April 2020
The Calm in the Storm

by Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

For an industry that prides itself on reliability and preparedness, the COVID-19 Pandemic is testing even the most stalwart among us. In addition to reviewing and updating business continuity plans, managing a remote workforce, sequestering mission critical workers, planning for the possibility of a Mutual Aid event, acquiring scarce PPE and maintaining vigilance for COVID-19 related cyber threats, Public Power has responded as efficiently and effectively as possible in an effort to keep the lights on for all of us. To help you stay current in a constantly changing landscape NEPPA created our Covid-19 Resource Center, which we hope you have found useful. We have been communicating a great deal of information and are hopefully not over-loading your inbox in the process.

While there have been hundreds of briefings, webinars, calls and virtual meetings among our members, no one has yet been able to determine when this virus will run its course or what the economic toll will really be. That uncertainty presents a challenge for sure. The unknown provokes fear which can spawn a whole host of behaviors that are not helpful during a crisis. The hoarding of toilet paper being just one of them!

What does it take to be the calm in the storm? My 90-year-old Dad sets a good example.  He says this: “Of course it’s bad, but it’s not the end of the world. You have to be careful, but you also have to keep moving forward.” This from a man who insists on still going out to get his own groceries. Maybe when you are 90 and have lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 911 and many other extremely challenging times, it is easier to be philosophical about things, including pandemics. But his resolute spirit and his unshakeable conviction that everything will turn out alright, is something that I try to imitate for my own family.

One of the things that I find helpful during times of crisis is to think about the many things for which I am thankful. During this past week, two people I know died from COVID-19. Both died without their families by their sides. While that is unimaginably sad, I am thankful that through technology and the kindness of strangers (nurses), both were able to say goodbye to their families. I am thankful for all of the first responders and health care workers who are putting their own health and safety on the line. I am also extremely grateful that no one from my immediate family has taken ill.

As we go forward through these difficult weeks, I encourage you to spend some portion of your day taking care of yourself. Take a walk or run, or hop on your bike. The fresh air will be healthful. Call a friend, send an old-fashioned, handwritten letter or facetime with a distant relative - each of you will benefit from hearing each other’s voices. Create an outdoor obstacle course for your kids. Teach them the wonders of housework!  Work in your garden, spend some time fishing or just write down your story. Listen (and sing along) to music from your youth. Do something that connects you beyond the craziness of the COVID-19 updates, the constant pandemic planning and the non-stop, all-consuming news cycle.

And please share your good news and stories with us. We are increasing our social media to spread the word about the positive things you are doing for your communities.  Check out some of the thoughtful ways NEPPA members are engaging with their customers. In this way, you will stay connected, share some lighter moments and maintain an appreciation for all the positive things that are going right despite the pandemic. That is my wish for you. That, and of course that you please stay healthy!

Keeping you informed 24/7
NEPPA's COVID-19 Resource Center
Upcoming Training & Events
On Monday, April 6 th , we held our first Virtual GM Roundtable using ZOOM. A special thanks to Coleen O’Brien, General Manager of Reading Municipal Light Department for presenting “How to Develop an Emergency Response Team”.  In addition, pandemic related topics and questions were addressed through a Q & A format. Our next Virtual GM Roundtable is scheduled for Monday, April 13 th at 3:30 pm. Click the link below to register.
2020 Advanced Lineworker Program *
Aug. 4 - 7; Aug. 25 - 28; Sept. 15 - 18;
Sept. 29 - Oct. 2
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

2020 Annual Conference *
August 16 - 19, 2020
Stoweflake Resort
Stowe, VT
 
2020 Metering II Program *
August 25 - 27, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

NEPPA Webinar Series: Improving the Reliability of Your Distribution System
September 3 , 2020 (11:00 am EST)
Webinar

New Date: September 15, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
Lineworker's Rodeo *
September 24-25, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Engineering Roundtable *
October 6, 2020 - (Tentative)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

General Foremen's Roundtable *
October 7, 2020 - (Tentative)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
Crew Leadership *
October 14 - 15, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Customer Service Leadership *
October 20, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
Session III: (New Date) October 27 - 29, 2020
Session IV: (Dates TBD) March/April 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

New Date: October 29, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Public Utility Accounting (APPA) *
November 3 - 4, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

NEPPA Webinar Series: Professional Networking *
November 5, 2020 (11:00 am EST)
Webinar

Work Order & Asset Management (APPA) *
November 5, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
2021 E&O Conference & Expo*
May 13 - 14, 2021
Doubletree Manchester Downtown
Manchester, NH

2021 Annual Conference *
August 22 - 25, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME
www.neppa.org for more information.
Members in the News
On the April 2, 2020 NEPOOL Participants Committee (NPC) meeting conference call members were asked to consider and act on ISO New England’s (ISO-NE) Energy Security Improvements (ESI) market design proposal.  On that call NPC members supported a NEPOOL amended ESI design with 61.70% in favor and rejected ISO’s unamended ESI proposal with only 39.59% of members in favor.

The proposed ESI design is ISO’s response to a FERC compliance Order related to the Mystic 8 & 9 proceedings on retaining existing capacity resources in the Forward Capacity Market (FCM) for fuel security needs, i.e. system reliability.  ESI is a novel design not utilized in any other organized wholesale energy market. The proposed design is intended to increase the market incentives for generating resources to procure or have in place fuel arrangements to support an ISO dispatch particularly when such generating resources did not receive a Day Ahead Energy Market obligation.  

Norwich Public Utilities General Manager gets glowing evaluation, declines raise
Norwich, MA — March 27, 2020, Norwich Public Utilities General Manager Chris LaRose received a glowing performance evaluation this week for a “spectacular job” as head of the utility, but he rejected the proposed $10,000 bonus and 3% raise at least until functions return to normal following the COVID-19 crisis.

Municipal Light Department to Launch Virtual Home Energy Audits
LUDLOW, Mass. – March 27, 2020 – Municipal light departments participating in the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) residential energy efficiency program will begin offering virtual energy efficiency audits in response to the coronavirus situation.

More Members in the News
Energy New England (ENE) provides Remote Home Energy Assessments for Municipal Light Plants

NERC's Grid Security Exercise (GridEx V) Recommendations

Hubble offers a Hot Stick Cleaning Procedure

Light Up Navajo II - Postponed
Light Up Navajo II
Postponed

Light Up Navajo II project for spring/early summer 2020 is postponed due to COVID-19. For more information about LUNII please read General Manager Walter Hasse's letter.
Public Power always steps up!
We are so proud of the many efforts our members
are engaged in to promote health, safety and well-being
during the COVID-19 crisis.
Shown in picture: Kevin Snow, GM, Senior Clerk/Office Manager Marilyn Croteau, and Line Foreman Ron Saunders.
 
Groveland, MA - April 8, 2020 - At Groveland Light, GM Kevin Snow and some of his team decided that they could put some extra time while social distancing to make masks for the staff AND for some hospital workers. They ended up making approximately 40 masks which is a great way to keep their workforce safe and help the community at large. In addition, Groveland also made and donated 3D printed surgical mask straps to their local hospital. These relieve the wearer from having to bear the daily pressure of having elastic straps rub the back of their ears raw. Says Kevin “I'm essentially looking at this in the same light as Mutual Aid, except in this case the benefit is to the greater community through donations to health care providers on the front lines”. Great job Groveland!
Employee Of Shrewsbury Electric & Cable Operations (SELCO) Pedals The Extra Mile For Customers During Pandemic
Shrewsbury, MA - April 6, 2020, Around the country, ACA Connects members are doing a fantastic job responding in incredibly positive ways to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The effort is strong, constant and encouraging, based on reports I have reviewed in reading the ACA Connects Media Sweep on a daily basis. 

Congratulations and welcome to Amy Watson recently appointed to the position of General Manager for the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative Vinalhaven (ME) , Welcome to the NEPPA family!

Farwell & Best wishes to Craig Myotte , General Manager at the Village of Morrisville Water and Light who retired March 31st. Craig served for many years on the Board of Directors and we thank him for his dedicated service to NEPPA and Public Power. Congratulations to Penny Jones who has been named to succeed Craig Myotte as General Manager. We look forward to working with you!

Congratulations to Bill Humphrey, General Manager at Village of Lyndonville Electric Department who was recently elected to the Board of Directors to fill the vacancy created by Craig Myotte's departure. 
Calling for Volunteers!

Interested in volunteering your time  and talents to NEPPA? We would love to hear from you! Share your knowledge and expertise, make new connections and have fun! 

Volunteers must be current NEPPA members. We have openings on the following Subcommittees:
:

If your interested please complete this form o r contact Wendy Esche, wesche@neppa.org .
Extend your brand to those who matter!

Advertising for the 2020 NEPPA Directory
of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England is now underway!

D ear Member, our publishing partner, E&M Consulting, is in the process of wrapping up production of our Northeast Public Power Association Directory of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England.
 
If you have any interest in advertising in the Directory, you can view the advertising options and sign up online through  www.emconsultinginc.com/adreservation/NEPPA
 
 Don't hesitate to call Ryan at 978-800-1276 if you have any questions. As always, your support of the Northeast Public Power Association is greatly appreciated!

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
Northeast Public Power Association | communications@neppa.org | www.neppa.org