For about 8 hours on December 11, 2021, wind gusts of up to 70 MPH knocked out power for nearly 70,000 FirstEnergy customers in Northern Ohio. But not for the Village of Woodville. When the Village lost its power supply feed from FirstEnergy, electric department employees fired up their PowerSecure clean diesel generation microgrid system and restored power to the entire community of 2,200 residents.
Hometown Connections, Inc. (HCI) announced the appointment of Charise Swanson to Chief Operating Officer from her role as Vice President of Client Services. In her new role, Ms. Swanson will work closely with Marc Gerken, Interim President and CEO, as HCI focuses on helping community-owned utilities improve their business operations and risk management. In addition, HCI welcomed Ms. Charlie Cardin as Executive Consultant. Ms. Cardin will concentrate on helping utilities with strategic planning, technology assessments, systems integration, performance optimization, and project management.
Susan Ryba, Hometown’s long-time executive marketing team member, has announced her retirement. Susan’s last day as Executive Marketing Consultant will be March 31, 2022.
With much focus on rates and reliability, changes in the industry, customer demands, and juggling responsibilities, we often find ourselves working reactively. You may be overlooking the value of better managing the “business” of your utility. Inefficient and ineffective foundational business practices can make your utility vulnerable to significant operational, financial, strategic, and reputational risks. Hometown Connections can conduct a Business Operations Assessment to help you determine how to address misalignments across the organization which may be hindering the success and full potential of your utility.
It seems everyone is trying to figure out what the future holds for our evolving energy industry. The good news is some elements have become clear. Beneficial electrification, expanding the use of EVs, integrating renewables into the supply portfolio, adjusting rates, and accounting for carbon are just a few. Much of what the industry must tackle now requires customer engagement and true partnering to achieve success.
Apogee Interactive, Inc., a leading provider of customer engagement and energy analysis software for utilities, announced record-breaking 2021 performance delivering unmatched results for utility clients. The year brought recognition from prestigious Frost & Sullivan with their 2021 Technology Innovation Leadership Award and acknowledgment by prominent consultancy, Guidehouse, of the firm’s aggressive progression up their Insights Home Energy Management Leaderboard.
A critical challenge in the energy transition process is modulation. How do we power our homes and businesses when the wind stops blowing and the sun isn’t shining?
Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance,” community-owned utilities may recover costs for safe opening and operation of their facilities during the pandemic. Such assistance may include funding for the provision of personal protective equipment and disinfecting services and supplies. The FEMA application deadline is April 1, 2022.
Ten years ago, a lot of questions and uncertainty clouded our vision of the future for the electric industry. We wondered about the shift away from coal generating resources, the place of natural gas in our supply mix, and the cost shift for highly demanded renewable resources. Electric Vehicles had barely penetrated the automotive markets and battery storage technology was far from utility scale. Though not all these questions have been answered, time has helped to clear some uncertainty and has provided direction within our vastly changing industry.