Contact: Chad Quinn, Board President, NEUAC

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NEUAC welcomes Katrina Metzler as Executive Director

ARLINGTON, VA – The board of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) has selected Katrina Metzler as the new Executive Director for the organization. NEUAC is a broad-based coalition of diverse member organizations and individuals with the goal to reduce energy poverty across America. Ms. Metzler officially assumed the role on June 27.

“NEUAC is excited to have Katrina on board as our new Executive Director.  Her hiring, along with the move of our headquarters back to the Washington D.C. area, will allow us to more effectively address the energy and utility issues that impact low and limited income households throughout the United States,” said Chad Quinn, Board President, NEUAC.

The main office for NEUAC has moved from Denver to Arlington, Virginia as part of the transition. This puts NEUAC in close proximity to policy leaders and advisors that will be imperative as the work of the group continues.

Ms. Metzler previously was the Executive Director for a government non-profit, the Fairfield County Family, Adult and Children First Council, in southeastern Ohio. She also previously held positions as the Energy Services Director and Energy Policy Advisor with the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), a membership-driven organization that advocated for energy programs including Weatherization, and addressed poverty issues at the federal level. Metzler is a member of the State Energy Advisory Board, where she has served Dr. David Danielson, former Assistant Secretary of Energy of Energy, representing the needs of low-income customers who receive weatherization.

Metzler is prepared to bring her vision and expertise in the fields of energy poverty and advocacy to NEUAC, increasing the visibility of the organization and improving member services. She said, “NEUAC gives voice to families who are struggling to manage the cost of the home energy burden by making difficult choices – for example, the choice between paying their utility bills and buying medicine. These are choices no family should be forced to make.”

Energy burden is the percentage of household income expended on utilities. For families in poverty, this burden could be 50% or more. Yet less than 50% of households eligible for assistance actually receive this assistance. NEUAC can help spread the word and let eligible families know what services are available to them, including both LIHEAP and local or regional fuel funds.

Metzler said, “Imagine if half your take-home pay was spent on electric and gas. It is a sobering thought. This is one of the messages we bring to policy makers and other leaders. Consider the impact on vulnerable populations when making funding decisions for programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides a safety net for struggling households. Support Fuel Funds that ensure customers have access to critical utility services in the depth of winter and heat of summer.”

Prior to her experience at NASCSP, Metzler served as the Section Supervisor for Weatherization at the Ohio Development Services Agency where she led the program through a difficult transition during the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act when funding was uncertain, and helped to advocate for Weatherization to improve the outlook for the program. She also held the position Director of New Business Development at the Pickaway County Community Action Agency in Circleville, Ohio, which delivered LIHEAP and Weatherization services at the county level. She brings her experience in program management, energy services implementation and evaluation, advocacy and education to NEUAC in this new role.

Metzler was formally introduced to the NEUAC Board of Directors, the organization’s membership and conference attendees at the annual conference titled “Building Bridges: The New Frontier,” held June 6-8 in Denver, CO. More than 500 professionals attended the conference, which brings together people to discuss energy issues and learn more about utility programs and fuel funds. The next conference will be held June 26-28, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Registration for the upcoming conference and other events, including LIHEAP Action Day, will be released soon to members and other interested parties.

NEUAC was founded in 2013 following the merger of the National Fuel Funds Network (NFFN) and the National Low Income Energy Consortium (NLIEC). NEUAC has more than 100 members representing fuel funds across the country, utility companies, non-profit service delivery partners, and others. The coalition was formed to increase awareness and understanding of the nature and magnitude of energy challenges for households with lower incomes, to formulate and advance energy policy using data- and evidence-based methods, to provide information and technical assistance in the development of fuel funds, and to promote the development of fuel funds at the state and regional level.

Contact information for Ms. Metzler and NEUAC is as follows, including the new address and phone number for the office in Arlington, VA:

Address: 4250 North Fairfax Dr.  Suite 600, Arlington, VA  22203

Phone:  571-527-4617