March 2021
Don't forget to set your clocks ahead this weekend!
Strengthening the Core

By Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

Advocacy continues to be a core benefit of NEPPA membership. Although this past year has been challenging on many levels, the APPA virtual rally allowed us to reset our priorities with our congressional delegation. Over the past two weeks, we’ve spent some time with our regional representatives and their staff in an effort to promote our positions on a number of topics including the forward capacity market, transmission costs, hydropower relicensing, pole top attachments and covid relief funding.   With a tip of the hat to Energy New England for arranging it, we were able to hold a panel discussion with a host of staffers from the Massachusetts delegation. We’d like to thank our panelists: John Tzimorangas from ENE - Energy New England, Paul Heanue, Hingham Municipal Light Plant, Nick Lawler, Littleton Electric Light and Water, Brian Thomson, MMWEC, Jackie Crowley, Middleborough Gas and Electric, Bill Bottiggi, Braintree Electric Light Department. We are fortunate to have the depth and breadth of knowledge they provide to educate and enlighten our delegation.

As a reminder, in January, we opened the resolutions process and solicited input for the 2021-2022 legislative cycle. The Advocacy and Reporting Committee is in the process of reviewing member input.   If you would like to contribute to this effort, please reach out to Paul Heanue (chair of the Advocacy and Reporting Committee) or me. The deadline for submitting resolutions is March 15th.

On the training front, at the beginning of this month, we kicked off the training year with in-person attendance for our Apprentice Lineworker Program. The Year I class consists of 34 new students, all whom attended in person from all over NEPPA’s service territory. Our Year II class consists of 30 individuals, with a few that where virtual. It felt great to be back in full swing at the Training Center! Also, this month we launched a brand-new Introduction to Electrical Hazards & Safety Training program designed for employees new to the electric and telecommunications industries (particularly new hires and telecom techs working in the utility space). This is a great introductory course and I encourage you to send your new folks.

March is also Women’s History Month. I’d like to acknowledge all the women who have worked or are working in public power. Many of these folks are not in front facing rolls and yet they are integral to the functioning of our industry. In my role as Executive Director, am proud to be a small part of the team that advances the mission of public power. While there are many career options for women in this industry, becoming a lineworker is a rarity. Recently I was made aware of Rosa Vasquez who was a trailblazer in the lineworker field and was the first female lineworker inducted into the International Lineman’s Museum Hall of Fame. So, if you are interested in becoming a lineworker, it can be done and NEPPA would love to talk with you about growth opportunities in this field.

Spring is right around the corner on March 20th. I hope you will get out an enjoy the fresh air and sunshine that should soon be headed our way.  I am looking forward to hearing those first spring peepers!
Upcoming Training & Events
At NEPPA, we are committed to helping our members enhance their safety awareness and develop effective training and risk management programs to better prepare and protect their organizations and employees.

As part of our commitment to our members to provide high-quality technical and safety training, particularly in the shadows of COVID-19, we are pleased to continue offering a new series of live, instructor-led @Your-Site Virtual Training sessions.

Participants may register for either an individual session, for the Spring/Fall Series (8 Session Each), or for the full 2021 Series (16 Total Sessions):

NEPPA is pleased to continue offering a 1-day basic and technical prerequisite course for anyone looking to attend technical programs or to gain a basic understanding of electrical theory, concepts, and mathematic principles.

NEPPA's Basic Electricity & Mathematics for Utility Operations course is scheduled to be held on March 30, 2021, and August 10, 2021, at the NEPPA Training Center (200 New Estate Road, Littleton, MA 01460) as part of the first day of two other technical programs.

Basic Electricity & Mathematics for Utility Operations is designed to be an introduction to the electrical concepts and mathematic principles needed to understand electricity and electrical equipment. This course is a foundational level course that is a basis for additional course work in specific disciplines such as a substation, overhead lines, and metering.

NEPPA's Substation I Program is held 4-days/week for 4 weeks/year. Substation I is designed to be an introduction to substations including safety, design, operation, equipment, and theory.

*NEW* Beginning in 2021, each Friday of the session will consist of a virtual review of the week's material and online testing. Students should plan to attend classes in-person at the Training Center Tuesday - Thursday and join the session(s) remotely on Friday.

In addition to the in-class lectures, the Substation I Program incorporates the hands-on application of concepts and testing, field visits and tours of different installations, and weekly testing including a final exam to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the course content.

Based on member demand, NEPPA is pleased to be offering a brand-new Introduction to Electrical Hazards & Safety Training course being held March 31 - April 2, 2021, at the NEPPA Training Center (200 New Estate Road, Littleton, MA 01460).

Introduction to Electrical Hazards & Safety Training is designed for new hires in the electric and telecommunications industries. Participants may elect to attend one-, two-, or all three days of the program.

March 30, 2021
August 10, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 30 - April 2; April 20 - 23; May 18 - 21;
June 15 - 18, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

March 31 - April 2
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 21 - 22, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

April 27, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

April 28, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

Session IV: May 11-13, 2021 (Hybrid)
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

June 15; Sept 7; Dec 7, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

June 16; Sept 8; Dec 8, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

2021 Annual Conference *
August 22 - 25, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME

Substation II Program*
Sept. 14 - 17; Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Oct. 19 - 22;
Nov. 16 - 19, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 21, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

2021 E&O / Lineworker's Rodeo*
September 21-23, 2021 **NEW**
TBD & NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 22, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 19, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 20, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

Metering II Program *
November 8 - 10, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

November 23, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
November 30, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
December 14, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
December 15, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

*Please contact to be notified as soon as registration opens. for more information.
On March 2, 2021, NEPPA received a mutual aid request for 4 bucket trucks to assist Merrimac Municipal Light Department due to damage sustained by high winds. Merrimac received assistance from Groveland Municipal Light DepartmentMarblehead Municipal Light Department, Middleton Municipal Electric Department and Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department.

NEPPA recently implemented our new notification and tracking software, and this was the first opportunity to test drive the process in real time. We are happy to report that the system worked very well. 

The call for mutual aid came in at 11:08 am and crews were dispatched at 11:36 am., which is a very quick turnaround time! All crews were released at 5:51pm. 

Mutual Aid is a key benefit of NEPPA membership and we are proud of the team that makes it so: The Mutual Aid Committee, the Regional Coordinators and our internal staff – thanks to all for the continued great work!
Transition: EPW Advances Regan Nomination, Jennifer Granholm confirmed as Energy Secretary, OMB Director Nominee Neera Tanden Withdraws Nomination...
Cybersecurity: Biden Administration Considers Executive Actions on Cybersecurity, Senate Intel Holds Hearing on SolarWinds Hack…
COVID-19 relief: House Passes $1.9T COVID-19 Bill…
In the News
Wakefield Light Department Joins Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Program
Wakefield, MA Winter Action News 2021: The Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department has joined MMWEC’s energy efficiency program for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, known as the Green Opportunity (GO) Program.

RMLD Updates Policy on Renewables and Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Power Supply Procurement
Reading, MA – On February 24, 2021, both the Citizens’ Advisory Board (CAB) and the Board of Commissioners (Board) voted to approve an update to Reading Municipal Light Department’s (RMLD’s) Policy 30, which specifies the procurement requirements of renewable and greenhouse gas reducing power supply.

Joint Action Agency
Connecticut’s Participation in the APPA Legislative Rally  

(Norwich & Wallingford, CT) March 8, 2021 CMEEC, Norwich Public Utilities, and Wallingford Electric Division participated in the virtual APPA Legislative Rally with staff from Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation on Monday and Tuesday March 1st and 2nd. We were able to meet with staff from Senators Blumenthal and Larson’s offices, and from Representatives Murphy, Himes and Courtney’s

MMWEC Residental Demand Management Program Expands Offerings, Participants
(Ludlow, MA) -- Winter Action News, 2021 - MWEC’s innovative residential demand management program, Connected Homes, has expanded. Two additional municipal light plants (MLPs) are participating in the program, and thermostats are now able to be enrolled.

Advertising for the 2021 NEPPA Directory of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England is now underway!

Dear Member, our publishing partner, E&M Consulting, is in the process of 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 978-301-6361 if you have any questions. As always, our support of the Northeast Public Power Associaton is greatly appreciated.

Coffee and Learn
March 24, 2021
(10:00 am - 11:30 am)
Fiberglass Crossarm Updates (UV Standards, Mechanical Standards, etc)

A presentation covering recent developments in evaluating fiberglass crossarms on a performance basis. Fiberglass crossarms improve reliability, reduce installation time, and support grid hardening initiatives. As many public power providers are finding, this can be achieved at a lower total cost of ownership because of a significantly longer service life relative to traditional crossarm materials.

NEPPA Training Center
200 New Estate Road
Littleton, MA 01460

Spnosored by:

Matt O'Brien at

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