Customer Connections Conference

For public power professionals in customer service, energy services, key accounts, and public communications
October 27 - 30, 2019
New Orleans, Louisiana

Your challenges, shared solutions

Join more than 300 public power professionals who focus on customer services and community connections. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to compare notes, discover best practices, and learn from case studies. 

Network with other utility professionals — both veterans and those new to the electric utility industry — and share ideas and experiences in addressing four critical areas: 

•    Customer Service
•    Energy Services
•    Key Accounts
•    Public Communications


Registration for the 2019 Customer Connections Conference is currently open (Register) if you'd like to register before seeing the agenda. Register by September 27 to receive early-bird pricing. After September 27 prices increase. Book your hotel reservations directly with the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans.

Who Should Attend

Conference attendees get the latest information from experts in their fields, learn about the national issues and industry-wide activities and trends that are affecting their communities and utilities, and share experiences and strategies for dealing with key issues and challenges at more than 35 breakout sessions and roundtables. 

Conference sessions are designed for utility employees at both the professional and management levels, in the fields of customer service, energy services, key accounts, and public communications. Attendees typically include specialists, coordinators, analysts, supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents in their area of specialty. The conference is also recommended for utility employees with interests and responsibilities in conference topics and with cross-departmental responsibilities, as well as rising stars and future leaders those who would benefit from learning more about these strategic areas and making connections with the national public power community.

Conference Mentor Program

If you’re a first-time attendee, or the only one from your organization, pair up with a seasoned conference-goer who’ll show you the ropes. Your mentor will meet you at Sunday evening’s welcome reception and stay in touch with you throughout the conference.

Want to have a conference mentor or serve as one? Select the check box on the registration form or contact us at [email protected] or 202-467-2965 to participate.

Serve as an Officer

Utility employees play a vital role in planning the conference to bring you the important topics. Incoming Vice Chairs for committees will be selected in August. Email [email protected] if you are interested in taking a leadership position in the conference by serving as an officer for one of the following tracks:

  • Customer Service
  • Energy Services
  • Key Accounts
  • Public Communications

More information

Phone: 202-467-2978; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2941; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2965; Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]


The Customer Connections Conference program offers four days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities from Sunday to Wednesday, October 27-30. Preconference seminars on Sunday, October 27 are a great value-add. Learn more about each of these offerings.

Breakout Sessions

Benefit from engaging breakout sessions led by industry experts and public power colleagues — take home actionable ideas and tactics.

Breakout sessions are offered Monday through Wednesday, October 28-30. Several breakout sessions run concurrently in each time slot and you can go to any sessions you like (no need to select which breakout sessions you want to attend in advance). Browse sessions below or download the program PDF for a listing by date/time that you can share with colleagues and use to plan your itinerary. 

Breakout sessions cover topics in these tracks:

  • Customer Service
  • Energy Services
  • Key Accounts
  • Public Communications

Agenda at a Glance

Sunday, October 27

8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – Noon
Preconference Seminars

  • Crisis Communciations: What Every Leader Must Know
  • Talent Wars: Are You Ready for the Next Generation

1:30 – 5 p.m.
Preconference Seminars

  • Discover Your Inner Leader
  • Making the Most of Electrification and Distributed Energy

5:30 – 7 p.m.
Welcome Reception


Monday, October 28

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conference Registration

7 – 8 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8 – 9 a.m.
Opening General Session

  • State of Public Power
  • Honoring Our Colleagues: Excellence in Public Power Communications Videos

9 – 9:30 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Service Roundtable: Shared Solutions
  • Public Communications Roundtable: Tips and Tools
  • Energy Services Roundtable: Getting Smart
  • Key Accounts Rapid Fire Roundtable

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

10:45 a.m. – Noon
Breakout Sessions

  • Delivering Customer Value with New Technologies
  • Public Power Gives Back: Community Service Ideas
  • Energy Programs: One Size Does NOT Fit All
  • Upgrading Your Key Accounts Toolbox

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Onboarding: It Starts with "Hello"
  • Social Media: Greatest Hits and Lessons for Public Power
  • Driving Electrification for Environmental Stewardship
  • Tech Talk for Key Accounts Managers

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Break with Sponsors

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Do You Know What Your Customers Really Want?
  • Engaging Employees: Best Practices from the Trenches
  • Getting Smart about Smart Customers
  • 100% Renewable: Is It Doable?

4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Resources You Can Use: Fuel Your Success and Professional Development
  • Joint Action Agencies & Associations Roundtable

5:30 – 7 p.m.
Young Professionals Happy Hour


Tuesday, October 29

7:15 – 8:30 a.m.
Women in Public Power Networking Breakfast

7:15 – 8:45 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8:45 – 10 a.m.
General Session

  • Honoring Our Colleagues: Smart Energy Providers
  • Public Power Beware: Safeguarding Against Cyber Threats

10 – 10:30 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • It Will Happen to YOU: Surviving a Cyber Attack
  • Charge Ahead with the Complete EV Planning Toolkit
  • Key Account Crisis Management: Keep Calm and Carry On

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Turning a Negative Customer Experience Around
  • More than a Muni: Do They Know You as Public Power?
  • How to Manage AMI Data to Better Engage Customers
  • Energy Efficiency: Meeting Large Customers' Goals

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Break with Sponsors

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Scam Alert: Protecting Your Customers 
  • Public Communications Roundtable: Rapid-fire Problem Solving
  • Deferring Capital Projects with Demand Response Strategies
  • Leveraging Data to Better Serve Large Business Customers

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Service Roundtable: Peer Exchange
  • Mobilizing the Public Power Customer
  • Growing Your Load... Literally

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Closing General Session

  • Honoring Our Colleagues: Excellence in Public Power Communications and Individual Achievements
  • Mastering Human Dynamics: How You Can Become a Person of Influence

Thank You to Our Platinum Sponsors!

Automated Energy


Register now!


Conference Fees

Register by September 27, 2019 to receive these conference registration rates:

  • Association Members: $775
  • Nonmembers: $1,550

Preconference Seminar Fees

Preconference seminars require a separate registration fee. Register by September 27, 2019 to receive these preconference seminar registration rates:

Morning Seminars (8:30 a.m. - Noon) Association
  • Crisis Communications:
    What Every Leader Must Know
$350 $700
  • Talent Wars: Are You Ready for the Next Generation?
Free $350


Afternoon Seminars (1:30 - 5 p.m.) Association
  • Your Leadership at Work
$400 $800
  • Efficient Electrification: Electric Vehicles and the Evolving Grid
$350 $700

After September 27, 2019, all registration fees will increase by $50.

Not an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save $775 on your conference registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2936 email [email protected] to learn more.

Registration Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Monday, October 21, 2019 are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after October 21, 2019 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2019 Association Customer Connections Conference and preconference seminars only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before October 21 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. 

Requests must be made in writing and mailed or emailed to:

Meeting Services
American Public Power Association
2451 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-4804
Email: [email protected]

Conference Mentor Program

If you’re a first-time attendee, or the only one from your organization, pair up with a seasoned conference-goer who’ll show you the ropes. Your mentor will meet you at the Sunday Welcome Reception and stay in touch with you throughout the conference.

Want to have a conference mentor or serve as one? Select the check box on the online or PDF registration form or contact us at [email protected], or call 202-467-2965.

Guest Registrations

Conference attendees are welcome to bring a guest to the receptions. Guests do not need to register.


Email [email protected]



The 2019 Customer Connections Conference will take place at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans.

The elegance of New Orleans, from its breathtaking architecture to its vibrant music scene, lives on at The Ritz-Carlton. Set on the edge of the French Quarter and within a historic Beaux Arts building, the 4-star hotel is a retreat amid the energy of the city. While most iconic attractions are a short walk away, the hotel offers tranquility with a lush courtyard reflecting the beauty of the nearby Garden District.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans
921 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

  • Group rate: Single/Double $249 per night, (plus 15.75% tax)
  • Check in: 4 p.m. / Check out: Noon
  • Main telephone: 504-524-1331
  • Valet parking only. Overnight: $46 per day; Less than 12 hours: $25 per day.
  • In-Room Wireless: $12.95 per day


  • Online Reservation Link:
  • Group code: WHSWHSA
  • Reservation telephone: (800) 826-8987
  • Reservation cut-off date: October 2, 2019


    The cut-off date to receive the group rate (plus tax) is October 2, 2019. If rooms remain in the block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored. If not, you may be charged a higher rate. The room block may sell out before October 2, so early reservations are encouraged.

    The group rate is only available October 26-30, 2019. If you are extending your stay, the group rate may not be available for additional nights, and you may need to make your reservation for those nights separately. 

    Cancelled reservations that are not resold may become a financial liability for the association, so please make your reservations thoughtfully. If you require additional assistance with housing please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].

    Scam Alert

    Do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. Use only the online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available directly from the Association—in conference brochures and the website at


    For assistance making your hotel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].


    The hotel is located approximately 18 miles from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

    New Orleans

    Experience New Orleans, one of America's most culturally and historically-rich destinations. Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, it’s a truly unique melting pot of culture, food, and music. You'll enjoy bowls filled to the rim with gumbo, late nights in dark jazz clubs, strolls through historic neighborhoods, a relaxing morning full of café au lait and beignets, and maybe even a traditional festival. Learn more at

    The typical daily high temperature for New Orleans during the conference is 77° F with an average daily low of 56° F. As meeting room temperatures vary, prepare to dress for cool conditions. The attire for the conference is business casual.


    Contact us at [email protected].

    Thank You to Our Silver Sponsors!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where and when are future Customer Connections Conferences?

    October 27-30, 2019
    Ritz Carlton
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    October 25-28, 2020
    Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    What educational credits are available?

    Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

    • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
    • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
    • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Ccedits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

    Learn more about continuing education units offered. 

    Is there international registration?

    Online meeting registration is for U.S. and Canadian residents only. International registrants must provide a signed registration form — signed by the authorized cardholder — if paying with a credit card. Fax the completed registration form to 202-495-7484 or email it to

    Alternatively, you could send a check from a U.S. bank payable to American Public Power Association. Please mail completed form with full payment to our bank lock box:

    American Public Power Association
    P.O. Box 418617
    Boston, MA  02241-8617

    Are meals included?

    The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee:

    • Sunday – Welcome Reception
    • Monday – Continental Breakfast
    • Tuesday – Continental Breakfast; Reception 
    • Wednesday – Continental Breakfast

    What is the conference dress code?

    The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.

    How can I present at the conference?

    We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.