January 2019
New Year, New You
by Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

Happy New Year!  Whenever someone asks me what my New Year’s resolution is, I chuckle. I chuckle because, it is the same resolution I have made every year for the past 5 years: I resolve to lose 20 pounds. Studies show that losing weight ranks consistently in the “top three resolutions” that American’s make year after year. So, the good news is, I am not alone. The bad news? I have failed at this goal for the past 5 years and I hate to fail.
What will it take for me to accomplish this goal in 2019? It will take a fair degree of advance planning, a critical review of my habits and diet, an honest assessment of my shortcomings (don’t particularly enjoy exercise, but love peppermint stick ice cream) and a dogged determination to improve my chances of becoming healthier, step by step. And then it will take a concerted effort to create a realistic plan and follow it.

These same principles can be applied to one’s professional life. What is preventing you from achieving your goals? Are you stuck in a rut? Do you need more targeted education, additional resources or industry knowledge? Are you having trouble identifying your strengths and weaknesses and then framing out a plan to capitalize on your proficiencies and rectify your skills gap?  

Well, NEPPA is here to help. In addition to our significant safety and technical training programs, we have completely revamped our Public Utility Management Program (PUMP) to help you meet your employment goals. We have taken your feedback and created a very robust course for managers (and aspiring leaders) to help you grow in your professional li fe. The newly revitalized, two-year PUMP program will offers professional development in both Leadership and Utility Operations & Management. Sessions will be held in April and October with pre-session work, webinars, and include a wide variety of topics including a DiSC assessment to increase self-awareness, organizational/work culture awareness, character and values, community outreach, public power governance, customer relations, change management and many other topics.  

If you, or someone in your organization could benefit from a new approach to management disciplines, or if you are ready to take the next step in advancing your goals, this is the certificate program you have been waiting for. Upon completion, you will earn approximately 72 PDHs (contact hours). Equally important, you will grow your network of peers and mentors which will be invaluable as you continue to serve your utility and your community. Over the coming weeks, we will be sending you course information and registration details.  

I hope you will resolve today to get a jump on your goals for the new year, whatever they may be. Don’t let peppermint ice cream (or anything else) prevent you from being the best you can be. And hopefully, when it comes time to present those PUMP graduation certificates, I will be twenty pounds lighter!
Upcoming Training & Events

Substation II Program (Littleton, MA)
January 8 - 11

Year I: Jan. 29 - Feb. 1; March 12 - 15;
Aug. 27 - 30; Oct. 29 - Nov. 1
Year II: Jan. 15 - 18; April 9 - 12;
Sept. 17 - 20; Nov. 5 - 8
Year III: Feb. 12 - 15; April 23 - 26;
Sept. 24 - 27; Nov. 19 - 22
Year IV: Feb. 26 - March 1; May 7 - 10;
Oct. 8 - 11; Dec. 10 - 13
Apprentice Rodeo:
June 5 - 6
Apprentice Graduation: Dec. 12
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 20, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 21, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 25; April 29; May 20; June 10
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 26 - 29; April 30 - May 3; May 21 - 24; June 11 - 14
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 2 - 3, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Credit & Collections Roundtable *
April 4, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 9 - 11, 2019; TENT: October 29 - 31, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 30 - May 2, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

May 3, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

May 13 - 14, 2019
DoubleTree Hotel
Manchester, NH

Customer Service Conference *
June 19, 2019
Wylie Inn & Conference Center at Endicott College
Beverly, MA

Aug. 5 & 26; Sept. 9 & 30; Oct. 21; Nov. 4 & 18; Dec. 9
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

@Your-Site Online Now Available!
Aug. 6 - 9; Aug. 27 - 30; Sept. 24 - 27; Oct. 8 - 11
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

NEPPA Annual Conference *
August 18 - 21, 2019
Omni Mount Washington Hotel
Bretton Woods, NH

Sept. 10 - 13; Oct. 1 - 4; Oct. 22 - 25; Nov. 19 - 22
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 11, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 12, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Lineworkers Rodeo *
September 19 - 20, 2019 (Dates subject to change)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Outage Management & Emergency Communications Roundtable *
October 23, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

November 6 - 7, 2019
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Annual Membership Meeting *
December 6, 2019 (Date subject to change)
Location TBA

www.neppa.org for more information.
In the News
Congratulations to NEPPA's
2018 Apprentice Lineworker Program Graduates!
December 6, 2018 (Littleton, MA) - Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Apprentice Lineworker Program Graduates:
 Grahm Andruskiewicz
 James Banta
 Brian S. Booth
 Brian Botelho
 Mike Correale
 Jordan Gendron
 Jon Gould
 Patrick Healey
 Tom Holmes
 David Laflamme
 Evan Mammone
 Zachary Monreal
 Derek Peto
 Matthew Picco
 Brian Provonsil
 Anthony Sarcone
 Brian Thomas
 Dylan Weeman
Washington Electric Coop Meets State Goals for
Renewable Energy Standard
January 7, 2019 (East Montpelier, VT) - Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) surpassed state goals for electric utilities in providing renewable energy and reducing its members’ fossil fuel use, according to the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The December announcement from the PUC comes after the commission completed a review of state electric utilities’ filings to show compliance with Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES). The state’s announcement, which covers the year 2017, states that WEC and all of Vermont’s electric distribution utilities met their goals – a laudable conclusion in a year when many nations and global alliances missed prominent climate goals.

The RES is mandated through Act 56, which was passed by the Vermont legislature in 2015. Act 56 formalizes Vermont’s goal to use 90 percent renewable power, in all forms of energy use, by 2050. The RES creates incentives and markers to guide electric utilities toward this goal. Electric utilities must increase the amount of their power that comes from renewable sources and help electric consumers reduce carbon use in their households or businesses. The requirements for each tier increase annually until 2032. It is important WEC meets the annual requirements, as the order carries penalties for utilities that fail to meet the levels set out by lawmakers.

“It took hard work and innovation, and we are very proud WEC was able to meet all tiers of the Renewable Energy Standard in 2017,” said WEC General Manager Patty Richards. “Our core values as an electric cooperative are aligned with the RES. We seek to lower our members’ carbon footprints while we provide power that is from affordable and clean renewable resources.”

WEC is one of two electric utilities in Vermont to have a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio, and is the only utility in the state with a policy position against climate change. “The state’s goals fit with WEC’s mission. With WEC’s already renewable power sources, and our position on climate change, the RES incentives help us work with our members to transition away from fossil fuels in home heating and transportation, and switch to our 100 percent renewable electricity instead,” said Richards. “We’ve installed electric vehicle charging stations and helped weatherize homes. We give members cash for purchases like cold climate heat pumps, and we’re changing our rate structure to favor renewable power over fossil fuel use.” 

“It’s also important that the choices we make to meet the state’s standards don’t harm our low-income members,” Richards continued. “As a co-op, we’re democratic by nature and we listen to our members. We can offer extra incentives and support to folks who want to lower their carbon footprints – by weatherizing their homes or switching to an electric vehicle, for instance – but that may also need help with the upfront cost to make those purchases.”

For more information, please visit washingtonelectric.coop or call (802) 223-5245.
Georgetown Light General Manager
Visits Council on Aging's Senior Center
December 13, 2018 (Georgetown, MA) - Dave Schofield, center, Georgetown Light General Manager, received a warm welcome during his most recent visit to the Council on Aging’s Senior Center.

The General Manager answered questions and talked to local residents and staff about electrical safety, scams, the light department and public power, as well as ways they can save energy in their homes. 
Flexibility Options in the Distribution Grid
Delegation to Germany on Grid Modernization
May 6 - 9, 2019
The role of distribution grids is evolving. Regulators and distribution grid operators face an array of unprecedented responsibilities and opportunities, associated with the rapid increase of intermittent distributed energy sources, new digital technologies, and demand response.

With the goal to better understand and navigate a new reality of grid operation needs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) invites you to participate in a transatlantic thought leader exchange. The trip is part of a broader scale effort to strengthen the energy cooperation between our countries, encourage the exchange of ideas, and build energy transition policy expertise.

Planned activities
The program entails a combination of:
  • Presentations on the regulatory, technical, and economic issues facing the power distribution grid in Germany. The US delegation will visit relevant ministries and important stakeholders.
  • Meetings and peer-to-peer exchange between grid modernization executives from the US and Germany. You will meet major distribution grid actors and energy experts from the administration, regulators, and utilities.
  • Site visits. The participants will visit flagship projects in Berlin.
  • Identify actions for continuing cooperation through workshops at the beginning and end of the trip.
  • The trip aims to deepen the dialogue started during previous energy policy exchanges. Both new and previous participants are invited to join.

Program cost and coverage
  • The trip takes place upon the invitation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
  • This includes the facilitation of all meetings, ground transportation, and select meals (all lunches and one welcome dinner) within the scope of the program.
  • Participants are responsible for their own airfare to and from Germany (~$1,000.00), their accommodation (~$110/night incl. breakfast for 3*** hotel) and for meals that are not part of the official program.
  • There is no separate program fee.

How do I register?
Participation is open to executives from electric utilities, regulatory agencies, research institutions and other stakeholders that drive grid modernization.
  • Complete the forms and submit via email attachment to jess@gaccmidwest.org.
  • Registration deadline: February 15, 2019.
  • Participation is limited to 15 individuals. Participants will be confirmed by March 1, 2019.

Extend your brand to those who matter most.
Advertising for the 2019 NEPPA Directory of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England is now underway!

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