Utility Governance Webinar Series

January 21, 2014 - September 30, 2014

January 21 – September 30, 2014 (9 webinars)

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.

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

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:

Jan. 21, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

How Public Power Is Governed:  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 describe the components of the public power business model and 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, Executive Consultant, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

Feb. 25, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

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, Executive Consultant, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

March 31, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards

There are a number of federal legislative and regulatory issues that are and will impact public power for the foreseeable future and about which public power board members and policy makers should be made aware.  These include proposals related to tax-exempt financing, environmental regulations, Dodd-Frank, and NERC regulations, an overview of FERC, 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, Vice President, Government Relations, and Sue Kelly, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Policy Analysis, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

April 30, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Industry Issues and Challenges 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: Tim Blodgett, President & CEO, Hometown Connections, Golden, Colo.

May 13, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

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 30, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

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 29, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Strategic Planning for Utility Boards and City Councils

Among the most important aspects of utility governance are identifying the organizational priorities and setting the utility’s strategic direction, usually through a strategic planning process. This webinar will explore the values that must be present in strategic planning in a public organization, examine one approach to utility strategic planning and the board and/or council’s roles in that process.

Speaker: Steve VanderMeer, Senior Vice President, Planning and Marketing, Hometown Connections, Ft. Collins, Colo.

Aug. 12, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

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, Executive Consultant, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 29, 2014
2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Achieving Excellent in Public Power Governance

The more changes and challenges affect our industry the greater the need becomes for public power governing bodies (utility boards and city councils) to function at the highest levels. While most policy makers come from lay backgrounds, many without previous utility or governance experience, they must in short order contribute to the high performance of their governing boards if public power is to sustain its competitive edge. This webinar will outline an “Excellence in Public Power Governance” concept and provide an overview of the processes and procedures boards must adopt to excel in meeting their legal, strategic and policy responsibilities.

Speaker: Jeff Tarbert, Executive Consultant, American Public Power Association, Washington, D.C.

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.

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.