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Kelly stresses need for public power awareness and education initiatives, citing MRES program

From the May 15, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published May 15, 2014

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
A recommendation that a utility buy an Xbox was one indication of the success of a Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) program "tackling one of the most vexing issues the electric utility industry has to deal with — the lack of understanding by our own retail customers of what it takes to make the lights come on when they flip the switch," APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly says in a May 14 blog post. In the post entitled "Teach Them Public Power and Learn Xboxes," she discusses an MRES school education program that resulted in 79 percent of students reporting that their families changed the way they used energy.

"One student, in his thank you note to his utility, said his family had saved money, but that he still intended to use his Xbox and suggested that MRES should buy one too!"

One moral of the story is that public power systems need to engage with their communities and highlight their contributions, using programs like MRES’ school initiative, Kelly says. "But every bit as important is the education of our future retail customers."

The post concludes with a request that public power utilities tell APPA about any public power awareness or education campaigns they have, either in comments on the blog post or via email. Conversely, members can ask APPA for ideas for such programs, Kelly notes.


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Vice President, Integrated Media and Communications
Meena Dayak

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro