about techniques that others have used to successfully meet that challenge. Hear from respected communicators regarding Best Practices in this arena, and also hear interesting perspectives from customers regarding this subject.

Friday, March 15, 2019

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
A Collaborative Approach to New Products, Services, and Customer’s Strategic Objectives
Speakers: Juan Arguenta, Senior Manager, Southern California Edison
Ryan Anderson, Senior Key Account Manager, Tucson Electric Power
Danielle Vitoff, Associate Director Energy, Navigant
Beyond serving as the energy provider, utilities are now embracing the role of the energy partner. This role requires a new level of stakeholder engagement, requiring utilities to understand and address their customer’s strategic energy goals while educating the customer about the challenges of providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Corporate renewable energy targets, federal resiliency directives, and community efforts to address climate change present an opportunity for utilities to embrace partnership. This panel will outline the new role of the utility as the energy consultant and explore two specific examples of partnership engagement: federal resiliency directives and corporate science-based targets for carbon reduction.

Utilities are engaging customers, regulators, and community stakeholders to in a much more collaborative approach to define objectives and develop new products and services that meet strategic goals. Examples include resiliency requirements, renewable, and clean energy goals.

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
How Customer Engagement Leads to Loyalty and Why It Matters
Speakers: Russ Henderson, Research Manager, Chartwell
Carl Lepper, Director or Utility Practice, JD Power
In a rapidly changing marketplace, what can WEI members do to strengthen relationships with their customers? What does it take transform consumers into loyal brand advocates? Winning the hearts of customers is a constant challenge. Our speakers will outline research-based, tested strategies for building connections with consumers, particularly those who are tech-savvy, in our increasingly connected world.

Attendees will learn how to measure and understand where their brand’s consumer advocacy stands through NPS® metrics and how to increase both brand advocacy and loyalty by applying best practices from other industries. This session will also review some success stories from utilities in the region.