To provide customers with several payment options, the Utilities Department of the Village of Jackson Center in Ohio accepts bank account direct and credit card payments. To ensure the security of customer information and thwart cyber intrusions overall, Jackson Center took advantage of cybersecurity services offered by its electric service wholesale supplier, American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP). With the help of an assessment conducted by AMP personnel, Jackson Center has developed a culture of cyber vigilance and addresses vulnerabilities through an effective step-by-step process that is manageable for a small staff.
It’s the perfect partnership! As Apogee Interactive explains, personalization and use of video to convey information are the two fastest growing trends in the marketing and advertising world across most every industry. This year, we are seeing the incredible effectiveness of combining these two powerful techniques to better connect utilities with their customers.
Remember when everyone had a Rolodex and every phone had a cord? Look how far we’ve come since then. Long gone are the days of manually entering phone numbers and survey answers. Now, we’re living in the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) era.
Utilities in the United States are prime targets for cyber attack. Criminals are hijacking utility information systems and demanding ransom for their release. Nation states and other bad actors are rehearsing ways to interrupt utility services and throw the nation into chaos. Community-owned utilities of all sizes and structures must shore up their cyber defenses. This article presents the top 10 cybersecurity considerations for community utilities and their city departments.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the busiest on record, with 31 depressions, 30 storms and 13 hurricanes. Fires in the West were devastating, with California suffering its worst year on record. The Midwest has also been inundated with ice storms throughout the year. The overlapping timing and geographic spread of these events, combined with unexpected operational disruptions caused by COVID-19, made 2020 a particularly challenging year to ensure power resiliency in the U.S. With 2,100 managed microgrid systems across the country, PowerSecure provided clean, reliable, and resilient power to commercial and industrial customers during 2020’s unanticipated grid outages.
As reported on the website of the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (SLVREC) of Monte Vista, CO, fifteen of SLVREC’s residential members recently took part in a stakeholder engagement process by attending three focus groups. Facilitated by Charise Swanson of Hometown Connections, all meetings were conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants were representative of the entire SLVREC service area and included complainants from a 2019 PUC complaint.
When carrier pigeons fell out of favor (a shame, really), the telephone stepped in to take its place. 118 years after the invention of telephone, the first smartphone was released in 1994. And a mere 27 years after its introduction, a record 81% of Americans own a smartphone, with 96% owning a cell phone of some kind.
The City of Piqua, Ohio, is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to its nearly 11,000 electric customers, applying regularly for the designation of Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) by the American Public Power Association. Being recognized by the RP3 program demonstrates a utility’s commitment to excellence in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. To ensure best practice compliance within the cybersecurity portion of the RP3 application submitted in September 2020, the Piqua Power System hired the team from Hometown Connections, Inc., to perform a cybersecurity assessment.
Due to recent news coverage of a major cyber penetration of U.S. government agencies and corporations across the globe, cybersecurity is front and center for city governments and their municipal utility departments. Before reaching out to consultants prepared to help evaluate cyber vulnerabilities and design a protection program, each community-owned utility should gather a baseline of information about their cybersecurity status. This outline will help the utility and potential consultants focus more quickly on the issues to be addressed.
Journey mapping. You may have heard that term thrown around at an increasing rate lately. Why? Because like a high school sophomore who just got their drivers license, it’s getting pretty popular.
Read More about Journey Mapping: Dora The Explorer Would Be Jealous »