RP3: How to Apply

The RP3 application asks questions in four disciplines — reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement — based on leading practices in the industry. Each question is worth a certain amount of points for a total of 100 points — see the application guide for details. Below you can find additional resources, from webinar recordings to sample job site inspections, to help you complete the application!


About the Application System

Applications for the Reliable Public Power Provider designation are open May 1 – September 30 each year. 

The RP3 online application system replaced hard copy applications and is easier to complete. To access the online application, you must first register your utility. Once you've completed the registration form, you’ll receive an email with your login information and instructions to access the application online

The online system enables you to assign one user to oversee the entire application and assign additional users to individual questions. You can answer each question, upload attachments on a question by question basis, see your progress as you complete your application, and view the RP3 Review Panel’s comments and scores for each question. When your utility reapplies, you can view your previous application, and import any answers and attachments you previously submitted.

Applications received through the RP3 Online Application System are reviewed by the 18-member Review Panel, comprising public power professionals from across the country. Utilities may be recognized as gold, platinum, or diamond. Any Review Panel requests for additional information are sent through the online system, to keep all your information in one place.

When you are ready to submit, you can complete the one-time Application Fee. Payments are due by the last day of the application period, September 30th.

Application, Application Guide, and How-To Videos

Application Resources


Register for the 2022 RP3 Webinars below or find more details here.

2021 RP3Webinar Recordings

Designation Period

Beginning with the 2014 designees, RP3 designations last for three years, starting on May 1 of the designation year to April 30 three years later. Prior to the 2014 designation (applied in 2013), RP3 designations were valid for a two-year period.

Now, RPdesignated utilities that wish to maintain their designation status must re-apply in the second year of the three-year designation period. For example, a utility that applies in 2016 is designated May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2020. To maintain status after that, the utility must re-apply in 2019. The re-application process helps us ensure that RP3 utilities are consistently striving to maintain and improve the quality of their systems.

Designation Levels

Significant changes were introduced in 2013 for designation levels  — for utilities designated in 2014 — as a result of feedback received from member utilities over the first nine years of RP3.

  • Gold: 80% – <90% of the possible points
  • Platinum: 90 – <98% of the possible points
  • Diamond: 98 – 100% of the possible points

For utilities that applied before 2013, the diamond designation was awarded for 100%, platinum for 90-99%, and gold for 80-89% of the possible points.