Utility Governance Webinar Series

January 22, 2013 - September 17, 2013

January 22, 2013

The APPA Academy is offering a variety of webinars for individuals serving on public power governing bodies (utility boards and city councils). These webinars were developed primarily for those who are new to public power governance responsibilities. Individuals who have served for a number of years on public power city councils and/or utility boards, or utility staff who regularly work with utility governing bodies, may also find these webinars beneficial.

  • Assessing the Future of Public Power’s Business Model – Jan. 22
  • How Public Power is Governed – Feb. 19
  • Duties, Responsibilities and Legal Obligations of Public Power Governing Boards – March 28
  • Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards – April 15
  • Strategic Issues Facing Public Power Governing Bodies – April 23
  • Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members – May 14
  • Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils – June 11
  • Strategic Planning for Utility Boards and City Councils – July 16
  • Performance Monitoring and Accountability for Boards – Sept. 17

All webinars take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m., EST.


Registration Information

  • Individual webinars: $89 for APPA members; $179 for nonmembers
  • The entire 9-part webinar series (one free webinar): $700 for APPA members; $1,400 for nonmembers

Click here to register for the series.

Webinar Descriptions:

January 22, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Assessing the Future of Public Power’s Business Model

Public power’s continued success as a competitive provider of electricity and other valued services depends on the sustainability of its business model. Considering our industry faces some of the most dramatic changes in its history, this webinar describes the components of the public power business model, coming changes or risks that may impact these components, and actions policy makers and executives must consider in order to maximize the business model and assure public power continues to deliver valued services to its customer/owners and sustains its important position in the electric power industry.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

February 19, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
How Public Power Is Governed:  The Structures and Authorities of Utility Boards

The responsibility for public power governance may rest with utility boards or city councils or a combination of both. This webinar will address the various structures of public power governance, how authorities and responsibilities may be divided, the pros and cons of the various governance structures, how to deal with inherent advantages and disadvantages of each model, and how to assure maximum effectiveness of whichever governance model your community has selected.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

March 28, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Duties, Responsibilities and Legal Obligations of Public Power Governing Boards

When elected or appointed to a public power board or city council, individuals often find there is neither a specific listing of duties and/or responsibilities nor a formal job description for their new position. This session will examine the legal and fiduciary duties incumbent upon public power board and city council members, whether determined by ordinance or judicial precedent; the policy responsibilities of governing boards, and how they differ from management; and additional responsibilities including assuring an effective CEO, monitoring the organization’s performance, and determining the effectiveness of the governing body itself.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

April 15, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards

There are a number of Federal legislative and regulatory issues that will impact public power in the coming years that public power board members and policy makers should be aware of.  These include tax-exempt financing, environmental regulations, Dodd-Frank, and NERC regulations, among others.  This webinar will provide a high level overview of the issues, explain why they are important to public power, how they will impact the community and provide talking points to help elected and appointed officials explain the issues and the impacts of these issues to the community.   

Speakers: Joy Ditto, Director of Legislative Affairs, and Sue Kelly, Vice President of Policy Analysis, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

April 23, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Strategic Issues Facing Public Power Governing Bodies

Some say the electric utility industry is facing the most significant period of change since its inception more than 100 years ago. Organized markets, smart grid, environmental regulations, power supply options, customer expectations and a changing workforce are just a few of the issues that utility governing bodies must deal with. This session focuses, in lay terms, on the major policy issues likely to be taken up by public power utility boards in the next ten years.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

May 14, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members

Utilities are under pressure to minimize rate impacts on customers while maintaining the financial health of their organization.  This webinar will discuss key financial targets to help assure the long-term financial stability of the utility and ways to identify potential areas of cost reductions or efficiency improvements.  Participants will be provided information on how to assess the current financial condition of their utility, ways to use the financial targets to develop long-term rate projections and how to minimize potential rate changes on customers.   The webinar will also discuss the following:

  • Financial ratios the utility board should review on a regular basis
  • Policies used by other utilities to maintain the long-term financial health and stability
  • The appropriate amount of cash reserves

Speaker: Mark Beauchamp, CPA, CMA, MBA, President, Utility Financial Solutions, Holland, Mich.

June 11, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils

Electric costs are rising due to changes in power supply costs, aging infrastructure, the need for significant capital improvements, and pressure to increase contributions to the city.  To help assure customer rates are structured correctly, it is important for management and boards to understand the utility’s cost structure and how it drives revenue requirements.   The following topics will be covered:  

  • Cost-of-service studies and the nature of information provided to management and the board
  • How marginal costs analysis can supplement traditional studies to develop electric rates
  • Using the cost-of-service study to design rates and minimize customer impacts
  • Why rates vary by type of customer and how to develop pricing signals
  • The costs that rate components (facilities charge, energy, demand) are designed to recover 

Speaker: Mark Beauchamp, CPA, CMA, MBA, President, Utility Financial Solutions, Holland, Mich.

July 16, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time
Strategic Planning for Utility Boards and City Councils

Once legal and fiduciary duties are met, among the most important aspects of utility governance are establishing the mission/vision for the organization and setting the utility’s direction, usually through the strategic planning process. This webinar will examine one of several approaches to utility strategic planning and explain the board and/or council’s roles in that process.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

September 17, 2013
2 – 3:30 p.m.
Performance Monitoring and Accountability for Boards

The public power governing body’s primary fiduciary duty is to represent the interests of the owners (customers) of the utility by assuring the organization’s long-term viability through (1) providing appropriate direction and (2) assuring the utility is using resources and operating efficiently and effectively. This responsibility is accomplished through due diligence: monitoring the performance of the organization and the individuals who run it. This session describes the steps the board and management should take in developing an effective process for monitoring utility performance to assure it is delivering the highest value to customers. 

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Senior Vice President, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

Register for the series.

If you need assistance with obtaining a username and password, please contact APPA's web staff.

Questions?

Please contact Heidi Lambert, APPA’s Education Manager: 202/467-2921; HLambert@PublicPower.org.