For many years now, I’ve been going to group fitness classes at the gym. At some point, I became interested in teaching these classes. It must have been this little voice inside my head that seems to always say, “Why follow when I can lead?” This little voice has been a virtue in many cases and the bane of my existence in others.Read More
When I started my career in public power in 1979 at the Intermountain Consumer Power Association, I didn’t know the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour — let alone what public power was. Fortunately, I had several mentors who not only helped me advance in my career but also nurtured in me a passion for all that is public power, and the wonderful American spirit of community.Read More
Recently, the APPA energy services community engaged in a lively listserv discussion on a new research paper by a team of economists from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. The paper, “Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program,” asserts that projected savings from certain residential energy efficiency investments may be overestimated.Read More
The APPA board approved our strategic plan for 2016 – 2018 on June 15. As at the end of any trip, I am certainly glad to be back home. We’re now embarking on a new journey, to implement the strategic plan. As we change gears, I wanted to share a final few lessons from the strategic planning process itself.Read More
Cedar Falls Utilities was recognized in 2014 for its community broadband, but the Iowa utility has been providing electric service for more than 100 years. Innovation has colored its history since long before community broadband.Read More
Resiliency, or the ability to bounce back or recover from adversity, is a somewhat newer topic of conversation in the electricity world compared to reliability.
There is a gap between how utilities measure and control resiliency and how they communicate about it.
The American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program looks at reliability from two perspectives: availability and resiliency.Read More
The importance of documenting safety hazards and practices, from briefing to completion, is integral to creating the culture of safety you want at your utility.Read More
I remember working in Washington, DC in the fall of 1999 as the U.S. was bracing for the “big one.” The end of the world. Armageddon. A scare known as Y2K. The electric industry was put under a microscope to ensure that the electric grid would survive the stroke of midnight on the evening of December 31, 1999.Read More
July 10 is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, one of the most famous, yet underappreciated, electrical engineering minds of all time. He died in 1943 alone, broke, and quite possibly insane in New York City. Today a Google search for ‘Tesla’ brings up a bunch of car dealerships before the Wikipedia entry for the great inventor himself. But for many electrical engineers like me who chose to go into power engineering, Tesla is a hero.Read More