Course

Electric Utility Industry Overview

Part of the Fall Education Institute and Customer Service Management Certificate Program. Receive a comprehensive overview of public power, how the components of the electricity system function together and review industry trends and strategic issues.
September 30, 2019
San Antonio, Texas
8:30am EDT - 4:30pm EDT

Back to Fall Education Institute course list

Monday, Sept. 30

8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Certificate Program Requirement*

*Participants who can demonstrate knowledge of the utility industry, through work experience or coursework, may opt-out of this course. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Course Overview

As power supply and delivery are highly technical and complex issues, it is important for public power employees and policymakers to understand basic industry operations. You’ll receive a broad, non-technical overview of how the components of the electricity system function together to provide reliable and environmentally sustainable service to customers. Learn about generation, transmission, distribution, types of utilities and their supporting organizations, as well as electric utility industry trends and issues.

Course Topics

  • Overview of industry participants, including investor-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives, merchant generators, and public power utilities and their joint action agencies
  • Review of the electric utility regulatory structure, at the federal, state and local levels
  • Types of electricity generation, historical usage and new developments
  • Electricity transmission system and the participants/markets for wholesale power supply
  • Components of the local distribution system, including substations, transformers, wires and meters
  • Rate challenges: recovering the costs of delivering power
  • Understanding the public power advantage, including local control, presence and values
  • Review of organizations and resources available to help public power utilities foster a culture committed to excellence in customer service

Sample Agenda/Learning Outcomes

Download a sample agenda and learning outcomes.

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; no advance preparation.

Accreditation

Recommended CEUs .7/PDHs 6.5/CPEs 7.8
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

What to Bring

For those attending the week-long certificate program: participants will share examples, practices and experiences from their own utilities. Attendees are encouraged to provide digital photos of the customer-facing areas of their operations. This could include: outside signage, entrances, drive-through lanes, and interior photos of payment stations, information kiosks, waiting areas, etc. Attendees will introduce their utility to other participants through these photos, highlighting elements that work well, or not so well. Attendees may also wish to share samples of their utility bills and newsletters.

Attendees will receive a copy of the Customer Service: Building a Strong Infrastructure for Your Utility publication.

Who Should Attend

This program focuses on developing a culture of excellence in customer service among all public power utility employees and governing officials. Therefore, while the course content is designed for customer service managers, supervisors, and representatives, the course is also recommended for utility senior managers with cross-departmental responsibilities, governing board representatives, and senior officials.

Instructors

Patricia Cruz, Vice President of Consulting & Training, Hometown Connections
For nearly 20 years, Patty has helped utilities set a strategic destination for the future and then direct operations towards that vision. Her areas of expertise include achieving organizational effectiveness, strategic planning, change management, communications, stakeholder engagement, process improvement, and customer satisfaction. Her focus is on improving the performance of public power’s corporate culture, workforce issues, customer service, and community relations.

Steve VanderMeer, Senior Vice President of Planning and Marketing, Hometown Connections
Steve joined Hometown Connections in 1998 and provides consulting, training and facilitation support to public power utilities and their governing boards. He has worked with a wide range of municipal governments and non-profit organizations on strategic planning, governance, organizational assessments, public participation, market research and customer service issues. He is the author of Associations Customer Service: Building a Strong Infrastructure for Your Utility. Previously, Steve worked at Fort Collins Utilities where he was the Director of Marketing and Energy Services.

Course Fees

Individual Course:
Members: $625
Nonmembers: $1,250

Certificate Program (5 courses):
Members: $2,800
Nonmembers: $6,600

Interested in attending another course at the Fall Institute? More information on courses and fees are available on the main Fall Institute Registration Page.

Travel Arrangements

Travel arrangements and costs are the responsibility of the participants (including hotel parking, WiFi, incidentals, etc.). The Association will not reimburse for changes in travel expenditures regardless of the cause.

Meals

Beverage breaks are included in the registration fee. All meals are on your own.

Internet Access

WiFi may only be available in hotel common areas (sleeping rooms and hotel lobby), and will not be available in meeting rooms. Please make arrangements to use cellular data on your device, or bring a MiFi or Internet hotspot for personal use. The Association will not provide a password for WiFi.

Name Badges

Name badges can be picked up at the Association's registration desk at the hotel starting at 7:30 a.m.

Cancellations/No-Show/Refunds/Substitutions

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Sept. 23, 2019, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after Sept. 23 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by Sept. 23 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to [email protected].

Hotel

The 2019 Fall Education Institute will take place at the:

Hotel Contessa
306 W Market Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

  • Main telephone: (210) 229-9222
  • Group Rate: $209 Single/Double (plus 16.75% tax)

Internet Access

WiFi may only be available in hotel common areas (sleeping rooms and hotel lobby), and will not be available in meet­ing rooms. Please make arrangements to use cellular data on your device, or bring a MiFi or Internet hotspot for personal use. The Association will not provide a password for WiFi.

Location

All courses will be held in the Hotel Contessa. The hotel is located 10 miles from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Please contact the hotel for airport shuttles, taxis and rental cars to arrange your transportation to/from the airport. 

Need Assistance?

If you require assistance with hotel/travel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration/Name Badges

Name badges can be picked up at the Association's registration desk at the hotel starting at 7:30 a.m.

Meals

Beverage breaks are included in the registration fee. All meals are on your own.

Hotel & Location

All courses will be held in the Hotel Contessa. The hotel is located 10 miles from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT). Please contact the hotel for airport shuttles, taxis and rental cars to arrange your transportation to/from the airport. 

What is the conference dress code?

The attire for the Institute ranges from business casual to casual--whatever you're comfortable in. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.

Cancellations/No-Show/Refunds/Substitutions

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Sept. 23, 2019 are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after Sept. 23, will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by Sept. 23 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. Cancellations must be made in writing and e-mailed to: [email protected].

Where and when is the next Education Institute?

Spring Institute
May 6-10, 2019
Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District
Omaha, Nebraska

Fall Institute
September 30 - October 4, 2019
Hotel Contessa
San Antonio, Texas

More questions?

Contact us at [email protected] or call 202-467-2919.