DENVER, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, NARUC, hosted its Summer Committee Meetings on July 21 through July 24, 2013 to discuss issues facing the utility sector, from infrastructure updates to water efficiency to telecommunications and broadband issues.
Michele Ruiz, former Emmy award-winning news broadcaster, now President & CEO and Chief Strategist at Ruiz Strategies, addressed regulatory commissioners on the need for utility companies to use digital strategies, social media marketing and mobile apps to increase the number of low income customers adapting energy efficiency and conservation practices.
Ruiz stated, "To encourage minority customers to adapt energy conservation and sustainability practices, it is crucial that there be a change in mindset about minorities and throw out outdated beliefs. Today, we are 'techno-minorities'. We over-index in the use of smart-phones than the general population. So, as regulatory utility commissioners, one way to achieve your goals is by encouraging the utility companies to create apps that influence a change in behavior that are both 'in-language' and 'in-culture'. And key - continue to persuade the utility companies to contract with diverse suppliers who understand the cultural nuances of the customers you are trying to reach."With Congress considering legislation that will drastically alter the regulatory landscape, utility issues are dominating the national stage. From climate change to wireless consumer standards to critical infrastructure concerns, State regulators will play a significant role in shaping these debates. NARUC serves the public interest by improving the quality and effectiveness of public utility regulation. NARUC's members have an obligation to ensure the establishment and maintenance of utility services as may be required by law and to ensure that such services are provided at rates and conditions that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory for all consumers.