September 2016
A gold medal performance
By Executive Director Dave White
 
The judges have submitted their scores and the results are in - the 2016 NEPPA Annual Conference was a gold medal performance. The event received high marks in all of the major categories, including speakers, group discussions, and opportunities to network. Survey respondents raved about the roundtable discussions and the beautiful location and accommodations. If you missed out, please be sure to keep August 20-23, 2017 open on your calendar.   More
   
Sign up now for Engineering Education event

NEPPA's Engineering Committee has a fall education event set for September 27 at Milton CAT in Milford, Mass.
 
Plan now to join the group for this free program, which includes three great speakers, lunch, and tours of Milton CAT. Speakers include:

  • Greg Calcari, President and Founder, mPower Innovations,"Key considerations when evaluating the benefits of an Outage Management System" 
  • Niall Kelly, Co-Founder and CTO, Netwatch, "Cutting edge electronic security systems for substation protection: A proactive approach" 
  • Lee Marchessault, President, Workplace Safety Solutions, "Arc Flash Hazards: What we need to know"
Register here, or find more program details here.
Customer Service Leadership: two fall sessions

Customer Service Leadership, a certificate program for public power professionals, will be held on Sept. 13-14 in Vermont, and Nov. 1-2 in Massachusetts.
 
The September program is at the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority in Waterbury Center, Vt., and the November program will take place at the NEPPA Training Facility in Littleton, Mass.
 
Both programs include two full-day sessions aimed at giving participants the knowledge and techniques that will help them serve their customers confidently and professionally.
 
Instructor Rockie Blunt will cover topics including basic overview of electricity delivery, setting performance goals, communicating technical information and negative news, communicating through email, using effective telephone skills, handling complaints and intense situations, and more.
 
Find Vermont program details and registration info here. Watch for more details on the Massachusetts program.
Mutual Aid crews help with tornado cleanup

Crews work to restore power
in Concord Mass.
An EF1 tornado touched down in Concord, Mass. in the very early hours of August 22, knocking down trees and utility equipment as it tore through a stretch of town about 400 yards wide and a half-mile long.
 
No injuries were reported, but some 39 homes were damaged and about 1,000 Concord Light customers lost power. Mutual Aid crews responded from municipal utilities in Groton, Middleton, Reading, and Wakefield, and about 500 customers had power restored by early morning.
 
While cleanup efforts continued, the majority of the remaining customers had power restored by Monday evening. The remaining 68 customers had power restored by Tuesday afternoon.
 
"The effort put forth by our staff in conjunction with the Mutual Aid crews was exceptional," said Concord Light Director David Wood. "Without the help of the additional crews our restoration time would have doubled. On behalf of the organization we want to thank Groton, Middleton, Reading and Wakefield for assistance."
Walter McGrath honored by APPA
APPA Hometown Connections leaders congratulate Walter McGrath, second from left.
Walter R. McGrath was recently recognized by the American Public Power Association for his 12+ years of service as Executive Consultant for APPA's Hometown Connections.
 
APPA presented McGrath with the inaugural Walter R. McGrath Executive Consultant of the Year Award, an annual award created in his honor.
 
McGrath is retiring from the Hometown Connections post after a long and distinguished career in public power that also included serving as Chair of the APPA Board, and more than 20 years as General Manager of Braintree, Mass. Electric Light Department.
 
Hometown Connections is APPA's utility services subsidiary, offering consulting support and other resources to APPA members.
Ken Nolan named VPPSA General Manager  

Ken Nolan
Ken Nolan, currently Chief Operating Officer of the Burlington, Vt. Electric Department, has been named the new General Manager of Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA). He will join the VPPSA team September 19.
 
Nolan succeeds David Mullett, who will return to law practice October 1 after leading the Authority for six years.
 
A native Vermonter and University of Vermont graduate, Nolan spent his first decade in the industry at VPPSA working on long-range planning and power supply issues before joining Burlington Electric Department.
 
"After an exhaustive search for someone with the vision and breadth of experience to lead VPPSA during these turbulent times, the Board could not be happier that Ken has chosen to join our team," said VPPSA Chairman John Morley III.
 
"I am very excited to be returning to VPPSA," Nolan said. "VPPSA plays a key role in helping Vermont municipal utilities provide affordable, reliable electricity to their customers."
Georgetown's Marchand wins NEPPA Tracey award   

Karen Marchand with Georgetown General Manager Dave Schofield
Karen Marchand of Georgetown, Mass. Municipal Light Department is a 2016 winner of NEPPA's Carol A. Tracey Customer Service Award.
 
The award honors a member utility employee who delivers outstanding customer service, either through sustained, exceptional performance, or by developing new and/or innovative programs to meet customer needs.
 
Georgetown Light General Manager Dave Schofield made the nomination, noting that their office manager "is an example to be followed for all that work with our customers."
 
"She is positive and smart and has the stunning ability to calm and pacify in some of the most difficult situations," he wrote. "Karen often arrives early and leaves late always putting the department and its ratepayers first."
Free seminar to focus on revenue protection  

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.
 
The discussion will include the incorrect billing of customers, both why it occurs and how to correct it, along with theft of electric service. For questions contact Fred Avila at favila@avcomsolutions.com. Register here.
APPA issues new reports on succession planning, competitive pay 

APPA has just released two reports: "Preserving a Vibrant Public Power Workforce - Building a sustainable succession planning program to preserve your vibrant public power workforce" and " Public Power Needs to Pay: Why competitive pay is vital to the public power business model."
 
The first report discusses why and how to establish a succession planning program in your utility, and the  second report quantifies the advantages public power utilities offer and provides comparative salary information.
 
APPA members can download the reports here.


In the News

New Members
Welcome, NEPPA's new affiliate members

ACES , a nationwide energy management company that helps its members and customers buy, sell, and manage energy more efficiently and with less risk, has joined NEPPA as a Corporate member. Owned by 20 generation and transmission cooperatives and one independent distribution cooperative, ACES does not buy or sell energy on its own behalf, ensuring alignment with the best interests of those it serves. Call Jennifer Perrenot, Director of Business Development, at 317-344-7000 or email JenniferP@acespower.com . Visit acespower.com for more information.
 
Intelligence Security International (ISI) is now a NEPPA Associate member. ISI is a full service physical security consulting and training firm, specializing in security assessments, security design, technology review, RFPs, and project management. Call President/CEO David Cullen at 781-315-1405 or email dave@isi-1.com . Visit isi-1.com for more information.
 
NEC Energy Solutions , a new NEPPA Corporate member, develops and manufactures advanced batteries for electric grid, backup power, and lead-acid replacement applications using advanced energy stories technologies. An industry leader in energy storage system integration, NEC Energy Solutions focuses on high performance, efficient, safe, and reliable battery systems. Call Doug Alderton, Sales Director, at 603-391-2817 or email dalderton@neces.com . Visit neces.com for more information.
 
Safetycal, Inc., a manufacturer of substation signs, transformer labels, safety signs, tags and a provider of specialty safety items, has joined NEPPA as an Associate member. Call Lori A. Lee at 541-344-0944 or email info@safetycal.com . Visit safetycal.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, Oct. 11-14, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Dec.13-16

Legislative Update