Community Engagement

Twenty-nine utilities earn APPA recognition for reliable and safe service

Twenty-nine of the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities earned ­the Reliable Public Power Provider, or RP3, designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service, APPA reported on April 4.

Brent McKinney, director of electric transmission and distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and chair of APPA's RP3 review panel, presented the designees on April 4 during the association's annual Engineering and Operations Technical Conference held in Minneapolis, Minn.

Utilities with the RP3 designation "stand out as industry leaders, who dedicate themselves to providing safe and reliable electricity to their customers," said McKinney. "These designees demonstrate public power's commitment to constantly improving best practices and raising the bar for other service providers."

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

APPA noted that criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

The RP3 designation lasts for three years and in total, 219 of the country's public power utilities now hold the designation.

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

Utilities earn safety awards

APPA also reported on April 4 that 107 public power systems have earned the association's Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2015.

Aaron Haderle, chair of the APPA safety committee and superintendent of T&D operations at Florida's Kissimmee Utility Authority, presented the award on April 4, which also took place during APPA's annual E&O Technical Conference in Minneapolis.

"Safety is and always will be our industry's top priority," said Haderle. "Each of these utilities should be proud of the work they've done to make public power communities across the country safer."

More than 250 utilities applied for 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 were ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2015.

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 2015, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The safety awards have been held annually for the last 56 years.