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Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast Episode #16: ‘How Public Power is Leading Utilities’ with Joy Ditto, CEO of American Public Power Association

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The year is only half over, but it’s safe to say that 2020 is already one for the record books within the utility sector. With the year already starting off to be hectic for utilities among an energy transition, fluctuating energy markets, grid modernizations, and more, the onset of the COVID-19  pandemic was just another screwball the industry was forced to adapt to on the fly. But adapt it has, and, as you’ll hear in this episode, it’s been the public power utilities who have been in many ways setting the standard for how utilities should prepare before a crisis, react to it, and adjust to it as time goes on.

In this riveting episode, Jason Price and Matt Chester are joined in the podcast booth by Joy Ditto, who recently became the CEO of the American Public Power Association. Joy takes us through what public power utilities across the country have had to do to react to an everchanging landscape, while simultaneously keeping an eye forward on potential for innovation, transition, and more. You won’t want to miss this episode to learn what the community-owned difference is in the utility sector and what lessons can be learned across the wider energy industry.


Key Links:

Joy Ditto’s Energy Central Profile:

The Community-owned Difference: Lessons for Maintaining a Customer Focus:


As a reminder, the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast be looking for the authors of the most insightful articles and the members with most impactful voices within the Energy Central community and we'll invite them to discuss further so we can dive even deeper into these compelling topics. Posting twice per month (on the second and fourth Tuesdays), we'll seek to connect with professionals in the utility industry who are engaging in creative or innovative work that will be of interest to their colleagues and peers across the Energy Central community. 

The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason PriceCommunity Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.  

If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We’ll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you’d like to see broken down in more detail in a conversation, feel free to send us a note to nominate them.  For more information, contact us at Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility.  We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors. 

Happy listening, and stay tuned for episode #17 later this month! Like what you hear, have a suggestion for future episodes, or a question for our guest? Leave a note in the comments below.

All new episodes of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast will be posted to the relevant Energy Central community group, but you can also subscribe to the podcast at all the major podcast outlets, including:

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Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Jul 14, 2020 12:50 pm GMT

Congratulations to Joy for her achievement as the new CEO at APPA.

Listening to this interview you will learn just how influential APPA is in Washington and across the nation through its membership. The organization aims to support its membership, and their customers, through shared values and common good, such as the DEED initiative. The smaller entities that APPA represents are frequent targets of cyber criminals, because these smaller organizations may not have the cybersecurity skill sets on staff to implement best practices for cybersecurity controls to prevent malware and other dangerous software from disrupting their operations. Joy, I hope you and your APPA members will consider joining others in the Energy community for the  8/12 Powersession hosted by Energy Central describing best practices for software supply chain risk assessments following the NIST Cybersecurity Framework:

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 14, 2020 5:22 pm GMT

The smaller entities that APPA represents are frequent targets of cyber criminals, because these smaller organizations may not have the cybersecurity skill sets on staff to implement best practices for cybersecurity controls to prevent malware and other dangerous software from disrupting their operations.

Great point-- there are pros and cons for being a smaller utility, but the collective innovation and collaboration that APPA provides these public utilities helps to plug that gap for sure

Peter Key's picture
Peter Key on Jul 23, 2020 5:19 pm GMT

In the podcast, Joy mentioned the APPA is lobbying Congress for "additional flexibility" with municipal bonds, which often are used to finance its members' projects.

One thing it wants Congress to do is restore the ability of municipalities to issue tax-exempt advance refunding bonds, which was abolished in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

The Large Public Power Council, which represents 27 of the largest publicly owned U.S. utilities, also supports bringing back tax-exempt financing bonds and said so in a July 22 letter to House and Senate leaders.

Legislation that would allow muncipalities to once again issue the bonds has been introduced in the House and Senate.



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