The rate of change in our society is increasing, bringing new technological and societal shifts. Electricity is a critical service that fueled our country’s economic expansion in the 20th century and will continue to underpin our success and growth while enabling our society to harness new technologies in the 21st century. Public power utilities will face both new challenges and new opportunities.
The American Public Power Association launched a comprehensive three-year strategic plan in 2016 to help public power utilities address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities brought by recent technological and societal shifts.
The strategic plan was named Power with Purpose because our members bring a strong purpose to the delivery of electric power to their customers and the Association brings the same purpose to the advocacy, education, communications, and programs we provide on behalf of our members.
The strategic plan focuses on the current and future needs of public power utilities. In forming the plan, we examined the industry landscape, conducted a critical review of the Association’s capabilities, and gathered input from members.
The plan identified six strategic initiatives to be implemented from 2016 to 2018.
Raising awareness of public power
We are helping our members tell the public power story in their communities and explain the advantages of being served by a public power utility. We are providing turnkey resources that members can adapt and use to educate customers, media, and board and council members. We are also helping our members develop relationships with elected officials to better influence public policies that impact them.
Public Power Forward
The Association is helping members address the technological and regulatory changes that are reshaping utilities’ relationships with customers. We're advocating to limit federal legislative and regulatory changes and keep key decisions affecting utility operations at the state and local level. We are providing education and training on new trends and technologies and developing toolkits to help members integrate distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, and demand response into their businesses and operations.
Increased federal regulation
We’ve stepped up our advocacy efforts to eliminate or minimize the adverse impacts of increased federal regulation. We emphasize public power’s positions on priority issues such as environmental regulation, tax-exempt financing through municipal bonds, and grid security. We are tapping into the political strength of public power mayors, city council members, and elected and appointed board members to advocate for public power in Washington, D.C.
We’re helping our members develop an “all-hazards” approach to disaster preparation and response. We are demonstrating public power’s commitment to reliability and security to relevant government authorities, while minimizing regulatory overreach in this area. We’ve entered into a multi-year cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy to help members promote cybersecurity and resiliency.
Research and development
We continue to use the Association’s DEED program to help public power be at the forefront of electricity innovation. We are working to enhance, expand, and leverage electric utility R&D and innovation projects. The DEED program also awards scholarships and internships to foster interest in public power and encourage the future workforce to innovate.
We’re helping our members meet the workforce challenges facing our industry. We provide data and reports to help our members educate their governing bodies on the need to pay competitive salaries. We are disseminating best practices to support utility recruiting and succession planning efforts and to help train new employees. The Association is helping members make public power jobs more attractive to a diverse workforce.