Power Lines Blog

Do you have a crisis communications plan?

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Your utility’s reputation is your largest uninsured asset — one that can be seriously damaged with ineffective crisis response. The brand and reputation you’ve built up with years of good work can be shattered in the time it takes to bang out a feverish 140-character tweet. Having a crisis communication plan is an excellent first step. But a plan is no good gathering dust on a shelf. Explore some concrete ways you can prepare for a crisis.

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What Do Customers Expect from Your Utility?

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Customers should receive the same quality experience from their utility as they expect and get from popular services like Netflix, Uber, and Amazon. Innovation doesn’t always need to be high tech – it just requires adapting to what customers expect from your utility. Learn more about the panel discussion at APPA’s Customer Connections Conference.

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NERC is ‘moving the needle on reliability,’ addressing distributed resources, CEO says

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It has been just over ten years since the North American Electric Reliability Corporation was certified by federal energy regulators as the North American electric reliability organization and in an interview with the American Public Power Association, NERC President and CEO Gerry Cauley detailed several accomplishments that the reliability group has been able to achieve since that milestone event.

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The Case for Utility Digital Engagement

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Customer expectations are changing and so is the energy industry. Over the last 20 years, companies like Amazon have revolutionized retail business and Apple’s iPhone has put the world at our fingertips. Companies of all kinds, and especially electric utilities, that do not engage with customers on digital channels are missing ripe opportunities to increase revenue and thrive in today’s market.

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Securing the Future Workforce: Build Connections in Your Community

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Workforce development is more important than ever as Baby Boomers retire. One of the best ways to draw recent grads to the public power industry is to build connections with universities and vocational schools in your community. These partnerships create a pipeline for recent grads to the utility and open opportunities for collaboration on innovative projects.

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Federal appeals court hears arguments in Clean Power Plan case

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Marking the latest chapter in legal wrangling over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, a federal appeals court in late September heard oral arguments in a court case that challenges the Clean Power Plan, the EPA’s final rule that seeks to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

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Saving the Monarch Butterfly: In the Spirit of Public Power

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Through voluntary action, industry and communities can help to restore pollinator habitats and avoid having the monarch butterfly placed on the endangered species list. It is not that expensive or difficult to be part of the solution if we can engage communities to take action — and who better to leverage their positive relationships with their communities than public power?

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Community solar garden captures innovation award for Moorhead, Minnesota

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Moorhead Public Service, based in Minnesota, recently received the Energy Innovator Award from APPA for giving residents what they want: clean solar power. The award-winning, 40-kilowatt (kW) Capture the Sun Community Solar Garden went online in 2015, after public outreach indicated strong support for more solar options.

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FTC can offer guidance on solar power, but should be cautious on intervention

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When it comes to solar power and consumer protection issues, the Federal Trade Commission can offer helpful guidance to the power sector and other key players on conduct that may raise red flags for the commission, but the FTC should be cautious about intervening in specific cases, the American Public Power Association recently suggested in comments to the FTC.

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Make Your Mark: The case for marketing and advertising at community utilities

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Strategic marketing and advertising for your utility provides many powerful benefits to your entire public power community. Sponsored community banners, special events, bill stuffers, educational materials, presence at neighborhood meetings and digital interaction with videos and social media can pack a lot of punch without cracking your utility’s annual budget.

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