OCA Team

Meet the OCA team of dedicated and resolute ratepayer advocates!


Consumer Advocate Donald M. Kreis

Donald Kreis protriatAs required by statute, Don is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in New Hampshire. He has previously served as general counsel of the New Hampshire PUC, as a hearing officer with the Vermont PUC, and as associate director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment of Vermont Law School, where he has taught energy and administrative law and currently teaches as an adjunct professor in the online program. An alumnus of Middlebury College, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the University of Maine School of Law, Don served judicial clerkships with Justices Robert Clifford and Caroline Glassman of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Magistrate Judge David Cohen of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, and Justice John Dooley of the Vermont Supreme Court. Don was a journalist (with Associated Press and Maine Times) prior to law school and currently writes a column about his work on the nonprofit news website InDepthNH.org. He is a member of the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) in Boston. Don also serves as individual giving chair of the New England Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and as a member of the board of the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism.  He lives in Concord and serves as a New Hampshire Justice of the Peace.

Staff Attorney Michael J. Crouse

Michael J. Crouse portriatMichael is a Florida transplant here in the Granite State with a concentration in energy law and policy from Vermont Law School. Having achievement in moot court, recognition for community service, and graduating with cum laude honors, Michael is excited to offer his skillsets and personality to help keep rates as low as possible. With exposure to energy markets and regulation from his time in private practice, Michael is eager to encourage innovation that makes consumers more powerful users of utility systems. In his spare time, you can find Michael in the kitchen whipping up innovative baking recipes with his partner.

Director of Economics and Finance Marc H. Vatter

Marc H. Vatter portriatMarc is an economist and utility rate analyst, with a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University and nine years in Power Rates at the Bonneville Power Administration.  Marc’s work has involved applied economic theory, market simulation, econometric analysis, and forecasting, and has focused on wholesale power and natural gas markets in New England, Maryland, the Upper Midwest, the Mid-South, the Pacific Northwest, California, and México, on the Bakken and Barnett Shales, on the OPEC cartel, on monetizing damages from greenhouse gases, and on labor markets in the skilled construction trades.  In both consulting and government, he has given testimony on issues related to wholesale power and natural gas markets before state and federal regulators.  Earlier in his career, he did extensive work in litigation support for other experts.  He has published and presented peer-reviewed research at conferences, and taught energy economics to graduate students in business at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, and economic analysis and macroeconomics at Rivier University in Nashua.  Marc enjoys swimming, music, time with his lady friend, and church.

Assistant Consumer Advocate and Director of Regional and Federal Affairs Matthew J. Fossum

Marc H. Vatter portriatMatthew comes to the OCA with a history of practice in utilities and regulated industries in New Hampshire. Following law school, he spent a number of years as a law clerk in New Hampshire courts - first, in the Superior Court and then as a judicial clerk to Justice Richard Galway in the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Following Justice Galway's retirement, Matthew began his practice in energy and utility issues as a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. After some years with the NH PUC, he spent nearly a decade as senior in-house regulatory counsel for two New Hampshire utilities. More recently, he returned to State service as an attorney with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. In coming to the OCA, Matthew will be continuing the public service he values while working on some of the most substantial public policy issues today. Outside the office, Matthew is President of the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund, a non-profit dedicated to helping utility customers protect their service, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University. He lives in central New Hampshire with his wife of more than 20 years and their two daughters.

Director of Rates and Markets Policy Charles J. Underhill

head and shoulders photo of Charles UnderhillCharles “Chuck” Underhill has come out of retirement to assist the Office of Consumer Advocate as Director of Rates and Markets. Chuck retired after 43 years in the electric utility industry, working in a variety of roles as the industry went through several significant evolutionary changes. During that period, he worked as a Market Analyst, Director of Rates and Integrated Resource Planning, Chief Financial Officer, and consultant. He managed wholesale power market activities, both before and after the implementation of ISO-NE and designed retail efficiency and electrification programs. He has prepared and filed testimony before the Vermont Public Service Board and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has developed analytical tools and models for cost of service, cost allocation, rate design, forecasting, and power supply modeling. He has taught courses at ECNE and NEPPA in utility operations, rate design, and project management as well as making numerous presentations to peers at APPA conferences. He achieved a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and a MBA from the University of Vermont and a Professional Engineering certification from the State of Vermont. In his spare time, he cooks, travels, golfs, sails, works on his MGB, and cares for his Irish Wolfhounds and Samoyed dogs.