Commissioner Rupp takes energy education to a new level with new website
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Former Missouri lawmaker Scott Rupp has now spent roughly three years serving as a commissioner on the Missouri Public Services Commission (PSC), and though his contributions to Missouri, especially in the world of utilities, have been many, his latest may be one of his best.
Rupp has taken on an additional side project, creating a website called simplifyingenergy.com, featuring several original works, including a blog, podcasts, and quizzes, all focused on the one topic that has played such an important role in his life: energy.
Rupp hopes to bridge the gap by explaining the issues in a way that people can relate to, saying that when people don’t understand things, it leads them to question why it’s necessary.
“The information that the industry and the government were putting out for people was hard to understand,” he said. “But this affects everybody’s lives. It’s so important.”
His goal is to educate people on energy topics by making it more “enlightening, engaging, and entertaining.” To do this, Rupp has found a way of integrating pop culture into energy discussion, explaining the top topics of today’s world of energy through science fiction and fantasy.
What would it cost to do Christmas lights display ala Clark Griswold? How is rush hour traffic similar to your electrical grid? What does Game of Thrones have in common with the energy industry? He’s got answers.
His latest post seeks to answer the question as to why utility companies spend money on TV commercials while increasing consumers’ rates.
While keeping up with the duties of a commissioner and maintaining the website, he also serves on the Energy and Environment, Critical Infrastructure, and International Relations committees at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and is also a member of the North American Numbering Council.
But the real question is this: with all of the duties Rupp has, how did he find time to create the website and the content?
“I have a phenomenally talented wife. she built the website for me in her own time in the evenings over her holiday break,” he said. “She did it all.”
He says that she taught herself how to code and build webpages back when he ran for the Republican nomination in the 2012 race for Secretary of State and worked with him to design the layout for this project.
As for the content, Rupp says he finds time here and there to write about the things he sees as areas needing clarification. He says that some of the content simply comes from questions in hearings, and he tries to find simple ways to explain them.
One way he wants to do that is with the “Rupp Report,” a weekly video update following the PSC agenda meetings to explain what happened in a short and simple video. Rupp says he plans to revamp that project for the website, in hopes of getting a better quality in terms of the video and audio.
While the project is still in the early stages, Rupp says he hopes to keep building on it and producing content that people will find both useful and entertaining. He says that feedback from the people will not only help him build but help provide the information that consumers need to know.