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Winning & Enforcing State Utility Consumer Protections. National Community Action Foundation St. Petersburg, FL November 13, 2007. Overview of Presentation. General discussion, w. some ex’s (CH) Ingredients of success (CH) State-specific examples (Jami, Cynthia).

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winning enforcing state utility consumer protections
Winning & Enforcing State Utility Consumer Protections

National Community Action Foundation

St. Petersburg, FL

November 13, 2007

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation
  • General discussion, w. some ex’s (CH)
  • Ingredients of success (CH)
  • State-specific examples (Jami, Cynthia)

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

successes example 1
Successes: Example 1
  • Iowa: payment plans, IA Adm. Code 199-19.4(10) (p. 95 “Rights”)
  • Plans must be “reasonable” (p. 96)
  • 2nd plans can be LONGER than 1st
  • RESOURCE: Jerry McKim

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

example 2
Example 2
  • MO winter moratorium rule, tit. 4, § 240-13.055: waived late pmt. fees, reduced pmt. needed to avoid disconnect. Upheld in MO Ct. App. (2006).
  • RESOURCE: AARP

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

example 3
Example 3
  • TLSC and TexasROSE petitioned for waiver of deposit rules, post-Katrina.
  • RESOURCE: Randy Chapman

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

example 4
Example 4
  • Nevada Fund for Energy Assistance, NRS 702.050 - .280 --- 3.6% of inc. std.
  • RESOURCE: Fall 04 “Update”

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

example 5
Example 5
  • MA vendor agreement: 25% down
  • Serious illness, winter, elderly, infant: 220 CMR 25.03
  • RESOURCE: CH

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • “90% of life is just showing up” –Woody Allen (e.g., 25% down)
  • “I found allies that I never thought I’d find, including utility people, regulators, and others. You’ve got to find the right people and work with them to make things better.” - Elliott Jacobson

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

lessons learned1
Lessons Learned
  • Potential allies include leg., util. cos., PUCs, press, other low-income groups
  • Facts/data play a key role: arrearage and terminations esp. Document the need!
  • Build a network/Assurance 16

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org

a word about enforcement
A Word About Enforcement
  • Most states have under-utilized rules and protections: payment plans, term. rules.

NCLC, 77 Summer St, 10th Fl. Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 542-8010 Fax: (617) 542-8028 www.nclc.org

Charlie Harak Email: charak@nclc.org