Hometown Connections Performance Management
The staff of Hometown Connections is in high demand for expertise in utility best practices. Hometown Connections’ services include strategic planning facilitation, board governance and development, coaching of RP3 program applicants, and the popular Check Up series.
Products & Services
Performance Management Consulting
For advice from professionals who have worked with more than 800 APPA members, bring in the consulting team from Hometown Connections. Staff will be a resource to your electric utility, helping to seek and achieve continuous improvement.
Hometown Connections offers a variety of consulting services for public power managers and governing officials:
Strategic Planning Facilitation, Training and Development
Public power managers and governing officials must combine attention to daily operational issues with establishing long-term plans and guidelines on which to base budgets and priorities. Through onsite facilitation, workshops and follow-up consultations, Hometown Connections covers the principles of effective strategic planning and reviews the roles and responsibilities of the staff and governing board in the planning and implementation process. The Hometown staff works in depth with the utility board and staff to develop a realistic, step-by-step blueprint for adapting to specific market conditions, regulatory changes, and the complex expectations of customers. Hometown can also facilitate the updating of your existing strategic plan.
Utility Governance Training/Facilitation
To be effective, today’s public power governing boards and city council members should maintain a clear understanding of complex issues, including new federal regulations, new technologies, volatile wholesale energy markets, state and local government budget pressures, and the need to attract younger workers with the right skill sets. They also need to understand their roles and responsibilities as stewards of the electric utility. Hometown staff briefs governing officials on industry conditions and offers training on how to work with, and guide, the utility staff.
Organization Check Up
Through the Organization Check Up (OCU), Hometown Connections provides a quick and cost-effective assessment of key areas of utility management and operations, including customer service, community relations, accounting & finance, power supply, distribution technology, rates, cyber security, employee safety, governance, and human resources. A typical OCU includes 2 days onsite at the utility followed by a written report that documents strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as specific recommendations for improvement.
Distribution Check Up
For the Distribution Check Up, the Hometown Connections staff reviews the maintenance plans for the primary elements of the distribution system, planning for new construction, evaluating statistics for system performance, and analyzing reliability indices, outage planning, staff development, and safety/security programs.
Utility Financial Check Up
For the Utility Financial Check Up, the staff of Hometown Connections teams up with public power’s leading financial services consultant, Mark Beauchamp of Utility Financial Solutions, to assess a utility’s financial health.
Cyber Security Check Up
The Cyber Security Check Up with N-Dimension Solutions addresses the protection of public power’s critical infrastructure.
The common denominator to the Check Up services from Hometown Connections is the provision of realistic recommendations the utility can implement in the near term to improve performance and which can also provide the foundation for developing a long-range strategic plan.
To help public power electric utilities apply for certification by the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®) program, industry veteran Paul H. Allen, P.E., is serving as an RP3 Coach. Allen is retired from the Nashville, Tenn., Electric Service as Vice President, Operations (Engineering) and was a member of APPA’s RP3 Panel from 2005 through 2012, serving as chairman from 2009 to 2012. Being recognized by the RP3 program demonstrates to community leaders, governing board members, suppliers, and service providers a utility’s commitment to excellence. Allen is helping public power utilities of all sizes evaluate their RP3 readiness and prepare or review their applications, enabling more APPA members to receive the RP3 designation.