October 2016
Our blueprint for success
By Executive Director Dave White
 
On Friday, September 23, the NEPPA Board of Directors ratified a five-year strategic plan. The Board's vision is that NEPPA be the most valuable utility resource and training organization in the Northeast. This aim reflects a commitment to providing our members with the highest quality services to address their growing training needs.     More
   


View NEPPA's latest Training and Education Catalog, and register online for 2017 programs. Find details  here.


Free Revenue Protection Seminar

Associate member AvCom, Inc. will present a free Lunch and Learn seminar on revenue protection Oct. 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the NEPPA Training Center, Littleton, Mass. Topics include incorrect customer billing, along with theft of electric service. Questions? Contact Fred Avila at favila@avcomsolutions.com . Register here


NEPPA's 10th Annual Lineworkers Rodeo

Congratulations to the Norwich 1 team, who took overall first place in our 2016 Lineworkers Rodeo. The team includes, from left, Will Maxeiner, Jeff Burgess and Mike Sumner.
The 10th Annual NEPPA Lineworkers Rodeo drew 13 teams to the NEPPA Training Center last month to compete in six different events emphasizing safety and technical skills.
 
This year's teams represented Massachusetts utilities from Braintree, Georgetown, Hudson, Littleton, Mansfield and Middleton, as well as teams from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Norwich, Conn. and Otsego N.Y.

A committee of utility representatives chose this year's events to represent real-life situations that lineworkers may encounter in the field. Congratulations to all the winners:
 
Overall: First, Norwich 1; Second, Middleton 1; Third, Georgetown
 
Dead-End 5kV Relocation:  First, Norwich 1; Second, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative; Third, Norwich 2
 
Hurtman Rescue:  First, Norwich 1; Second, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative; Third, Middleton 2
 
Obstacle Course:  First, Norwich 1; Second, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative; Third, Norwich 2
 
Transformer Changeout:  First, Norwich 1; Second, Braintree; Third, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
 
Speed Climb:  First, Georgetown; Second, Otsego; Third, Norwich 1
 
Rope Toss:  First, Otsego; Second, Mansfield; Third, Middleton 1
 
Our thanks to all the rodeo judges, sponsors and volunteers, as without your time, efforts and sponsorships, the rodeo would not be possible. Find more event info, scoring details, and event photos here.

How to serve customers confidently and professionally

Customer Service Leadership, a two-day certificate program for public power professionals, will be held Nov. 1-2 at the NEPPA Training Center in Littleton, Mass.
 
This popular program focuses on the knowledge and techniques needed to serve customers confidently and professionally, with topics such as:
 
* Customer expectations
* Assertiveness and professional language
* Nonverbal communication
* Unexpected situations and negative news
* Complaints and intense situations
* Different personalities and generations
 
Some feedback from past participants:
 
"I learned a lot, and will be able to put those skills to practical use every day."
 
"Your program was excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed it! The materials you presented are also fantastic from a management perspective."
 
"I really enjoyed the conference and how interactive it was."
 
Find more program details here, or register online now.

Register now for November PUMP
NEPPA will offer the Public Utility Management Program on Nov. 16-18 at the D. Hotel in Holyoke, Mass. Registration deadline is November 4.
 
PUMP is designed for current and rising utility managers, business managers, customer service leaders and commissioners. Its comprehensive range of topics helps orient newcomers, and keeps incumbents up-to-date in the industry.
 
The program is divided into two sessions of three days each, one in the spring and one in the fall. Highlighting the upcoming session is a tour and short industry knowledge session at ISO/New England, where students will be able to see the Control Room.
 
There will also be interactive workshops on management skills, financial matters, human resources, technology, communications, legislative & regulatory topics, and boards & commissions.
 
Find more program details here.

Annual Membership Meeting is December 2  

NEPPA's Annual Membership Meeting is set for Dec. 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, N.H.
 
This year's keynote address will be given by APPA's Paul Zummo, who will present "Public Power Needs to Pay: Why competitive pay is vital to the public power business model." The complete meeting agenda is here.

Affiliate members are invited to briefly introduce themselves to the group, reserve a table for company material, or simply attend the event. Affiliate members can download a registration form here. Registration deadline is Nov. 23.

Utility members can register online here.

E2 fall event attracts engineers and industry experts   


The NEPPA Engineering Committee held its second engineering education event September 27 at the offices of affiliate member Milton CAT in Milford, Mass.
 
Some 35 engineers and utility industry experts gathered for the event, which featured presentations on outage management software, remote substation and site security, and ARC flash hazards and prevention. The group also toured the Milton CAT facility, learning how their operation works and how it could possibly benefit other NEPPA utility members.
 
The committee thanks Greg Calcari of mPower, Niall Kelly of Netwatch, and Lee Marchessault of Workplace Safety Solutions for presenting, and especially to Milton CAT for hosting the event.
 
See event photos here.


In the Communities
Public Power Week celebrations
 
This year's Public Power Week (Oct. 2-8) was marked by local events, large and small, throughout the region. Here's a sample of celebrations in Massachusetts:
 
Middleborough Gas & Electric created "Greetings from a Public Power Community" postcards so customers can let others know about the public power benefits they enjoy. The back of the postcard has text about public utility benefits, with room for a personal message. MGED also offered refreshments, giveaways, and a raffle for a bag of "cool-tech" goodies. 

Peabody Municipal Light Plant held their annual residential bulb sale, when customers were invited to visit the Light Plant to purchase LED bulbs at discounted prices.
 
A little visitor enjoys Concord Light's open house.
Concord Municipal Light Plant  held a family-friendly open house with information and hands-on acti vities for all ages. Visitors got up-close looks at trucks and equipment, watched safety demos, learned about solar energy and other energy topics, enjoyed barbecue, and more.

Georgetown Municipal Light Department hosted an open house with giveaways, demonstrations, a raffle, conservation and energy-saving information, and refreshments.
     
It's not too early to start planning your utility's 2017 Public Power Week celebration. Find inspiration from APPA here.


New program promotes electric vehicle sales
 
Braintree, Mass. Electric Light Department recently launched a new program to promote the use of electric vehicles in their community.
 
In partnership with Sagewell, Inc. of Woburn, BELD now offers their customers a streamlined process to evaluate EV options, choose vehicles, and install home charging systems.
 
The program is aimed at meeting local needs, decreasing carbon emissions, and increasing off-peak revenue. It's estimated that 10 EVs generate net income equal to eight average homes.
 
Marketing for the program includes a website, Braintreedriveselectric.com, where customers can summon an EV to their home for a door-to-door test drive. There are also discounts available on vehicles and smart charging station hardware and installations.
 
In addition, Braintree is installing two EV charging stations at the utility that will be free for customers to use.
 
"Our customers definitely have a lot of interest in EVs," said Ken Stone, Braintree's Energy Services & Accounting Manager. "We hope to get 100 people signed up in the first year."


APPA resources for social media topics

Looking for social media topics for your utility? APPA has information, resources, and links available each month to help public power utilities mark national events such as Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15) or October's National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Contact them at info@publicpower.org . They also invite utilities to repost /retweet/share every day from APPA's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Upcoming Events
Nov. 1-2, 2016

PUMP, Nov. 16-18, 2016



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

Substation II Technician Training, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Dec.13-16

Legislative Update