July 2016
Let's talk about participation trophies
By Executive Director Dave White
 
As I was driving in to the office this morning the following headline burst through on the radio, "Study Finds Millennials Have Weak Handshakes!" I immediately felt my hands tighten around the wheel as I let out a sigh that was equal parts anger, frustration, and exasperation. "Here we go again," I said aloud.    More  

Annual Conference
Make hotel reservations by July 20

Now's the time to register and make hotel reservations for the Annual Conference, August 21-24, at Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club, Lake Placid, N.Y.
 
After July 20, all hotel guest rooms in the NEPPA block will be released to the general public. Reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis but cannot be guaranteed at the conference rate.


Here's your chance to recognize our top people

With the  Annual Conference in Lake Placid  rapidly approaching, so too is the opportunity to recognize some of the outstanding people contributing to public power in the Northeast. If you have any nominees for the following awards, please email Kris DiGirolamo with a brief summary of why the person should be recognized:
 
Person of the Year , for sustained, outstanding service and contributions to NEPPA and to public power.  
 
Francis "Skip" Willey Individual Achievement , for an employee of a NEPPA system who demonstrates a professional commitment to public power through personal development and participation in NEPPA's educational programs and other association activities.
 
Distinguished Service , for outstanding service to a NEPPA utility.
 
NEPPA Service , for significant contributions to the association.
 
Special Recognition , for a specific accomplishment advancing the interests of public power
 
Commissioner Service , for commissioners or elected Light Board members who have provided outstanding leadership to their public power systems for three full terms or at least 10 years.
 
Outstanding Affiliate Member , for an affiliate member of the association who deserves recognition for their contributions to association programs and services.
 
NEPPA's Training Center now has a new flag and flagpole, thanks to a generous donation by Utility Services of Waterbury, Vt. President and CEO Brian Evans-Mongeon, second from right, and his staff helped dedicate the new addition at the recent Lineworker Apprenticeship Skills Assessment Rodeo. The plaque reads: "Dedicated on June 16, 2016, we honor the professional women and men who serve the public power communities of New England. Here's to the century of service and the prospects of many more to come."

Apprentice Lineworker Rodeo is a success
NEPPA Training Director Steve Socoby congratulates first place finisher John Mahaney of Holden, Mass. Municipal Light Department.
Some 73 apprentices from throughout the Northeast competed in 10 separate events at the eighteenth annual Lineworker Apprenticeship Skills Assessment Rodeo, held June 15-16 at the NEPPA Training Center.
 
Top overall performer was John Mahaney from Holden, Mass. Municipal Light Department. Second place went to Graham Andruskiewicz from Norwich, Conn. Public Utilities. Tied for third were Brendan McAuliffe from Middleborough, Mass. Gas and Electric, and Adam Dunne from Holyoke, Mass. Gas and Electric.
 
"The 2016 Rodeo was again a huge success, due largely to many of NEPPA's members assisting in various ways, such as supplying digger/derrick trucks to get poles set," said NEPPA Training Director Steve Socoby, who also thanked Wellesley, Mass. Municipal Light Plant for supplying a bucket truck and two workers to assist in the Hurt Man Rescue event.
 
"An event like this is not possible without the help of many of NEPPA's members, the generous prizes donated by the faithful vendors - Hydron Inc. and Irby Co. - and of course all the NEPPA staff," Steve added. "I thank them so very much."
E&O Conference kicks off at Gillette

NEPPA's Engineering & Operations conference kicked off at Gillette Stadium in June with a variety of speakers, demos, and more than 50 vendors exhibiting products and services.
 
Travis Roy, keynote speaker, opened the event with a discussion about overcoming adversity, and guest speaker Gov. Charlie Baker later praised utility workers for their emergency response efforts.
 
Mutual aid was the focus of presentations by Mike Hyland of the American Public Power Association, Scott Edwards of Littleton, Mass. Electric Light, and Bill Hesson of NEPPA. Other presentation topics included Arc Flash Assessment by Dave Morrissey of American Electrical Testing and John O'Sullivan of Benchmark FR, while Eric Smith of Utility Services discussed cybersecurity and how to safeguard utility infrastructure. View presentations.  
 
In addition, Kathy Castro of ControlPoint Technologies presented solar integration for municipal utilities and the safety issues connected with these new technologies. The Norwich, Conn. rodeo team shared their recent experiences at the APPA national lineworkers rodeo, and there were demos on substation security by Netwatch and outage management by Megger, tours of the stadium, and a vendor raffle. Raffle winners.
Many thanks to our very generous sponsors and all conference exhibitors.
New paper discusses the utility of the future
Residential Customers and the Electric Utility of the Future is a new paper from APPA that's worth a look. Topics include Keeping Essential Electric Service Affordable, Rate Design and Cost Allocation, Consumer Protection, Customer Communications and Accountability, and more.
APPA holds national conference & business meeting
The public power community gathered in Phoenix, Ariz. June 10-15 for the American Public Power Association's Annual Conference. The Northeast was well represented, with more than 15 attendees from NEPPA and New England utilities.
 
The conference provided an opportunity to connect with public power professionals from across the country, as well as to hear from top-tier speakers in matters such as distributed energy, electric cars, energy sector innovation, cyber-security, and more.
 
During the conference, John Bilda, General Manager of Norwich, Conn. Public Utilities, and William Bottiggi, General Manager of Braintree, Mass. Electric Light Department, were re-elected to APPA's Board of Directors. Also, NEPPA Executive Director David White was elected to the PowerPAC Board of Directors.
 
"It's a real honor to represent our region on the APPA board and I look forward to doing so for another term," said Bottiggi. "APPA is an important resource for community-owned electric utilities," added Bilda, "I am proud to be a part of the leadership of that organization."
Paul Heanue
NEPPA's newest Board member

The most recent addition to NEPPA's Board of Directors is Paul Heanue, General Manager of the Hingham, Mass. Municipal Lighting Plant, who was elected to the Board on March 25.
 
Heanue joined Hingham Light in 2007, and has headed the utility since 2011. His broad utility background includes a decade directing and managing electric operations at Cambridge Electric (later NSTAR), and 15 years with the former Commonwealth Electric, where he was a local union officer and also worked in labor relations.
 
"I thought it would be something I could do to help out," he said about his decision to join NEPPA's Board, citing the value of such association services as mutual aid, legislative work, technical and safety training, and the opportunity to meet with peers.
 
"Through NEPPA I've had the opportunity to meet with people who are great resources for asking 'Have you ever had this happen?' or 'How did you solve this problem'," he said. "Our peers are great sounding boards and networking resources."
Richard Mikna retires from Groton, Conn. Utilities

Richard "Dick" Mikna, Electric Operations General Foreman at Groton, Conn. Utilities since 2000, retired June 30 after 52 years of service to the utility.
 
Dick joined Groton Utilities in 1964 when he was just 18, hired as a draftsman in the Engineering Department. His early work included the original card file databases for poles and transformers, and the city's first section maps. Drafted into the Army in 1965, he returned two years later after completing his service and devoted the rest of his career to GU.
 
"I always wanted to add value to the company," he said about his work. "I've always been happy here and was always treated well."
 
Dick has many interests to keep him busy in retirement, including being a "shade tree" mechanic, a woodworker, an avid gardener, and a fan of new computer and tech gadgets. He even has the tools from a blacksmith shop he ran in the 1970s.
 
"Dick will be missed at Groton Utilities," said Executive Assistant Dawn Renaldi.
Chasse honored for life-saving action

Chris Chasse, a Hydro Station Mechanic at Holyoke, Mass. Gas & Electric Department, received the Medic First Aid's Good Samaritan Award for his life-saving action at a local restaurant. The award is given to those who apply skills in real-life situations that they've learned through NEPPA training.
 
When a nearby diner began choking, the man's companion jumped up and asked Chris if he could help. Chris quickly came to the rescue by administering two abdominal thrusts to clear the obstruction.

"I'm glad I knew what to do at the time," said Chris, who has worked for Holyoke G&E for five years. "It was scary at the time."
NHEC names two new Vice Presidents

Two New Hampshire Electric Cooperative employees joined NHEC's senior management team this spring:
 
Brenda Inman, former Manager of Financial Services, is now Vice President of Financial Services/Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She oversees finance and delivery rates and is responsible for the company's Consumer Accounting functions.
 
Craig Snow, former Manager of Energy Solutions, is Vice President of Energy Solutions. He is responsible for the operation of NHEC's energy efficiency programs, along with the development of products, services and the company's demand response efforts.
 
In addition, NHEC Vice President of Corporate Services Dena Lee DeLucca will head up a new effort to improve processes across the organization and align the company's internal resources with its goal of providing exceptional service to its members. Formerly the company's CFO, DeLucca will pass that duty to Inman.
Opioid presentation is now online

Information from our recent webinar on the opioid epidemic, presented by Jeffrey C. Eisen, M.D., is now available online.


In the Communities
Georgetown Mass. Municipal Light Department General Manager Dave Schofield, right, congratulates Jesse Cote for successfully completing the requirements to become a 1st Class Lineworker.

Cote joined Georgetown Light in 2011 as a Lineworker Apprentice, and was the overall top performer at NEPPA's Lineworker Apprenticeship Skills Assessment Rodeo in 2013 and 2014.


New Members
Field Safety Corporation is now a NEPPA Associate member, providing solutions for environmental compliance, health and safety. Contact Michael Ziskin, President, at 203-483-6003 or mziskin@fieldsafety.com . Visit fieldsafety.com for more information.

KTI Utility Construction , a utility contractor, has joined NEPPA as an Associate member. Contact owner Edward Knapp at 203-834-2745 or KTI14@aol.com . Visit KTIutility.com for more information.

Upcoming Events

Lineworkers Rodeo, Sept. 15-16

PUMP, Nov. 16-18, 2016 

Training and Education
Advanced Metering, Sept. 19, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Dec. 5

Substation II Technician Training, Sept. 6-9, Oct. 11-14, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Dec.13-16

Legislative Update

Energy Policy: E&C Launches Review of Federal Power Act with Critique of Markets, "Big Six" Meet on Conference, Private Right of Action Questioned...

 

Cyber and Grid SecurityFERC Moves to Redefine CEII After FAST Act, New "Analog Control" Bill Introduced...

 

Environment and RegulationEPA Releases Clean Energy Incentive Plan...