Utility Billing and Payments Conference

Utility Billing and Payments Conference

July 20-21, 2023 | Austin, TX ::

“As a new manager in the Utility industry, the topics were very helpful and gives me some ideas on how to improve our customer experience and improve customer interactions.” Customer Service-Billing Manager, Grey Forest Utilities

“Informative and engaging, will definitely attend again!” Payment Processing Supervisor, Huntsville Utilities

“EUCI events offer high quality content for utilities in an intimate setting that lets us make connections with people working on improving utility customer experience.” User Experience & Design Thinking Manager, AEP


Billing & Payments departments are in a precarious position. They have progressed through COVID and its disruptions to customer billing. Now they are facing the realities of rising costs, affecting all US households. In addition, severe weather events are on the rise, which leads to disruption of service and further stresses the billing & payment process. All the while, Billing & Payments departments are tasked with employing the latest in upgrades and technologies while continuing business as usual.

This conference will examine how utilities cope and persevere through rising costs, weather events, and calls for new technology. It’s never been more critical to come together to problem-solve and learn from each other. Attendees will benefit from case studies and real-world examples directly from utility executives.

Register now for the Utility Billing & Payments Conference to explore innovative strategies for customer payments and revenue security. Attendees will come away with solid, actionable ideas for improvement.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review current industry issues, including the importance of customer billing as it pertains to rising energy costs and debt-recovery issues
  • Explore customer research that can provide insights into your customers’ billing and payment experience
  • Discover how system upgrades can lead to department efficiencies and recover lost revenue
  • Discover how technology can be used to make informed decisions and improve the customer payment experience
  • Discuss how utilities can proactively support customers and initiate beneficial communication
  • Discuss what utilities are doing to mitigate severe weather disruptions to service and billing
  • Explore how modernization of rate structures can equip utilities to provide choice and price satisfaction to customers through delivery of highly optimized rates
  • Review how proactive approaches to unbilled accounts can result in effective revenue recovery


Thursday, July 20, 2023

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Conference Registration

1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Conference Timing

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. :: Opening Announcements

1:10 – 1:30 p.m. :: Keynote Address from Austin Energy

Austin Energy is the nation’s 8th largest publicly owned electric utility serving more than 448,000 customers and more than 1 million residents. Kerry Overton will welcome industry colleagues to Austin Energy’s headquarters and review the importance of customer billing as it pertains to rising energy costs and debt-recovery issues.

Kerry Overton, Deputy General Manager and Chief Customer Officer, Austin Energy

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. :: Electric Bills and Rate Plans: Consumer Awareness and Understanding

In this session, we will dive into residential consumers’ awareness and understanding of today’s electric rate plans. Based on findings from a recent SECC report, this session will provide a detailed look at what today’s consumers know, think, and feel about their monthly electric bills and their electric rate plan options.

Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Case Study: Unexpected Revelations from AMI Installation

Upgrading to AMI technology is bound to create some hiccups in the Billing Department. But what happens when advanced metering reveals large customers have been under-billed! This is how Zeeland Public Works uncovered billing issues, gained internal agreement on how to move forward, and then approached their customers.

Kate Chrisman, Accounting & Finance Manager, Zeeland Board of Public Works

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. :: Technology Upgrades Enable Department Efficiencies

A new CIS system was the catalyst for several changes to the billing department at APS. Even when tasked with an increased workload and a rate migration, this billing and payments team absorbed the extra work and stayed on schedule. In this session, we will discuss how new technology led to updated training, more hires, adoption of bots, and ultimately a proactive SWAT team program at APS.

Sue Gilley, Manager, Billing & Payments, Arizona Public Service

5:00 p.m. :: Day One Adjourns

Friday, July 21, 2023

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Group Luncheon

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Conference Timing


9:00 – 10:00 a.m. :: The Proactive Lifecycle Billing Approach

Tasked with an aggressive quality goal, the Customer Experience department of Alectra Utilities employed a triage strategy to key billing accounts in order to drastically reduce the number of “unbilled” accounts. This session will review how Alectra Utilities was able to reduce unbilled accounts from 10,000 to 2,500 in a six-month window.

Christina Koren, Manager of Customer Experience, Alectra Utilities

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. :: Environmental Challenges in Getting the Bills Out

Winter Storm Uri complicated more than just the electrical grid in Texas.  Customer bills and payments are always a challenge, but sending a bill to someone when they are without power for several days is like rubbing salt into the wound – and oh, by the way, we were still in the middle of a pandemic.  CPS Energy will share how they temporarily suspended billing and auto-payments for customers and learned a lot about the coordination necessary to start back up again. 

Andy Schorn, Director of Customer Revenue, CPS Energy

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. :: Networking Break

11:30 – 12:30 p.m. :: Taking the Complexity Out of Billing Modern Rates

Implementing modern rate structures, including Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, is increasingly becoming a priority to meet regulatory mandates, manage a complex grid, integrate distributed energy resources, and achieve decarbonization targets. To deliver a successful TOU program though, it requires a significant effort across many utility organizations. Enhancing the CIS to ensure that the billing process remains a positive customer experience is obviously high on the list. This session will provide an overview of one utility’s rate modernization effort, how it optimized its CIS to streamline the billing process and how that led to the utility being able to provide choice and price satisfaction to customers through delivery of highly optimized rates. 

Scott Engstrom, VP Corporate Strategy & Business Development, GridX

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. :: Accelerating Digital Billing and Payments for Utilities

The industry is going through some very significant changes. Utilities are under increased pressure to expand options for their customers’ digital needs and explore new ways to manage costs, all the while managing operations efficiently. This session will highlight the latest technologies to enable modernization of business processes and improve customer satisfaction.

Steven Mazur, VP, Payment Solutions, Smart Energy Water (SEW.AI)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Vision of the Future: Panel Discussion

This interactive panel will explore how technology and various solutions are becoming more easily scalable and how they can be deployed to continue to improve customer relations and billing processes.


John Winemiller, Customer Account Manager, Austin Energy  


Kate Chrisman, Utility Accounting & Finance Manager, Zeeland Board of Public Works

Sue Gilley, Manager, Billing & Payments, Arizona Public Service

Christina Koren, Manager of Customer Experience, Alectra Utilities

Andy Schorn, Director of Customer Revenue, CPS Energy

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Review and Open Q&A

4:30 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns


How Next Generation Smart Meters Will Change The Relationship Between Customer and Utility

Thursday, July 20, 2023 : Central Time


Seventy-five percent of residences and commercial buildings in the U.S. have smart electric meters that digitally record and transmit energy usage and power quality data back to their providing utility.1  Despite their ubiquity, only 17% of customers who have a smart meter know they have one.2  And even when they are aware, there are only a limited number of capabilities available to the customer and the data they can look at is usually at least a day old.  Next Generation Smart Metering, which we call Advanced Metering Infrastructure 2.0 or AMI 2.0, aims to change this limited set of capabilities by providing a full extensible modern meter that is more than just a digital recording device, it’s an intelligent edge computer that can interact directly with the consumer in real time and help them save money, be safe and participate in keeping the electric grid stable.   

In this workshop, we will explore how new capabilities of l Advanced Metering Infrastructure 2.0 can fundamentally change the relationship between customer and utility from provider and consumer to partners.

1 https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/smart-meters/75-of-us-households-have-smart-meters-report/

2 https://escalent.co/blog/an-intelligent-way-to-reengage-customers-with-smart-meters/

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how traditional smart metering has benefitted the electric utility industry
  • Discuss how traditional smart metering has benefitted the customer
  • Learn the limitations of smart metering
  • Explore the emerging capabilities of Next Generation Smart Meters
  • Discuss the major challenges impacting utilities that even Smarter Meters help address
  • Review potential customer impacting use cases for AMI 2.0 
  • Discuss how AMI 2.0 could change billing


Thursday, July 20, 2023 

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Workshop Timing

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

  • Benefits of traditional smart metering electric utility industry

  • Benefits of traditional smart metering for the customer

  • Where did traditional smart metering not deliver

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

  • Next Generation Smart Meters: Emerging capabilities

  • Major challenges impacting utilities and AMI 2.0 mitigations

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Use cases for AMI 2.0

  • AMI 2.0 and its potential impact on Billing

12:00 p.m. :: Workshop Adjourns

Workshop Instructors

Steven G. Rogers, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Mr. Rogers has been assisting clients in the electric, gas and water utility industries to implement AMI for over 16 years. He has acted as a solution architect, program lead, execution advisor, business case development lead and AMI operations strategist. He is now involved in advising electric utilities on how to prepare for the next generation metering technologies on both greenfield implementations and replacement situations.

Stuart Nicholas, Supervisor, AMI Operations, TECO


Kerry Overton, Deputy General Manager and Chief Customer Officer, Austin Energy

Kerry Overton joined Austin Energy in 2000 and oversees the utility’s Customer Account Management, Customer Care Services, and Customer Energy Solutions departments. Customer Services includes Austin 3-1-1; the utility’s customer contact center, the customer billing operations which generate more than $1.3 billion in revenues for the City of Austin each year as well as renewable and energy efficiency efforts. Mr. Overton has worked in the energy and utility industry for over 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in managerial studies and political science from Rice University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

As Deputy Director of SECC, Jason plays a key role in producing SECC’s research reports and consumer education materials. Prior to joining SECC, Jason served most recently as a Senior Program Manager for Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives. In this role, he drove strategic planning efforts, produced events and webinars, as well as leading market research and IT initiatives. He considers himself a lifelong learner and is always on the lookout for delicious local specialties when traveling.

Kate Chrisman, Utility Accounting & Finance Manager, Zeeland Board of Public Works

Kate has the privilege of serving the residents of the City of Zeeland proper and portions of Holland & Zeeland Charter Townships as a member of the Leadership Team at the Zeeland Board of Public Works. The Zeeland Board of Public Works is a municipally owned water and electric utility. Kate is responsible for leading customer service, billing and purchasing/accounts payable while managing and reporting finances for the Zeeland BPW and the BPW’s Insurance Authority. Kate serves as the Zeeland Rotary Club’s Treasurer and as a member of the West Coast Chamber Ambassador Team.  She is a graduate of the West Coast Leadership Program, a cohort preparing to assume leadership roles in the Holland/Zeeland Community, by creating an informed, committed and diverse network of community trustees.

Sue Gilley, Manager, Billing & Payments, Arizona Public Service

In this position, Sue is responsible for all aspects of back-office billing as well as payments, including developing future strategies and vendor management within these areas.  In her current role, Sue has led her team through several initiatives including a new CC&B implementation, two Rate Cases which included reprogramming of over 1 million meters, implementation of a new payment vendor with addition of several new payment options.  Over her lengthy career with APS, Sue has held various positions in different business areas including Transmission & Distribution, Customer Service and Energy Delivery. 

Christina Koren, Manager of Customer Experience, Alectra Utilities

Christina was promoted to Manager of Customer Experience at Alectra after successfully serving as Billing Manager for the past three years. She is a 30-year professional in the utility sector – both electricity and water. Christina is responsible for leading the in-house, customer focused, “front line office” team that handles a wide range of Customer Care and billing inquiries via telephone, email, and social media channels daily. Alectra is a local electricity distribution company serving 1 million customers in Ontario, Canada with a service territory of 17 communities. Alectra bills approximately 1,141,904 bills per month and for 2022 achieved a rating for billing accuracy of 99.68 percent.

Andy Schorn, Director of Customer Revenue, CPS Energy

Director of Customer Revenue – Executive with over 40 years of experience in customer-facing operations across multiple industries and organizations.  Andrew is focused on exceptional customer care in his role of leading CPS Energy’s back-office billing, accounts receivable, payment processing, and outsourcing functions for the largest community-owned utility in the United States serving over 1.2 million electric and gas customers.

Scott Engstrom, VP Corporate Strategy & Business Development, GridX

John Winemiller, Customer Account Manager, Austin Energy  

John has been with Austin Energy for nearly 5 years.  He started in the Credit and Collections department and has transitioned to lead the Remittance Processing team.  He comes with 20 years of leadership and experience in various financial sectors including mortgage, credit card, retail banking and third-party account resolution.  In each venture, including Austin Energy, his focus has been operational and employee enhancement.  His education includes five college degrees with a bachelor’s in business administration as the most recent. 


Austin Energy Headquarters

4815 Mueller Blvd

Austin, TX 78723



Nearby Hotels

Origin Hotel Austin
1825 McBee St., Austin, TX 78723
(512) 861-1140
0.4 miles from conference location

Residence Inn by Marriott Austin-University Area
1209 E 51st St, Austin, TX 78723
(512) 469-7842
0.6 miles from conference location

Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Central
5901 North Ih-35, Austin, TX 78723
(512) 454-8004
1.6 miles from conference location



Utility Billing and Payments Conference

July 20-21, 2023 | Austin, TX
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1695.00 each

Buy 4 in-person seats and only pay for 3! For this event every fourth in-person attendee is free!


How Next Generation Smart Meters Will Change The Relationship Between Customer and Utility

July 20
Individual attendee(s) - $ 595.00 each

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before June 16, 2023 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800




EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Conference CPE Credits: 10.5
There is no prerequisite for this Conference.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Live
Advanced Preparation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org


Who Should Attend

This conference was developed for those working or specializing in the following areas:

  • Retail mass market, commercial, and industrial customer billing
  • Wholesale billing
  • Electronic billing presentment and payment (EBPP)
  • Revenue management
  • Analytics
  • Customer service
  • Strategy and planning
  • Web services
  • Finance
  • Communications
  • E-business strategy
  • Business planning
  • Information systems
  • Community service and development
  • Pricing
  • AMI


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