Austin Feb 2020 Luncheon
"Powering Up Consumer Advocacy in the Utility Industry: A Look at OPUC and What’s Ahead"
Speaker: Lori Cobos
Chief Executive and Public Counsel
Office of Public Utility Counsel
With a robust economy stimulating significant population and business growth in Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel is strongly dedicated to representing our state’s millions of residential and small commercial consumers in the rapidly evolving electric, water, wastewater and telecommunications utility industries. As a result of this continued economic expansion and growth, our state will need more electric, water, wastewater, and telecommunications infrastructure in the coming years. As technology continues to rapidly evolve, new and emerging technologies, including electric vehicles, storage, and new distributed generation and demand response advancements, will continue to proliferate in the state. Chief Executive & Public Counsel, Lori Cobos will discuss the challenges and opportunities related to OPUC’s representation of residential and small commercial consumers and collaboration with industry stakeholders to help ensure consumers pay just and reasonable rates and have access to adequate, affordable and reliable electric, water, wastewater and telecommunications infrastructure and services.
Lori Cobos was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott as the 10th Chief Executive and Public Counsel of the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel (OPUC) on March 22, 2019, confirmed by the Texas Senate, and sworn into office on May 3, 2019. Ms. Cobos has extensive experience with major regulatory and policy issues facing the state of Texas, including, but not limited to, major utility rate cases, contested certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) cases, power generation matters in the ERCOT market, regulatory and policy matters impacting the development of renewable generation in the ERCOT market, and regulatory and policy issues impacting companies operating outside of the ERCOT market in Texas. Ms. Cobos received a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2006. She received an M.A. degree in Public Administration in 2000 and B.B.A. degree in General Business, with Magna Cum Laude honors, in 1998 from Sul Ross State University.
As Chief Executive and Public Counsel for the Office of Public Utility Counsel, Ms. Cobos serves as an ex-officio, voting member of the ERCOT Board of Directors and as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Texas Reliability Entity (Texas RE) Board of Directors. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and has served as Chair of the Public Utility Law Section of the State Bar. Ms. Cobos has served on the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) Board of Directors as a gubernatorial appointee of Governor Greg Abbott and served on the Sul Ross State University Alumni Board from 2014 to 2016. She is a native of Alpine, Texas.