Public Power Week 2011
Summaries and photographs (click on the image for a larger view) from utilities that provided APPA with reports on their events.
City of Riverside Public Utilities celebrated Public Power Week for the entire month of October, and thanked its customers by giving away free "Go Green" reusable shopping bags. The free bags hold the equivalent of 3-4 plastic bags.
Groton Utilities included articles on Public Power Week in its Fall 2011 Connections newsletter and Fall 2011 Business Connections newsletter. The community also held its sixth annual Fall Festival on Oct. 8, during which the utility sponsored a concert featuring the band REWIND.
Norwich Public Utilities held a customer appreciation day at its service center for this year's Public Power Week. Along with complimentary food throughout the day, there was also a live radio broadcast from the lobby. Various employees discussed their jobs' features as well as initiatives and programs that customers may be interested in, such as energy efficiency and assistance programs. Listeners were able to call in during the broadcast to ask questions. Norwich's City Council also issued a proclamation reinforcing the public power's benefits to the community.
Greenville Utilities announced its Public Power Week celebration on its website:
"Public power's distinct characteristics help Greenville Utilities customers' lives become more powerful every day while they are working, playing or enjoying the comforts of home. Greenville Utilities is driven by public service, not profit. We exist to serve our fellow citizens by saving them time and money, and by protecting their homes and environment so all community members can enjoy life with family and friends."
Keys Energy Services of the city of Key West organized a trivia contest on its Facebook page for Public Power Week. Each day of the week the utility posted a question regarding energy efficiency best practices, and the first person to post the correct answer on the Facebook wall won a free energy efficiency kit, which winners could pick up at the Keys Energy Services office. Here are a few of the trivia questions:
What temperature should you keep your home AC thermostat set at for optimal energy efficiency and to keep your energy bill in check?
The answer: between 76-78 degrees. Another AC tip is to consider shutting off your air conditioner if you are planning on leaving your home for an extended period of time.
What temperature should you set your water heater to in order to achieve optimal energy conservation?
The answer: 120˚ Fahrenheit. Keeping your water heater set to no higher than 120 degrees can help you save approximately $30 per year on your energy bills.
True or False: Can planting trees around your home make it more energy efficient?
The answer: True. Planting trees around your home can save energy, especially if planted on the western side where they can reduce radiant heat gain from windows – just make sure you avoid planting near/under power lines! Also, using native shade trees works best as they need less water to grow.
Kissimmee Utility Authority organized several events and activities for Public Power Week. Its board of directors hosted an employee appreciation luncheon, and the employee field day included competitions such as a three-legged race, blindfolded relay, obstacle course, and pie-eating contest. There was also a community blood drive, a trivia contest, and several social media contests. The utility also provided a children's playground featuring inflatables, crafts, clowns, and magicians. On Oct. 7 the utility hosted the county's largest annual Hispanic music festival featuring salsa singer Eddie Santiago.
The City of New Smyrna Beach held an energy exposition at Coronado Beach Elementary School Friday, Oct. 7. Children in grades K-5 participated in activities such as solar car races and bucket truck demonstrations, while also learning more about static electricity, safety, conservation and solar energy.
City of Ocala Utility Services handed out compact fluorescent lights and popcorn in its customer service lobby, and spread the word about Public Power Week on its Facebook site.
Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) wrote Public Power Week Trivia tweets on their Twitter page. On Oct. 6 the trivia tweet was: Judge John Cheney opened Orlando's first power plant in 1901. The first trivia tweet on Oct. 4 asked: Did you know OUC was formed by a state charter in 1923 and that it is owned by the citizens of Orlando? OUC's Twitter feed regularly provides energy-saving tips, news stories, and events. OUC also provided a link to its Energy Savings Calculator on Oct. 4 to see which upgrades will save customers the most.
Mayfield Electric & Water Systems offered free CFL bulbs to customers at its office, as well as a chance to sign up and win an ECO-heater.
Braintree Electric Light Department and BELD Broadband celebrated the 25th anniversary of Public Power Week with two special events. On Oct. 1 BELD spent the afternoon at the Farmers Market, where guests enjoyed refreshments, visited demonstration tables and staff, and kids were able to grab a hard hat and tour a bucket truck. Smart Strip power strips were also available at the market for a discounted price. The light department teamed up with the Friends of the Thayer Public Library to collect used books. On Oct. 4 and in partnership with the Council on Aging, BELD hosted a Senior Breakfast that included giveaways and a talk by BELD General Manager Bill Bottiggi.
The Concord Light Plant hosted a Public Power Week open house for Concord residents on Oct. 1. Concord Light provided informational displays on energy conservation, CFL/LED lighting, solar power, and how electricity gets into the home. There were also bucket truck rides, pole climbing and utility vault demonstrations, a tutorial on building an electric circuit, and chances to ride a bicycle generator to see if any rider could produce enough energy to turn on a light bulb. Firefly's of Marlborough provided barbeque and Verrill Farm brought cider doughnuts for everyone to enjoy.
Grand Haven Board of Light & Power got together with its local radio station WGHN to run "Spotlight on Business," a series of interviews and commercials for Public Power Week. In total it ran 35 three-minute interviews throughout the week, along with 70 thirty-second commercials and 18 promotional messages. The utility also handed out fresh popcorn at its customer service counter and used Facebook and Twitter to promote the weeklong event.
Moorhead Public Service (MPS) invited the public to celebrate Public Power Week by attending several events on Oct. 6:
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at MPS' Solar Demonstration Site
MPS recently installed a solar photovoltaic (PV) demonstration project to demonstrate the feasibility of solar PV in its community and to promote customer-scaled renewable energy projects as part of its new "Capture The Energy™" program.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at MPS' Centennial Generating Station
MPS recently completed construction of its Centennial Generating Station to provide reserve generation capacity for the regional transmission grid and back-up generation for the community of Moorhead in an emergency.
Open House at MPS' Centennial Generating Station
Along with refreshments, public tours were available at MPS' Solar Demonstration Site, Wind Turbines, Centennial Generating Station, and Centennial Substation.
Fayetteville Public Works Commission celebrated Public Power Week by once again participating in its local radio station's annual, 4-day community event, which included an energy-saving expo and plenty of entertainment and concerts. Fayetteville's customer service center also launched a new eBill service, with a large payment option promotion at its offices.
Rocky Mount Public Utilities sponsored an educational booth and a free concert at the East Carolina Barbeque Throw Down. The utility also kept in touch with APPA during Public Power Week through APPA's Facebook page.
Westerville Electric spread the word about Public Power Week on Twitter. One tweet provided a link to energy.gov for useful tips on energy savings and efficiency.
|American Municipal Power (AMP) was proud to celebrate Public Power Week with its members.
As part of the weekly celebration, AMP recognized Public Power in the following ways:
- A "Happy Public Power Week" banner displayed at the front entrance of the utility's headquarters.
- The AMP receptionist answered the phone with a "Happy Public Power Week" message.
- AMP's website had a Public Power Week message.
- Each employee received an LED night-light imprinted with the AMP logo.
- On Oct. 7, AMP employees attended a Public Power Week cookout where they were served items made in some of AMP's public power communities – hotdogs by Tanks Meats in Elmore; potato chips/snacks by Shearer's Foods in Brewster; ice cream treats by Smith's/Ruggles in Orrville; and DumDum lollipops by Spangler Candy in Bryan.
Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) celebrated Public Power Week by honoring several employees who were celebrating twenty or more years of service to GRDA. The utility included a few photos of anniversary presentations and its thanks on its Facebook page.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority's (OMPA) board passed a resolution in support of Public Power Week on Sept. 8. Here is what many of the OMPA member cities had planned for Public Power Week:
Altus – Conducted an electrical safety program for second graders on Oct. 4 using the Little House of Hazards electrical safety demonstration.
Blackwell – Held an open House on Oct. 7 starting at the Kay County Fairgrounds that included free entertainment with live music featuring the Damon Jackson band, chili dogs, chips, cookies and drinks, giveaway items, prize drawings and information about public power, energy efficiency and alternative billing programs.
Edmond – Held an open house on Oct. 6 at the Cross Timbers Public Service Center. There were bucket truck and back hoe rides, free CFLs and trees, a hurt man rescue demonstration, free hot dogs and hamburgers, a "Neon Leon and Lightning Liz" electrical safety demonstration, and many other educational opportunities.
Frederick – Hosted a radio talk show on the benefits of public power, including refreshments and giveaway items in the utility office lobby. There was also a grade school electrical safety program using the "Hazard Hamlet" electrical safety demonstration on Oct. 5.
Granite – Held a customer appreciation day on Oct. 4 at Granite City Hall with refreshments and giveaways to the customers and grade school electrical safety programs for fourth graders, pre-kindergarten and the Head Start pre-school.
Laverne – Held an open house and customer appreciation day on Oct. 7 at the municipal building with free hamburgers and hot dogs and giveaway items, including CFLs.
Mangum – Focused on customer appreciation with refreshments and giveaway items, including CFLs and electrical safety booklets.
Okeene – Held an open house on Oct. 6 with refreshments and giveaway items, including CFLs.
Ponca City – Held a customer appreciation day was on Oct. 5 at City Hall with refreshments, giveaway items and displays.
Columbia River People's Utility District (PUD) organized events for both customers and employees during Public Power Week. Customers enjoyed refreshments and daily prize drawings in PUD's lobby, such as energy-saving showerheads. There was a coloring contest for local K-5 students, a calendar photo contest open to all customers for entry and voting, and a Chamber of Commerce Koffee Klatsch on Oct. 8 for local businesses, where PUD's general manager provided a recap of 2011, plans for 2012, and presented energy experts to go over efficiency programs. The PUD's main event was the Customer Appreciation Dinner on Oct. 4, a well-loved event in the community. The Deer Island Grange catered and employees for PUD, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Northwest Public Power Association helped with serving and clean-up. PUD employees also enjoyed office theme days, trivia contests, an employee luncheon, and other surprises, such as goldfish crackers with the message, "You're O-FISH-ally awesome."
Eugene Water and Electric (EWEB) offered coffee and cookies for customers all week long at its riverfront headquarters. EWEB also handed out one free box of energy saving light bulbs for every customer, and had a drawing for a free water-saving showerhead and six CFL bulbs.
Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD) offered free popcorn at its office and four free compact fluorescent lights to all customers, who were able to pick them up or have them mailed to their homes. "Public Power is all about local control, customer ownership, and utilities being engaged and involved with their customers and communities," said Jaime Cranmer, EPUD customer service and communications manager. "We're offering free CFLs to thank our customers, and to promote conservation and energy-efficiency measures throughout our District."
Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) celebrated Public Power Week by way of an offer to reimburse its members for half the cost of up to three newspaper ads when a member posted Public Power Week-related ads in the local newspaper prior to or during Public Power Week. In addition, MRES also provided "Hazard Hamlet" safety displays that could be used by members to observe the week.
Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) provided window washing at its drive-through on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6, and had refreshments in its lobby daily. On Oct. 7, JCPB's "Will Power" mascot also handed out balloons, stickers, activity books, and Frisbees to kids, who also had the chance to touch a bucket truck, talk with linemen, and learn about the tools of the trade. "Public Power Week is a chance for JCPB to articulate why the public power formula works in our community. We are absolutely dedicated to providing top-notch service and the lowest rates possible," said Homer G'Fellers, JCPB president and CEO.
Austin Energy announced that Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell issued a proclamation on Oct. 6 to recognize Austin Energy and Public Power Week. "Public Power Week is the perfect opportunity to highlight the direct impact of public power on the overall success and well-being of our region," said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. "One of the great things about public power is that it encourages customer feedback and participation. We encourage customers to get involved in local policy-making to help ensure our rates, programs, and strategic directions fully support community priorities."
Boerne Parks & Recreation celebrated Public Power week at City Hall, where it provided information and handouts regarding energy and water conservation, gas safety tips, recycling tips, and ways for customers to upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient. The city provided CFL bulb coupons on that month's utility bills, which could be redeemed at their offices. There was also a drawing for a gift bag for customers.
Fort Collins Utilities posted its thanks on its website to all the behind-the-scenes employees working year-round to ensure that the electricity remains safe and is there when it's needed.
Garland Power & Light spread the word about Public Power Week by way of posts on local blogs such as neighborsgo.com. "We are proud to have served Garland for 88 years," said Ray Schwertner, Electric Utility Director. "For us the hard work is rewarding since our customers are our neighbors and friends."
Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and the Murray City Council proclaimed Sept. 11 to 17 as Public Power Week. To mark the week, there was a celebration on Sept. 15 in Murray City Park. The event, which was free for Murray residents, included food, safety demonstrations and a drawing for $1,500 in various power bill credits for customers of the Murray utility.
Danville Utilities provided a story on its website about its new Home$ave and Custom$ave programs to commemorate Public Power Week. In July 2011, Danville Utilities introduced Home$ave, a rebate program that offers cash rebates to customers who purchase qualifying new energy efficient products for their homes. Last month, Danville Utilities began offering Custom$ave, an energy audit and rebate program that assists commercial and industrial electric customers in finding ways to identify and implement energy-saving opportunities. Through Custom$ave, energy experts inspect and assess interested businesses, provide recommendations for upgrades, and project savings. Rebates are made available to help make the money-saving measures become a reality. The utility is also developing a third program that will provide a more actual cost-based price for customers interested in managing their energy usage to reduce their electric bills.
Gray's Harbor People's Utility District offered free muffins, coffee, and energy saving light bulbs at its drive-through on Oct. 5.
Seattle City Light produced a video for Public Power Week, which can be seen on its Facebook page. The utility also sponsored two showings of Shrinking Bigfoot, a film on climate change, at the Seattle's Pacific Science Center on Oct. 8.
Wisconsin Rapids Water & Light (WW&LC) held a bookmark design contest for local sixth and seventh graders. The utility also organized an open house on Oct. 6 that included electric safety demonstrations, tours of the utility's water filter plant, gift certificate drawings and giveaways, and refreshments. WW&LC also ran an ad in its local paper that included a few of APPA's sample news releases and Public Power Week's 25th anniversary logo.