March 2020

With the Covid-19 virus beginning to spread in the United States, please know that NEPPA is carefully monitoring the situation. We are continually assessing whether or not to move forward with our upcoming in-house education and training opportunities. We recognize the importance of holding our courses as scheduled, so for the time being, we are planning to proceed with all training sessions . We are establishing some guidelines for our Littleton training facility to help ensure we are doing all that we can to protect students and prevent the disease from spreading. 
 
First and foremost, we have begun a nightly routine of sanitizing all training areas where people congregate. This includes surfaces such as tables, chairs, door handles and of course bathrooms. In addition, we remind all those who use our facility to wash their hands frequently and vigorously. As an additional precaution, we will provide hand sanitizer in each of the training rooms. And of course, we have already requested our membership to exercise common sense and caution. Please, if you feel ill, do not attend class and expose others. 
 
While we recognize that in-person training is preferred, for classes and events in excess of 45 participants , we will provide a remote option for those who may be affected by travel bans. Where hands-on training is required (such as Lineworker o r Substation training) and you/your employees are unable to attend in person due to illness or a travel ban, we will develop options as they arise.
 
For information from the CDC about Covid -19, click here
 
Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor this unfolding situation. Stay safe out there and for goodness sake, keep washing your hands!

Bonnie P. Biocchi
Executive Director
Playing it Safe

by Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director
                                                

I often talk about the value of our training and the many investments we are making in our programming and education. As you know, we have invested in additional programming, technology, and resources while adding new training staff to our roster. There is no doubt that placing Sarah Braese into the role of Director of Education and Programs will pay dividends for years and we are thankful for the positive changes she has made to our programming. And a special thanks to Colleen for all the work she does to keep the training running behind the scenes.   We certainly feel like we are on the right track!

Last week I received the following letter from Tom Orlowski who is retiring from Hingham after more than 33 years of service. (Congratulations Tom!) In the letter, he highlights Steve Socoby service to NEPPA . I share it with you to brighten your day as it did mine.  

“And I wanted you to know Steve, you are admired and respected by those of us in the Industry. You leave nothing on the table when it comes to your effort to put together outstanding programs for all of us to learn from. I have been attending your GF Roundtable since 2013 and I often time hear frustration in your voice. Your passion for what’s right comes from your heart, no question. At the end of the day you want to make a difference. And I want you to know, you do in a very positive way. I was the first Hingham Light Lineman to graduate from the Apprentice Program around 1992. The Apprentice Program has come a long way since then. I have always argued that an Apprentice taught the way of its utility, rather than a seasoned lineman that had habits you struggled to work around. It would be my first choice. I would rather work with clay rather than stone any day. So, keep up your fight. Know that you are making a difference. And it is appreciated.”

In addition to this being one of the nicest testimonies I’ve ever read, this letter underscored my belief that NEPPA has some of the best trainers in the industry. There is no doubt that Steve Socoby loves training, loves his students and loves NEPPA. It shows in everything he does. And he is not alone. All of our trainers take their jobs seriously. Thanks to our training team, hundreds of students have come through our doors and gone on to lead fulfilling careers while providing well for their families. Our technical training gives our Lineworkers the background and knowledge they will need to keep the lights on, and our safety training ensures that they are able to return to their families each night.

Recently, I spoke with a former public power lineworker who was seriously injured on the job. In fact, his heart stopped twice after being electrocuted. He credits the safety training of his colleagues with saving his life. So, it is no small matter what we do here. It is paramount to what we do.

I want to thank those of you who are General Managers and General Foremen for taking the safety of your workforce seriously and investing in their futures. By sharing this letter, I hope you will remember the good work that NEPPA’s trainers are doing. And when you see Steve, Linda, Bill, Pete, Lou, Tom, Dan, Dennis and Tim please take a moment to thank them for their enthusiasm and commitment. I certainly applaud their dedication - it truly does make all the difference in the world. 

Upcoming Training & Events
**Registration Open!**
Year I:   Sept. 22 - 25; Oct. 27 - 30
Year II:  Mar. 17 - 20; Sept. 29 - Oct. 2; Nov. 3 - 6
Year III:  Mar. 24 - 27; Oct. 6 - 9; Nov. 17 - 20
Year IV:  Feb. 25 - 28; Mar. 31 - Apr. 3; Oct. 20 - 23; Dec. 7 - 10
Apprentice Rodeo:
June 10 - 11, 2020
Apprentice Graduation:
Dec. 10, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 17, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
March 17 - 20; April 7 - 10; April 28 - May 1; May 12 - 15
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 26, 2020
Webinar

April 1; June 24; Sept 2; Dec 8
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 2; June 25; Sept 3; Dec 9
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
April 1, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
Session III: April 7 - 9, 2020
Session IV: October 27 - 29, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 9, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 14 - 15, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

IT Roundtable*
April 14, 2020 - (Tentative)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 16, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 22 - 23, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
April 27 - 28, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

May 18 - 19, 2020
Sheraton Framingham
Framingham, MA

General Foremen's Roundtable*
May 19, 2020 - (Tentative)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

NEPPA Webinar Series: Coaching & Being Coached
May 28, 2020 -(Tentative)

Human Resources Roundtable*
June 17, 2020 - (Tentative)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

July 28 - 30, 2020
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
** NEPPA Members use Group Code: NEPPA

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

NEPPA Webinar Series: Professional Networking
November 5, 2020

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

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
 
2021 Annual Conference *
August 22 - 25, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME
Above: 2019 E&O Expo Hall
www.neppa.org for more information.
Washington, DC - Twenty-five NEPPA members participated in the APPA Legislative Rally in Washington DC. On our agenda were: Rising Transmission Costs, The Forward Capacity Market, Climate Initiatives, Pole Top Attachments, Hydro-Power relicensing and Advanced Refunding for Bonds. One immediate result was that Rep. Neal signed onto H530 which would reverse the FCC ruling and reinstate local control over pole attachments. 

Members in the News
Marblehead Electrifies with New EV, Chargers
Marblehead residents are seeing a new electric vehicle (EV) traveling throughout town. The Marblehead Municipal Light Department (MMLD) has purchased a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt for the town’s Building Department.

More Members in the News

Wakefield Residents Can Charge Up in Town

MMWEC Participates in Public Power Discussion on Fuel Security Initiative

Read more
Congratulations and welcome to William (Bill) Schofield recently appointed to the position of General Manager for the Van Buren (ME), Electric Company. Bill replaces Skip Dumais who recently retired. And to Tom Petraska , the new General Manager of the Village of Ludlow, Vt. Welcome to the NEPPA family!

The Advocacy and Reporting Committee welcomes two new members:  Justin Connell , Director of Sustainability and Services at CMEEC and Brian Thomson , Senior Project Manager for Regulatory Services at MMWEC. 

If you are interested in participating on any of our standing committees, please let us know!
GM Roundtable

Littleton, MA - March 3, 2020 , nearly twenty General Managers attended the GM Roundtable “Finding Your Clean Energy Voice”. A special thanks to Bill Bottiggi and John Tzimorangas for leading the discussion which focused on how to advocate for public power on clean energy issues at the local, state and federal level and offered tips and techniques when engaging with the public on meeting clean energy goals as a public power entity.    
Did You Know?
Below: 2019 E&O Exhibitors
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!

Keeping You CONNECTED...
Member Sponsored Events & Opportunities
Open House - April 16, 2020
Stop by to see our
NEW, STATE OF THE ART FACILITY

WHERE:
Hi-Line Utility Supply, East
26 Town Forest Road
Webster, MA 01570
Phone: (800) 323-6606

PLEASE RSVP TO:
Chris Manos at chris.manos@hilineco.com
Automated testing of electromechanical and digital protection relays
OMICRON Electronics captures Ben Vincent, a relay Tech with Groton Utilities in Connecticut. He talks about his experiences when using OMICRON's CMC 356 for testing electromechanical and digital overcurrent protection relays.

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