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Somehow I Manage: Monthly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Utility Management Group in Energy Central- May 14, 2020

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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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Because I’m filling in this week for Karen Marcus in pulling together the Utility Management digest, I couldn’t help to bring the pun-based title to this digest like I do for the others I write, and inspiration of course struck from Michael Scott of the Office and his memoir ‘Somehow I Manage.’ But when looking at the stories that gathered the most attention this month in the Utility Management community, it certainly seems to strike the right message—among business leaders and decision-makers at utilities these days, the story time and again is COVID-19 and how the pandemic is impacting the industry. While this may not have been something any of us anticipated, utilities are finding that—somehow—they must manage this uncertain time, balancing new customer needs, challenges with keeping employees safe, and remaining one of the constants in their communities.

So with that, I offer a bulk view of some of the most critical Coronavirus-related content submitted to the Utility Management community, and then I offer a few other thought-provoking pieces that discuss the utility business elsewhere (since the industry isn’t stopping it’s other normal operations just because of this virus!).

Enjoy reading!

Matt Chester

Community Manager

 

Most Critical COVID-19 Content on the Past Month of the Utility Management Group

  • How COVID-19 is impacting Business and Operations of Utility Service Providers
    • The first step is to of course take stock of what the impact of COVID-19 is, assess the challenges and damages, and use that information to dictate best steps. In terms of assessing current impact, this piece from Nilesh Gudhe (CEO of Bynry Technologies) is a great starting point.
  • COVID-19 – the Unique Storm that Utilities neither see nor have seen before
    • In this piece, Bill Shelly of CGI assessing the actions that utilities are taking these days to continue business operations as best as possible. From staying informed to protecting employees to accommodating new customer needs, there are no shortage of measures that can and should be implemented today. Bill provides a must-read overview on the topic.
  • The Great Recession and the U.S. Power Market: Implications for the COVID Recession
    • Another critical topic related to COVID-19 and what it will mean for the utility industry is the threat of economic peril. What would it mean for the utility industry if the populace was experiencing a recession or even a depression, and how do they keep operations going safely and reliably while staying solvent? These are important questions, and John Wilson of Resource Insight, Inc. helps walk us through some of those questions.
  • No Disconnect Orders – Another Coronavirus Problem
    • In that same vein, Charles Bayless (retired CEO of Tucson Electric Power) ponders the long-term implication of eliminating disconnect orders for those who can’t pay their bill amid the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19. These are difficult questions, but I’m thankful we have experts like Charles to start talking us through them.
  • The COVID19 Event Will End, Are You Planning for the New Normal?
    • This great piece from Jay Shaw, an Energy Professional at Just Lead LLC, gets more forward-looking about the whole situation. COVID-19 and its fallout will hopefully be a one-time event, but the new normal and changes to how we do everything are sure to be long-lasting. It’s wise for utility leaders to look to how to adapt to this new normal, as Jay encourages.

 

 

EPIC Program – Innovation is Alive and Thriving in California

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/um/epic-program-innovation-alive-and-thriving-california

For those of you eager to read about anything other than coronavirus, a great opportunity for that comes from Daniel Ohlendorf’s submission about the EPIC program at PG&E. This program harnesses necessary innovative thinking to try and bring new technologies and programs to market that will benefit customers and grid operators alike, and such thinking is as important now as it’s ever been.

 

It’s OK for some things to be hard

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/um/its-ok-some-things-be-hard

Lastly, Caleb Christopher brings us bigger picture to discuss relevant management strategies and ways of thinking that can benefit leaders at utilities. The idea that some aspects of this job and this industry are difficult is something to embrace, not fear—read his article to find out more!

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