LAKEWOOD, CO—June 1, 2018 – To bring greater value to public power utilities across the United States, the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, American Municipal Power, Inc., Missouri Public Utility Alliance, Northern California Power Agency, and the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority today invested in Hometown Connections, Inc. This investment included purchasing the majority of Hometown Connections International assets from the American Public Power Association (Association). The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority was a minority investor in Hometown Connections International and will transfer its membership share into Hometown Connections, Inc.
In 1998, the Association launched Hometown Connections International as its utility services subsidiary, to provide quality products/services from a trusted entity with public power’s best interests in mind. Hometown Connections maintains the same mission under the new organization, with each agency being an equal share member of Hometown Connections and collectively representing 291 utilities in 14 states.
The structure of the new organization enables additional public power joint action agency membership in the future. The majority of Hometown Connections’ assets — including all staff, all sales and marketing affiliates (joint action agencies and state associations) and most of the third-party product and service partners — remain part of the new organization. The Association maintains a seat on the Board of Directors of the new Hometown Connections.
By combining resources through the new organization, Hometown Connections will help public power utilities of all sizes obtain the products and services they need to keep their electric systems robust and to preserve the benefits of community-owned, not-for-profit service.
Among the new services Hometown Connections will offer is an advanced metering program. This holistic program will be offered to public power utilities (electric, gas and water) nationwide. The unique program designs and manages the deployment of all automated metering infrastructure components (meters, network, communications, applications and integrations), and then provides municipal utility systems with long-term hosting and operation-managed services. The program is purpose built for municipal utility systems with the goal of reducing complexity, lowering long-term risk, improving system efficiency and forecasting/predicting future costs.
“This organizational change will provide the resources and technical support for Hometown Connections to meet the growing demand in public power for managed information systems and other new services,” said Tim Blodgett, President and CEO of Hometown Connections. “With our current staff staying on board and the ability to recruit additional industry leaders, Hometown Connections will expand the scope of services we offer. Most importantly, we will provide additional value to our vendor partners, to our marketing network of affiliated joint action agencies and state associations, and to the public power industry overall.”
“Over the years, our members have benefited and saved by engaging with Hometown Connections. The new structure will strengthen and expand the ways in which Hometown can help our members. Our members will continue to benefit from Hometown’s products and services, delivered with an understanding of public power’s unique needs,” said Sue Kelly, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association.
“The formation and investment in the new organization helps illustrate the value our publicly-owned electric utilities’ experience through joint action,” said HCI Chair Randy Howard, General Manager of Northern California Power Agency. “We understand the tremendous value and economies of scale that we can achieve by working together.”
“This new structure enables Hometown Connection to be even more directly tuned in to the needs of public power utilities. We can expect new services and new partners on an ongoing basis,” said Duncan Kincheloe, President, CEO & General Manager, Missouri Public Utility Alliance.
“Through my role at American Municipal Power and with the American Public Power Association Board, I was deeply involved with both Public Power Inc. (the enterprise that oversaw the Association’s sixty-five percent stake in Hometown Connections) and the Hometown Connections Board for more than eight years. This evolution of the organization will take the existing Hometown Connections and strengthen it with a bigger engine, the ability to implement bolder strategies, and a larger pit crew, which will benefit the Association’s members, as well as current Hometown Connections sales and marketing affiliates,” said Marc S. Gerken, P.E., President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc.
“VPPSA has experienced firsthand how difficult it can be for small utilities to access the expertise and technology needed to meet customer expectations in today’s rapidly changing utility environment. By combining resources through the Hometown Connections organization, we are developing a platform to help public power meet those challenges,” said Kenneth A. Nolan, General Manager, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority.
“The Alabama Municipal Electric Authority has long been a member and supporter of Hometown Connections and we value the services that public power systems can leverage. We welcome the new membership structure and look forward to the future opportunities presented,” said Fred D. Clark, Jr., President & CEO, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority.
About Hometown Connections, Inc.
Formed jointly by five public power joint action agencies, Hometown Connections, Inc., is a non-profit utility services organization offering public power utilities guidance and access to quality products/services from a trusted entity with public power’s best interests in mind. Hometown Connections is a resource to public power systems large and small, facilitating access to technology, services, and other solutions from industry-leading companies. The products and services offered through Hometown Connections include the full range of advanced grid solutions, as well as consulting support in the areas of organization assessment, strategic planning, governance development, customer service, market research, and staffing.
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