Register now for webinars on utility governance

American Public Power Association is offering a nine-webinar series beginning in February for public power board and city council members on electric utility governance. The series kicks off with “Public Power’s Unique Business Model and Governance Structure” on February 12.

All webinars take place 1:00-2:30 p.m. CST. The webinars can be taken individually or as a series for a discounted rate. The series includes:

  1. Public Power’s Unique Business Model and Governance Structure; February 12
  2. Legal Obligations, Duties and Responsibilities of Public Power Governing Boards; March 26
  3. Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards; April 14
  4. Industry Issues and Challenges Facing Public Power Governing Bodies; May 6
  5. Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members; June 16
  6. Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils; July 14
  7. Strategic Planning for Utility Boards and City Councils; August 12
  8. Performance Monitoring and Accountability for Boards; September 10
  9. Achieving Excellence in Public Power Governance; October 22

Featured speakers include Mark Beauchamp, president of Utility Financial Solutions, Dr. Jeff Tarbert, president and CEO of The Tarbert Group, LLC, and Joy Ditto, senior vice president of legislative and political affairs for APPA, among others. The webinars were developed primarily for those who are new to public power governance responsibilities, but individuals who have served for a number of years on public power city councils and/or utility boards, or utility staff who regularly work with utility governing bodies, may also find these sessions beneficial.

For more information and to register, click HERE.

Accounting & Finance webinar: Performing a Utility Financial Check-up

American Public Power Association (APPA) is offering an accounting and finance-themed webinar on Thursday, October 16. The webinar, titled Performing a Utility Financial Check-Up, is one of a webinar series but can be taken on its own. It will feature Dawn Lund, VicePresident of Utility Financial Solutions in Holland, Michigan, and is scheduled to begin at 2pm EST.

From the description: A utility’s policies can help ensure its current and future financial stability by maintaining key financial targets and ensuring funds exist to ensure reliable service to customers. In this webinar, participants will learn guidelines, methods and tools used by industry professionals to assess a utility’s financial health. The speaker will also discuss topics such as financial targets, debt and purchasing policies, and rate methods used by utilities across the country.

Topics will include:

  • How to monitor the utility’s financial health
  • Identifying rate structure risk and methods to minimize and control risk
  • Proper capital planning
  • Monitoring, exposure and methods to control the utility’s revenue stability
  • Timing of rate structure reviews
  • Communicating utility financial performance and rate changes to policymakers and customers

Cost is $89 for APPA members and $179 for non-members. Heartland customers qualify for the discounted rate. To learn more or register, click HERE.

APPA offers webinar series on new OSHA rules

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 17, The American Public Power Association (APPA) Academy is offering a series of four webinars designed to provide an overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) revised rules for electric generation, transmission and distribution. This series will provide an overview of the changes outlined in both §1910.269 and §1926 Subpart V, as well as how are these requirements are expected to impact utilities.

All webinars take place from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Central. The series includes the following four webinars, which can be taken individually or as a series for a discounted rate:

Host Employer/Contractor Information Transfer and General Training, September 17

  • Host employers (e.g., utilities) and contract employers must exchange information regarding known hazards, as well as the conditions, characteristics, design and operation of the host employer’s system.  Work rules and procedures must be coordinated between the host employer and contract employer, and must be designed to protect all employees.
  • Host employers must also provide employees with all known information relating to the determination of existing characteristics and conditions. Compliance date for these elements of the new rule was July 10, 2014, but OSHA has established a temporary enforcement policy for these rules until October 31, 2014.
  • General Training: There are several updates to general training standards. Training is to be determined based on hazard assessments and risk potential to the worker for the hazards involved. Qualified workers must be trained to recognize and control or avoid electrical hazards at the worksite.

Fall Protection, October 30

  • Summary of Fall Protection Rule: The revised rule requires that employers ensure that all employees (both unqualified and qualified employees) working at a height of more than 1.2 meters (4 feet) above a lower surface use fall protection equipment. These rules are objective based, and allow each utility to determine how to protect employees based on the hazards present in the workplace.
    • Hazards that must be assessed and mitigated by the employer include when employees are climbing or changing location on poles, towers or similar structures.  The provision contains limited exemptions for the use of fall protection while climbing or changing locations and includes:
      • When the use of such equipment is infeasible; and
      • When using the equipment creates a greater hazard than when climbing or changing locations without it.
  • The final rule also covers revised requirements that employees are protected from falls when working from aerial lifts. The compliance date for this element of the rule is April 1, 2015.
  • In addition to a review of this portion of the rule, this webinar will also cover the experiences some utilities have had with implementing these rules, such as:
    • Implementation and budgeting issues;
    • Costs;
    • Different brands of equipment; and
    • How to sell the new requirements to employees

Arc Protection and Flame-Resistant Clothing, November 10

In order to provide protection from electric arcs, employers must assess the workplace to identify employees who are exposed to hazards from flames or electric arcs, and make reasonable estimates of the employees’ exposure to incident heat energy.

This webinar will cover how employers are to ensure (under certain conditions) that employees wear a flame-resistant outer layer of clothing that will provide protection based upon the assessments completed by the employer.

Overall, employers must ensure that employees who are exposed to hazards from electric arcs wear protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating that is greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy. The revised rule requires that employers complete an analysis of the workplace by January 1, 2015, that includes an estimate of the incident heat energy of any potential electric-arc hazards to which employees could be exposed. The compliance date for the additional elements of the provision is April 1, 2015.

Minimum Approach Distance, December 16

  • A comparison of the old and new Minimum Approach Distance (MAD) values to see how much the minimum approach distances have changed for various voltage levels;
  • A review of when MADs have to be calculated and when table values can be used;
  • A discussion of how to calculate MADs based on “T” which is the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage factor (also sometimes referred to as a switching surge factor);
  • A working knowledge of Appendix B to OSHA §1910.269 which is titled, “Working on Exposed Energized Parts”;
  • An understanding of the term “Reach” and the phrase, “Reasonably Likely Movements of Employee”;
  • An understanding of the terms “Phase-to-Ground Exposure” and “Phase-to-Phase Exposure”;
  • What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to go inside the MAD and at what position the employee can put on and remove the PPE; and
  • The timeline that OSHA has proposed to require the use of the new MAD values

Who should attend:

  • Power lineman/superintendents
  • Utility directors
  • Crew foremen
  • Engineers
  • Technicians
  • Safety personnel
  • Tree trimmers
  • Contractors
  • Others working in the electric utility industry

The registration fee for individual webinars is $89 for APPA members and $179 for nonmembers. Purchase the entire 4-part webinar series and get one webinar free: $267 for APPA members and $537 for nonmembers.

Click HERE for more information or to register.

Engage students on energy use with APPA/DEED webinar

On Wednesday, April 23, American Public Power Association‘s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program will hold a webinar on a recently completed grant, “New Program Options to Engage High School Students on Energy Usage.” The webinar will begin at 1:00 pm CST.

The webinar will discuss an ElectriCities of North Carolina project that developed a hands-on, interactive experience enabling students to learn how weather affects electricity usage. The project, known as E-Tracker, was the creation of Phil Bisesi, residential energy services supervisor for ElectriCities. He worked with local schools to educate future customers on the correlation between weather, home appliance loads and their electric bill. ElectriCities also developed a promotional video to explain the E-Tracker project.

The webinar may be of interest to utilities interested in becoming involved with their local schools, or to those who want to educate future customers about energy usage. It is worth 0.1 continuing education units and 1.0 professional development-hour credits. It is free to DEED program members and costs $89 for APPA members. Non-members can attend for $179.

For more information or to register, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under Webinars or email MZaccagnino@publicpower.org.

Utility Governance Webinar Series kicks off January 21

American Public Power Association (APPA) is offering a new series of webinars for individuals serving on public power governing boards, such as utility boards and city councils. The “Utility Governance Webinar Series” will feature nine webinars developed primarily for those who are new to public power governance responsibilities. Continue reading