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Virtual Course

Strategic Challenges and Trends for Public Power

Part of the Public Power Manager Certificate Program curriculum. Learn about the strategic issues and industry trends that are impacting public power utilities and challenging the traditional business model.
September 21, 2021
12:00pm EDT - 4:00pm EDT

Certificate Program Requirement

This course is required for participants in the Public Power Manager Certificate Program, though it can also be taken as a stand-alone course. For those interested in participating in the full certificate program, visit the Fall Institute website for details.


Attend one, real-time session from Noon – 4 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 21. There will be two, 10-minute breaks incorporated. 

Event Format/Learning Environment

This virtual offering—through Zoom—provides the opportunity to interact with the instructor, your industry peers, and earn continuing education credits. This course combines live presentation, polling questions, real-world examples, a small group breakout session, Q&A and group discussion. 

Course Overview

Learn about the strategic issues and industry trends that are impacting public power utilities and challenging the traditional business model including changing customer expectations, electrification opportunities, distributed energy resources (DERs), physical and cybersecurity, and workforce planning and development. Hear utility examples and share experiences on these and other strategic issues. Attendees receive a complimentary digital copy of APPA’s Electric Utility Basics handbook.

Course Topics 

  • Strategic issues and trends for electric utilities
  • The public power business model
  • How changes in the industry are affecting local public power systems

Sample Agenda/Learning Outcomes

Coming soon!

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; no advanced preparation.

Technology Requirements

  • Zoom Meeting Application: Attendees are required to have strong Internet access, in order to run the Zoom meeting platform. 
  • Audio/Webcam: You will need to enable computer audio to listen and speak (alternatively a call-in number will be provided) and you will also need a webcam, so you can fully engage in the small group breakout sessions and group discussions.

Course Access and Materials 

  • Zoom Links: Zoom log in credentials will be sent out 24 hours before the start of the session.
  • Course Materials: Attendees will receive access to APPA’s secure online document portal the day before the course, where the eManual will be made available.
  • Recording: The session will be recorded and can be accessed through APPA’s document portal (within a week after the program concludes), in case you can’t attend the live class. Recordings will be accessible for 90 days. Note: Continuing education credits can only be issued for attending live sessions. 


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing the live session (click here to review requirements). Certificates will be emailed by Oct. 5.

Recommended CEUs .4/PDHs 3.5/CPEs 4.2
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Recommended For

Utility managers, staff, and policymakers looking for a high-level overview of electric utility industry trends and challenges. This course is a requirement for those enrolled in the Public Power Manager Certificate Program.


minerR. John Miner, P.E., is an accomplished executive manager, educator and consultant with more than 45 years of experience in the electric utility industry. He is president of Collaborative Learning/Collaboration Unlimited of Austin, Texas. John has been an APPA instructor for more than 30 years and an instructor for the University of Wisconsin for 20 years. Before forming his own company, he worked as the Chief Operating Officer for the Austin, Texas, Electric Utility Department (now Austin Energy), as General Manager for Rochester Public Utilities in Minnesota, and as an assistant professor at the University of Houston. He is also the author of the first three editions of APPA’s Electric Utility Basics manual.


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

Email: [email protected]; Phone: 202-467-2997

Registration Information

Email [email protected] for assistance


Registration Fees


Registration received on/before Sept. 13

Registration received after Sept. 13

  Members Others Members Others



Public Utility Accounting, Sept. 14, 16, 28, and 30 (virtual) $725 $1,450 $725 $1,450
Work Order & Asset Management Accounting, Oct. 5 $675 $1,350 $725 $1,450
Advanced Public Utility Accounting, Oct. 6-7 $1,050 $2,100 $1,100 $2,150

Financial Planning/Rate Design/Cost of Service


Financial Planning and Future Rate Design Strategies, Oct. 4-5 $1,050 $2,100 $1,100 $2,150
Cost of Service Workshop: Implementation and Applications, Oct. 6-7 $1,050 $2,100 $1,100 $2,150

Public Power Manager Certificate Program


Public Power Manager Certificate Program Package* $2,800 $5,600 $2,950 $5,750
  • Strategic Challenges and Trends, Sept. 21 (virtual)
$350 $700 $350 $700
  • Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Performance, Sept. 28 (virtual)
$350 $700 $350 $700
  • Strategic Leadership for Public Power, Oct. 5-8
$1,900 $3,800 $1,950 $3,850
  • Public Power Management Certificate Program Enrollment Fee**
$350 $350 $350 $350

Technical Training

  • Overhead Distribution Principles and Applications, October 4-6
$1,650 $3,300 $1,700 $3,350

*Package includes all required courses and the program enrollment fee—everything you need to participate in and graduate from the certificate program.

**The program enrollment fee covers the cost of study material, review of the post-course project, and graduation plaque. This fee is included in the program package price.

Group Registration Discounts

Save money on each registration when your organization registers five or more people for the same class. The larger your group, the more you save! Contact [email protected] for assistance. 

Number of registrants Class discount (per person)
1-4 n/a
5-9 $50
10-14 $100
15+ $150

NWPPA Discount
This event is being co-hosted by the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA). All NWPPA members will receive the APPA member rate, plus an extra $50 discount (per class). Please contact [email protected] to get registered at the discounted rate. 

Travel Arrangements

We encourage you to only make refundable travel arrangements until APPA has confirmed that the course(s) are moving forward. You will receive an email notification within 21 days of the event (by Sept. 13) or as soon as we can confirm that we have enough attendees to proceed. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

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


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before September 27, 2021, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 27 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by September 27 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] If APPA has cancels a course, you will receive a full refund. 

Course Materials

Attendees will receive printed copies of course materials on-site in Seattle. 
Virtual course attendees will get access to digital copies of the course materials through APPA’s secure document portal. You’ll receive an email on how to access the portal as we get closer to the event. Contact [email protected] with questions.


A light breakfast, afternoon snack, and beverage breaks are included in the registration fee. All other 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 APPA meeting rooms. Please make arrangements to use cellular data on your device or bring a MiFi or Internet hotspot for personal use. APPA will not provide a password for WiFi.

Name Badges

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

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.

More information

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

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

Phone: 202-467-2997; Email: [email protected]

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

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in APPA programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs). 

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of continuing education credits for attending live virtual and in-person sessions—provided the following requirements are met:

Requirements for Successful Completion: 

  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in 90% of the live virtual session and complete an online evaluation at the end.
  • Partial credit cannot be given for partial attendance
  • Attendance is monitored by an APPA staff member during the event, through an online report log, and upon review of the post-event evaluation data
  • Completion certificates will be emailed out within 2 weeks of the class (for those who meet the requirements). 
  • Virtual sessions are recorded (attendees automatically receive access to recordings within a week), though continuing education credits can only be given for attending live events. Recordings will be accessible for 90 days.

IACET logoContinuing Education Units (CEUs): The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendee transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2921. Verify our IACET Accreditation.

CPE logoContinuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits: The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org. Unless noted, there are no prerequisites for the courses offered and no advance preparation is required. Courses are group-internet based offerings at the basic program level (unless otherwise noted). Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected]

Professional Development Hours (PDHs): The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.

Format and Log-In Information

This class will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform. Presented in four interactive sessions, featuring real-time presentation, Q&A, group discussions, and case studies

You’ll receive a logistics email one week in advance of the class

You will receive your Zoom access link the day before the course from the APPA Academy <[email protected]>. Please reach out to [email protected] if you do not receive that email.

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, please download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. This will enable you to access all of the Zoom tools and functionality vs. using the web version. For the course, you will need an Internet connection and sound (we recommend using your computer’s audio and microphone, though a phone number will also be provided). Then, visit Zoom.us/test to ensure you are able to join a meeting. 

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results. If you use your Internet browser, your functionality may be more limited (for example, you will only be able to see one video feed at a time), and you will need to create a Zoom account. (Account creation is a free and straightforward process, but you will want to do this in advance so you do not miss any part of the meeting).

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.


Contact us at [email protected].