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APPA offers new governance certificate program

From the April 11, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 11, 2013

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
Effective governance is critical to a public power utility’s success. The operation of the public power utility affects the economy, quality of life and efficiency of every home, business and institution in its service territory. Because utility governing board members perform an important service for their communities, they need to understand the complex industry issues that affect their utility, as well as their own responsibilities as policymakers.

APPA's Public Power Governance Certificate Program is an effort to provide elected and appointed utility policymakers, city council and utility board members with a training program that meets their unique needs. Participants must complete the required coursework within three years and then pass an online exam in order to receive their certificate. 

The program focuses on five key components of effective public utility governance: electric utility industry operations; duties, responsibilities and legal obligations; performance monitoring and accountability; strategic planning; and utility financial operations. 

Coursework can be taken entirely online; through live, in-person training; or a combination of the two. APPA has laid out the following three possible options, though participants may also create their own option to best fit their schedule and learning style:

Option 1: Online
Complete the Electric Utility 101 webinar series (consisting of four webinars – the final webinar is scheduled for April 16)  and the Utility Governance webinar series (made up of nine webinars – the next webinar in the series will be held on April 15). All webinars are recorded, in case participants are unable to view them live. 

Option 2: In-Person Training
Attend the following five APPA National pre-conference seminars (each held once a year)—June 14-19, 2013 in Nashville. Note: this option may take two years to complete, though there are other opportunities to complete the Electric Utility Basics course, in order to finish this option within one year. 
  • Electric Utility Basics (June 15)
  • Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Boards (June 15) 
  • Strategic Planning for Long-Term Utility Effectiveness (June 15)
  • Duties, Responsibilities and Legal Obligations of Public Power Governing Boards (June 16)
  • The Board’s Role in Monitoring Utility Performance (June 16)
Option 3: Combination of Online and In-Person Training
Attend two in-person courses at the annual Spring Education Institute—May 6-10, 2013 in Anaheim:
  • Electric Utility Industry Overview (May 6)
  • Public Utility Governance Workshop (May 7-8)
And, participate in two financial planning webinars (part of the Utility Governance webinar series):
  • Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members (May 14)
  • Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils (June 11)
The price to enroll in the program is $1,300 for APPA members and $2,600 for nonmembers. The enrollment fee includes the registration fees for the coursework (detailed within each option), cost of study materials and exam grading. 

For more information on the certificate program and detailed course descriptions, visit under Certificate Programs. To learn more about all of APPA’s governance training offerings, under Governance Training or contact Heidi Lambert at 202/467-2921;


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

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