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Public power utilities earn recognition for reliable, safe service

One hundred ten of the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities earned the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service, the Association reported on May 8.

David Lynch, assistant director of utility operations at Michigan's Marquette Board of Light and Power and chair of the Association's RP3 review panel, presented the designations on May 8 during the Association's annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in San Antonio, Texas.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

This year, 110 utilities earned the designation and, in total, 235 of the more than 2,000 public power utilities nation-wide that hold the RP3 designation.

"Utilities that have earned an RP3 designation demonstrate public power's emphasis on achieving leading practices and providing a high level of service to communities," said Lynch. "We are proud to welcome all utilities earning this recognition for the first time and to those renewing their designations."

This is the twelfth year that RP3 recognition has been offered. A full list of designees is available here.

Utilities earn safety awards

Meanwhile, one hundred eleven utilities have earned the Association's Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2016.

Rick Aguilar, chair of the APPA Safety Committee and director of job training and safety at Kansas Municipal Utilities, presented the awards on May 8, during the Association's Engineering & Operations Technical Conference.

"When it comes to electric utility operations, safety is a top priority for everyone involved; from lineman to operator," said Aguilar. "These utilities have embraced a culture of safety while serving their local communities and deserve to be recognized."

The Association noted that 270 utilities entered the annual Safety Awards, which is among the highest number of entrants in the history of the program.

Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2016. The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2016, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Safety Awards have been held annually for the last 58 years.