May 2021
What's new at NEPPA?

By Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

Spring appears to finally be arriving and it is great to see things bursting into bloom. It’s kind of like that here at NEPPA too! So, what’s new at NEPPA?

Let’s start with our new website. If you haven’t logged on for a while, I encourage you to check out our new site at   As you will see, the website is jam-packed with useful information and is now more closely integrated with our database. This gives us many new capabilities for member outreach, information communication and tracking and offers the ability to register and pay on-line. includes a unique ID for each member. If you haven’t received yours (or can’t locate it) please reach out to Wendy or Jackie so that you can update your information, add logos and job postings for your utility and explore many other features.  Here’s a quick user guide to help you get started.

Another new opportunity at NEPPA is our new Supervisory Skills Program. We are partnering with the leadership development experts at Dale Carnegie to deliver the skills you will need to supervise and manage in today’s ever-changing workplace.  This 4 (½) day virtual program will be held in June and is designed to explore a leader’s self-awareness and communication style, address delegation, provide guidance for problem analysis and decision making and offer techniques for performance coaching.

In April, we conducted our Introduction to Electrical Hazards & Safety Training program which was very well received. If you missed this – don’t worry! Plans are underway to offer it again in the fall.

To better inform our programming and provide useful tools for our members, we have begun a serious of short surveys to solicit your opinions and feedback. You may have seen our Annual Conference quick pulse survey or received our Underground surveyPlease respond to these as your opinion will be valuable we move into the post-pandemic phase of training and events.

We are also conducting a broader membership survey to benchmark and guide the execution of our Strategic Plan. We’ve partnered with GreatBlue Research to conduct an extensive membership awareness and satisfaction survey. While not every member will receive this survey, if you do, please take the time to respond and give us your honest feedback. We want to be responsive to your needs!

Over the summer, I will begin my annual member visits. I am very much looking forward to seeing you in person again! Until then, I am wishing you continued good health and safety.
Mark Your Calendar

Are you a leader trying to navigate the changing landscape of climate initiatives at the local, state or federal level? How are you involving key stakeholders in your community to address public perception and demand for a cleaner and socio-economically responsible utility?

Join us on Wednesday, May 26th for our inaugural Climate Initiatives Roundtable being held either in-person at NEPPA’s Training Center (200 New Estate Road, Littleton, MA 01460) or virtually via Zoom.

To kick off the Roundtable, a panel of utility representatives and joint action agencies will discuss how they or their members are approaching Climate Initiatives locally. Following the panel, a robust roundtable will be held and moderated both in-person and virtually via breakout rooms in Zoom.

In-person participants are invited to a networking luncheon at NEPPA’s Training Center following the Roundtable. 

At NEPPA, we are committed to helping our members pursue their goals for continuing education.  

NEPPA offers hoisting Continuing Education and Test Prep classes for:

  • June 15, 2021 - Hoisting 1B-1D: hoisting machines, i.e., cranes and bucket trucks

  • June 16, 2021 - Hoisting 2A-2C: digging machines, i.e., excavators and backhoes

NEPPA has partnered with Dale Carnegie Training to bring their high caliber supervisory and leadership training in-house for the Supervisory Skills Program. This program is designed to equip existing and emerging leaders with the tangible skills to better manage themselves, their teams, and their organization.
The live, instructor-led, virtual program will be presented in four half-day sessions being held June 16 – 17 and June 23 – 24 from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm each day. Participants begin the Program gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and how to communicate and lead throughout an organization. The second week of the Program is dedicated to developing actionable skills to better perform and use their skills for better decision-making and improved performance.

June 16; Sept 8; Dec 8, 2021

June 16-17, June 23-24, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA
August 10, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

Advance Lineworker Program*
Aug. 10-12; Sept. 14-16; Oct. 19-21; Nov. 2-4, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

August 22 - 25, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME

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)

September 21-23, 2021
Westford Regency & NEPPA Training Center
Westford, MA

September 22, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 19, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 20, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

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.

Tax & Finance: FY22 “Skinny Budget” Released; Committees Begin Hearings; Sen. Wyden Unveils Clean Energy Tax Overhaul…
Cybersecurity: Government Agencies Release Reports on Cybersecurity Threats; Biden Administration Announces 100-Day Cybersecurity Sprint…

Transition: Senate Confirms Trottenberg, Mallory, and McCabe…
In the News
Patricia "Patty" Richards
Washington Electric Co-op General Manager Patty Richards to Depart January 2022
East Montpelier, Vt: Patty Richards, who has led Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) as its general manager since 2013, has announced she will step down January 14, 2022.

Cyber attacks are certainly on the rise in every industry and public power is no exception. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack is the latest in a string of escalating attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure and the company has temporarily halted all pipeline operations as it assesses next steps. For an excellent recap of the situation, read the recent APPA article about the attack.  

A big thank you to Katherine Manson, MA Division of Industrial Accidents, and Dave Ketchen, Assistant GM for Littleton Electric Light and Water for leading our GM Roundtable on April 29th. The session focused on how to apply for a workplace safety grant which can be used for safety training. The maximum grant amount is $25,000 which could be used to access a wide variety of NEPPA training. If you were unable to attend the session but would like to learn more, let us know if you would like access to the zoom meeting.
Burlington Electric Department GM details utility role tied to Net Zero Energy Roadmap
The American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast brings listeners the latest news and insights from key public power utility executives, power industry players and APPA staff.

Burlington Electric on APPA's podcast
TUE Committee Members stand in front of the Minuteman Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in North Reading. Left to Right: Rep. David Robertson, Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian, Rep. Joan Meschino, House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Chairman Jeffrey Roy, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, and Rep. Rich Haggerty.
Joint Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee Tours RMLD Battery Site
Reading, MA – On Friday, April 23, 2021, new Chairman Jeffrey Roy and six members of the Joint Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE) Committee of the Massachusetts legislature toured the Reading Municipal Light Department’s (RMLD) Minuteman Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in North Reading.

Updates from the APPA monthly
 Policy Makers Council
Thank you to Bob Holland of Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations, who shared some updates from APPA Policy Makers Council

On April 21, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Clean Energy for America Act. It would convert the existing technology specific energy tax credits into a “tech-neutral” approach under which project developers can elect to receive an investment tax credit (ITC) or production tax credit (PTC). Public power utilities and other tax-exempt entities would not qualify for these tax credits but would be able to issue taxable direct payment Clean Energy Bonds (CEB). Specifically, issuers would receive a tax credit of up to 70 percent of the interest paid on a CEB.

Joint Action Agency
Governor Phil Scott signs VPPSA rate flexibility law
On April 27, Governor Phil Scott signed bill S.60 into law. Sponsored by Senator Ann Cummings, the new legislation will facilitate the process through which cooperative and community-owned public power utilities make minor adjustments to electric rates and provide customers with new, innovative services. 

Vermont Senate appropriates $15 million to utility arrearages
As the legislature works through assigning federal COVID relief funds, utilities have been advocating for assistance for customers' unpaid bills. Some smaller electric utilities have as many as 30% of customers with bills over 60 days past due. A utility 

New utility management service offering
As VPPSA evolves to meet member needs, utility management has risen to the top of the list as a desired service offering. VPPSA currently provides management services for Barton Village and is exploring management opportunities with other member utilities.

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.

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