Municipal utilities that engage digitally with their customers throughout the year boost customer satisfaction and financial results, explained Apogee Interactive’s Chief Financial Officer, Jim Malcom, and Ellen Richardson, formerly of ElectriCities of Georgia, during a recent industry conference. In a presentation for the American Public Power Association’s 2020 Business and Financial Virtual Conference, Malcom and Richardson emphasized the importance of not limiting customer communications to times of outage or crisis. Happy customers, they said, are more likely to participate in programs, buy more services, and are more cost-efficient to serve. Satisfied customers are less likely to adopt disruptive technologies like rooftop solar rather than support community solar projects sponsored by the utility.
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To provide an easy-to-read manual for municipal utility governing officials and managers, the American Public Power Association published the Policymakers Handbook: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Governance for Public Power. Written by Steve VanderMeer of Hometown Connections, Inc., this overview explains governance duties and responsibilities, strategies for effective oversight and planning, and the benefits of being a public power community.
With continuous change in our industry, there’s a lot for everyone to do, and success depends on each member of the team working together like a well-oiled machine. Sometimes personality differences and interpersonal dynamics can derail projects and productivity. With Totally Responsible Person® (TRP®) training from Hometown Connections, Inc., each of your team members will learn to stay positive, productive, and effective, no matter the circumstances.
SAGE Development Authority, the first public power authority owned by a single Native nation in the United States, announced the launch of a new crowdfunding initiative — www.anpetuwi.com — marking the next phase of development for its 235-megawatt wind farm named Anpetu Wi. The wind farm will be located on the Standing Rock Reservation, outside of Fort Yates, N.D., home to the Lakota & Dakota people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST). The project represents a community development model to produce renewable energy that offers a path toward self-determination and sovereignty for Standing Rock and other Native nations. No tribally-owned public power project in the U.S. has achieved this level of development to date for a utility-scale wind farm.
Power outages are intolerable. Paying peak period energy prices is painful. Microgrids offer an attractive solution to both of these challenges. Today’s innovative microgrid electric systems deliver standby power generation to commercial/industrial accounts, entire neighborhoods, and even the utility itself. Choosing to deploy microgrids can give your utility customers the reliable, resilient, and cost-effective electric services they demand.
When the pandemic first emerged, Apogee Interactive conducted a survey asking their utility clients to identify their biggest challenges. The most common answer was communicating with their customers, followed by the need to assist customers financially. In response, Apogee offered its personalized video messaging service AT NO COST to any clients that would like to deploy it. And fortunately, many of them stepped up and leveraged the solution.
Join this two-part series by the American Public Power Association to learn about the unique benefits and challenges facing the public power business model, and discuss strategies for the future. Learn what gives public power communities an edge and how we can continue to thrive and serve our communities well amid multiple disruptive trends. Led by Tim Blodgett, President & CEO of Hometown Connections, Inc.
COVID-19 has been tough for everyone, and GreatBlue Research wants to help. Now more than ever, it is critical to stay in contact with your utility customers, both internal and external. By conducting customer satisfaction studies, employee assessments, and operational efficiency studies, you will obtain a better understanding of your customers and employees in order to better serve them during these difficult times.
You don’t need to be an expert in IT or have a huge consulting budget to champion your utility’s cybersecurity program. First and foremost, you must recognize that every city employee, utility employee, and governing official plays a key role in maintaining a cyber defense that protects business operations.
Residential customers and utilities benefit from varying rate plans. Still, the truth is, many customers don’t understand how their utility rates work or what rate would be best for their lifestyle. In a recent survey conducted by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, 47% of customers didn’t know what their current rate plan was. In the same study, most customers said they would be willing to try a new rate plan, especially if it would allow them to save money. In order for utilities to make alternative rates useful and widely accepted, they need to have effective communications and provide educational tools that help customers understand what rate options are available and how their bill may change.