September 30th, 2016
On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, we had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2016 Pittsburgh Be Utility Wise Conference inside The Meadows Casino. The free conference, organized by the Pennsylvanian Public Utility Commission (PUC) and a committee of dedicated volunteers, hosted an all-day educational workshop including a number of breakout sessions, speakers, lunch and raffle prizes.
The PUC, in cooperation with utility companies, nonprofit organizations and state agencies, provides utility education and networking opportunities to the general public, and health and social service agencies who promote access, awareness and outreach to consumers in need.
The Pittsburgh Be Utility Wise Conference began with registration at 8 a.m., followed by an introduction and presentation about energy burdens and Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) for all attendees. During the first presentation, Senior Communications Specialist for the PUC, Christina Chase-Pettis, discussed the financial challenge that home energy bills are for low-income households. She also discussed how to calculate your energy burden to better understand your home energy affordability. Next, representatives from Columbia Gas, FirstEnergy, Peoples, Duquesne Light and PA American Water briefly discussed the structure and goals of their individual CAPs.
After the first session, attendees enjoyed a break for more coffee before choosing a breakout session from topics including low-income public housing, identity scams and financial opportunity centers.
Later, a delicious buffet lunch was served, followed by another breakout session including topics such as home buying, energy conservation tips and an iPartner training session by Dollar Energy Fund.
After another short break, all attendees joined together for a presentation on LIHEAP guidelines and Comcast’s new Internet Essentials program, which provides $9.95 high-speed internet for households with low income.
The event was a great success and attendees went home with a wealth of new information, paper resources, handouts, connections and in some cases, raffle prizes. Consider joining us next year at the Pittsburgh Be Utility Wise Conference!
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