Public Power Forward

Public Power Forward is the American Public Power Association’s strategic initiative to help public power utilities prepare for a new era in electricity. The Public Power Forward roadmap shows how public power utilities can prepare to address changing customer preferences, rate design considerations, technologies, regulation, and market forces. Dive deeper for an explanation of the roadmap in our submission to the Smart Electric Power Association's 51st State Initiative.

Each fall, the American Public Power Association's Academy holds a Public Power Forward Summit for industry thought leaders to discover new trends, technologies, and customer expectations and share their thoughts on public power’s future. Learn more about attending on the Summit home page.

    Reports and Guides

    Moving Ahead with Time of Use Rates examines the benefits and challenges of moving to a time of use rate structure. Review the latest findings on different time-varying rate structures and dive into case studies from two public power utilities who piloted and then rolled out default time-of-use plans for residential customers. Each utility reflects on how the change has helped it to reach specific goals – from achieving rate equity to reducing or modifying peak load – and shares what makes for effective communication about time-varying rates.

    Exploring Electric Vehicle Rates for Public Power breaks down recent trends in EV rates, offers a checklist for considerations when developing and implementing a rate structure, and presents case studies and lessons learned from public power utilities of various sizes and locations throughout the country.

    Navigating the Electric Vehicle Market: Trends and Changes for Public Power to Know is an interactive eBook that covers the latest  trends in electric vehicle sales, charging infrastructure, and the expected impact on electric demand. Learn how various factors – such as the price of batteries, availability of models, and the visibility of public charging stations – are accelerating the adoption curve in big cities and small towns alike. Explore how policies and regulations might affect adoption and the different ways in which public power utilities can prepare for transportation electrification in their communities.

    Use this series of fact sheets to help summarize key points about Electric Vehicles, Rate Design, Energy Storage, and Community Solar to your boards and/or customers. Members can also use sample slides on electric vehicles, rate design options, energy storage, and community solar to discuss these topics in their communities.

    Creating a Smart City Roadmap for Public Power Utilities, prepared by Smart Energy IP, provides a roadmap for cities and utilities considering implementing a smart city program. The paper lays out key questions to consider in the process of implementing a smart cities program, including which stakeholders to include in the planning, which materials to develop to support the project, and other key operational considerations.

    Understanding Energy Storage explores the differences in storage technologies, costs, and potential value for public power utilities — including state and federal policies that incent energy storage. (Non-members may order a copy of this report on our Product Store)

    Distributed Energy Resources and Public Power reviews state legislation and case studies on energy storage, microgrids, and electric vehicles that increasingly impact load management, electric rates, and customer interaction with the electric utility. (Non-members may order a copy of this report here)

    Use this spreadsheet tool to assess the potential impacts of distributed energy resources on utility revenues and customer rates. Download documentation | View a tutorial video | Get the spreadsheet

    Rate Design Options for Distributed Energy Resources offers several rate design options with pros and cons of each, and lists ten questions your utility should ask before implementing new rate designs.

    Review distributed generation rate design case studies on alternatives to net metering and see how public power utilities have educated customers about new rates.

    The Value of Solar Primer provides an overview of methods for value of solar studies, explains why different studies have produced disparate results, and discusses the pros and cons of adapting a VOS tariff.

    The Community Solar A-Z guide features seven questions to ask before choosing community solar.

    Get an overview of federal and general state securities and tax law considerations that may apply to community solar projects in Legal Implications of Community Solar Securities and Tax Law Considerations.

    Understand consumer concerns about policy initiatives to stimulate growth in distributed energy resources and changes in rate design in the report Residential Consumers and the Utility of the Future.

    Networking Opportunities

    Join the Public Power Forward listserv to get updates on grid modernization, distributed energy resources, rate design and new business models and share ideas with colleagues.

    Participate in the Community Storage Initiative — a collaborative effort by electric utilities, environmental groups, and manufacturers to promote energy storage technologies in communities across the country.

    Learn More

    For the latest news and updates in evolving technologies and trends: