Management Matters: Monthly Digest of Insights Shared by Your Peers in the Energy Central Utility Management Group – September 2, 2021

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Welcome to the Utility Management Group roundup, Management Matters. As always, your fellow group members are paying close attention to utility management trends and sharing their insights. This month’s selection includes information about using extreme weather events as opportunities to identify areas for improvement, and the importance of efficient processes, sustainability priorities, and resilience. Be sure to like and comment on your favorite posts. Happy reading!


Electric Co-op and Utility “Process Whisperers”

Russ Hissom

Link to original article:

In this piece, Russ Hissom, Owner at Utility Accounting Education Specialists introduces the concept of “process whisperers,” people who are very familiar with business processes and how those processes might be enhanced to help companies perform better. He notes that, while policies and procedures can become stagnant, processes can evolve to respond to changing business conditions. Russ suggests that certain areas within utilities are ripe for receiving the benefits of process whispering, including customer service, materials management, finance functions, and IT controls.


OPPD Reports on Historic July Storm, Highlights Both Successes and Lessons Learned

Jodi Baker

Link to original article:

In July, Omaha endured a convergence of three storms, which caused extensive tree damage and left 188,000 customers in the Omaha Public Power District’s (OPPD’s) service area without power. In this article, Jodi Baker, Media Specialist at OPPD describes some areas for improvement identified as a result of this event. They include burying more distributions lines in older areas, investing heavily in tree trimming, improving communication processes, and implementing advanced metering. The article also includes an update on OPPD’s Power With Purpose solar project and other recent actions taken by the OPPD Board of Directors.


Refreshed Sustainability Priorities for North American Electric Power Industry

Fiona Baker

Link to original article:

As utilities plan for the future, their ability to prioritize effectively will have an impact on their success in coming decades. Here, Fiona Baker, Senior Project Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) explains how the EPRI has created its third iteration of sustainability priority issues for the North American electric power industry. She includes information about the evolving definition of sustainability; how the priorities were identified; the format the priorities, including those in two new categories, are presented in; and a link to view the findings and insights.  


Resilience Is Byword as Utilities Battle New Stresses

Llewellyn King

Link to original article:

In this post, Llewellyn King, Executive Producer at White House Media, LLC reflects on the notion of resilience, which includes preparedness and the ability to mitigate damage from cyberattacks and extreme weather. He notes that, while all electric utilities strive for resilience, it can be elusive, becoming even more so with the increase of more extreme weather, sophisticated cyberattacks, and new demands for electricity. He cites neighborhood microgrids, fast and durable communication, diversity of generation, undergrounding, and cyber alertness as parts of the solution.


Thanks again for reading this edition of Management Matters! The authors listed above are eager to hear your thoughts and questions, so don’t hesitate to engage them. And if you want your content to be featured in this spot in future issues, be sure to publish your posts within the Utility Management Community.


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