American Public Power Association Utility Awards
E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award
American Public Power Association member utilities with outstanding achievements are honored through this award, initiated in 1959. The award is a tribute to E.F. Scattergood, of the Los Angeles, California, Department of Water and Power, who played an important part in the Association’s formation, and served as president in 1947.
Eligibility: Any Association member utility that has not received the award in the past five years is eligible.
Criteria: Nominees should have achievement or sustained performance that was widely recognized in the public power field; served to enhance the Association's and public power’s national prestige; improved service to customer-owners; and represented an earnest, coordinated effort on the part of the system.
Coldwater Board of Public Utilities in Michiganhas recently undertaken several projects to improve service to its customers and received recognition for excellence in IT, customer service, and environmental leadership. Last year, the city launched an advanced metering infrastructure project without having to replace automatic meter reading units that were deployed 10 years ago. The new system provides improved efficiencies for the utility while allowing customers to measure, monitor and manage their energy consumption at any time. The city has also broken ground on a new project that will transform a blighted foundry into a community solar park.
Keys Energy Services in Key West, Florida has been recognized by its community and the industry for its reliability, customer service, and commitment to the environment and education. Due to its susceptibility to severe weather, KEYS undertook a massive storm hardening effort in 2016 that included replacing concrete poles with ductile iron poles. KEYS also prides itself on its customer rebate offerings, which cover appliances, thermostats, ceiling fans, white roof coating and more. The utility active promotes energy efficiency in the community while participating in several demonstration projects—including a 44 kilowatt solar installation on the roof of one of its materials warehouses.
Lincoln Electric System in Nebraska boasts a 99.99 percent reliability record, but it continues to upgrade its system. The utility has deployed a mobile meter reading project, upgrading nearly all of its 137,000 analog meters. In 2016, LES dedicated a new five megawatt community solar facility that is the largest in the state. Customers can purchase virtual solar panels to support the project. LES also implemented improvements to its rate structure with a goal of incenting energy efficiency and protecting customers who are sensitive to bill fluctuation. In the community, the utility engages sixth-graders in a program that teaches them to reduce energy and water use to lower household bills.
Community Service Award
Eligibility: Any Assocation member utility that has not received the award in the past five years is eligible.
Criteria: Nominees should have achievement or sustained performance showing commitment by the utility and its employees to enhancing the quality of life in the community through activities that address a community need or improve the community’s social, cultural, educational, or economic environment; and provide an opportunity for employee involvement.
Bristol Tennessee Essential Services prides itself on the difference that its employees make in the community and it considers community service to be a key component of fulfilling the utility’s mission. BTES employees donate both money and time to United Way of Bristol with several employees serving in leadership positions within the organization. In 1990, the utility started a “Help Your Neighbor,” which collects funds to help pay electric bills for those in need. The utility also has a trade-a-tree program, which swaps out trees below power lines with Dogwood trees. Last year, BTES received the National Arbor Day Foundation Tree Line USA Award for the sixteenth time. The utility is also active in local schools and supports an annual Christmas Parade.
Colorado Springs Utilities’ safety program provides targeted educational outreach in schools and at community events to audiences of all ages. Administered by one employee and executed by a group of employees and contractors, the utility’s aim is to provide education to customers regarding safe uses of utility services—including electric and gas. Over the last 20 years, the program has evolved to employ new educational techniques and technology. In addition to the safety program, Colorado Springs Utilities has a vibrant employee volunteer program. In 2016, more than 920 employees, families and friends volunteered 4,900 hours on 110 community projects. Outside of the utility, employees volunteered another 1,500 hours to community organizations.
Hamilton, Ohio, Department of Electric’s “EmPower Hamilton” program assists local families in need by partnering with Salvation Army and Emergency Money Fund utility support programs. Customers are also able to make direct contributions to partner organizations through their monthly utility bills or through a one-time donation. Last year, Hamilton Utilities hired a municipal arborist to spearhead a long-term tree care program. The city has since initiated a 100 percent GPS-based street tree inventory, which catalogues the trees, flags potential concerns, and informs a long-term preventative maintenance program. The tree program also includes educational efforts to inform residents about the benefits of proper tree selection and planting location as well as an in-school Arbor Day celebration.
Tacoma Public Utilities in Washingtonengages an internal team of employees to run its “Community Connection” giving and volunteer program. In TPU’s service territory, utility bill assistance is consistently a top need. As a result, most of “Community Connection’s” efforts focus on bill reduction, affordable and efficient housing, and basic needs. One program helps keep senior or disabled homeowners living safe in their homes by performing weekend makeovers. Employees also volunteer at every step in the food bank cycle—from harvesting to packing care packages for local families. TPU also partners with United Way to support the most vulnerable individuals it serves. Each year, utility donors give more than $170,000 with more than 40 percent of employees participating.