Click here to read the talking points.
Between February 12, through February 19, 2021, extreme cold, combined with freezing infrastructure in southern states, led to reduced generation across large parts of the country. In Iowa, some utilities within Southwest Power Pool experienced rolling blackouts. Additionally, wholesale natural gas prices skyrocketed placing a significant burden on utilities and customers. In order to address questions regarding what occurred between February 12, through February 19, 2021, these talking points may be helpful.
Click here to read the talking points.
Wanted: Stories, Photos, and Data Related to How Your Utilities Handled the Demands and Challenges of the Deep Freeze
Utilities throughout the Midwest faced many challenges during last week’s frigid weather. IAMU would like to share the stories of municipal utilities and needs your help.
We are looking for:
Once IAMU has compiled this information, we will use it to develop communications that we will share with local and statewide media and state officials. The communications may include media releases, op-ed pieces, social media posts, and more. We will let you know how we plan to use any specific information you provide before we actually use it.
Please share your stories, photos, and data with Jen Cronin, IAMU’s contracted public relations specialist. You can reach Jen by emailing her at email@example.com or by calling her at 616-610-2546 (cell).
What a difference a week makes. Not only are temperatures above zero, in many parts of the state, the temperatures are above freezing. While everyone is rejoicing in the warmer weather, in the backs of their minds, many people are wondering just how much their next utility bills will be.
You may want to develop a plan for how to communicate to your customers about any increases they might see in their next bill.
On Friday, February 19, 2021, IAMU received a signed letter of non-enforcement from the Director or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The letter represents an understanding that the DNR will waive any otherwise applicable provisions of Air Quality Permits, Title V Operating Requirements, and RICE Emission Standards implicated from having to run RICE generators between February 10 – 20, 2021.
Read the letter here.
IAMU is asking all electric utility members to let us know if you are experiencing any outages, especially those related to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). IAMU also needs to know whether or not you have received notices from SPP of potential outages.
IAMU is working with the Iowa Utilities Board, which wants to make sure electric utilities are getting the proper notices of potential outages.
Please contact IAMU’s Director of Government Affairs, Alex Cutchey, at 612-532-1565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Having the information requested above will be valuable to assist IAMU and the IUB in helping municipal electric utilities now and in the future.
With the bitter cold weather that Iowa has experienced over the last week or so and the increased use of anything and everything to keep warm, utilities have had to make pleas with their customers to conserve energy whenever possible.
Many have used their Facebook Page to get the word out. This is an excellent way to let customers know quickly when you need them to act quickly. Those with Facebook account read and share the information with their friends and family on their own pages, which is great for utilities in case those friends and family don’t follow your utility and live in your service area.
But what about customers who aren’t on social media or who don’t check their accounts frequently? How do you reach them? Sure, they may hear about important information through word of mouth from those who do have social media AND actually saw your post, but you can’t assume that. In addition to posting an important message that has to get out quickly to the masses, be sure to take a little time to communicate using various outlets.
There are likely other outlets in your area to make sure everyone sees important messages. Give yourself a little time to brainstorm places. Write them down and be ready for next time you have to communicate with your customers quickly.
The competent person is required to evaluate site safety and resolve existing and potential hazards. This training webinar is to give participants the knowledge and education required of a competent person.
(Note: Attending this training does not make a participant a competent person. A competent person is a designation made by the employer.)
The DNR has approved 0.4 Safety CEUs for WD and WW only.
Who Should Attend:
This training webinar is designed for city and utility employees and outside contractors employed by a city, or any working in a trenching and shoring situation. The training received will cover the overall requirements of the law, including:
Contact the contractors that work for your city / utility and encourage them to register and attend.
A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to participants. (Attendance will be cross-checked against the registration list. NO CEUs will be available to those who did NOT register.)
IAMU Members - $40
Non-IAMU Members - $50
For registration and additional info, please click HERE.*
*The Zoom webinar link will be sent to the registered participant’s email address 1-2 days prior to the training date. If you do not receive the webinar link, please check your junk/spam folder.
Contact the instructor: Steve McLaughlin (email@example.com)
Here are upcoming training opportunities for water and wastewater operators.
Wastewater Webinar – February 25th (10:00 – Noon)
This webinar will cover:
Low Pressure Sewer Systems (10:00 – 11:00 a.m.)
Presented by Connor Alexander, Crane Pumps
UV GRP CIPP Lining Technology (11:00 – Noon)
Presented by Gary Shutts, Impreg Group
2 CEU Hours available for WASTEWATER ONLY.
*To register for WASTEWATER, please click HERE.
Water Distribution Webinar – March 3rd (9:00 – 11:00 a.m.)
This webinar will cover:
AWWA Water Audit Software
Presented by Cavanaugh
The first step towards effective water loss management: Introducing the AWWA Water Audit Software - Version 6. Registrants will be given a list of relevant material, such as a link to download the AWWA Water Audit Software - Version 6, background information on water loss, and a list of definitions prior to the webinar. This is IAMU’s follow-up to the EPA’s Drought & Water Loss Workshop that was conducted on December 16 - 17, 2020.
2 CEU Hours available for WATER DISTRIBUTION ONLY.
*To register for WATER DISTRIBUTION, please click HERE.
FREE for IAMU Utility Members ($40 for NON-IAMU Members)
The webinar link will be sent to the registered participant’s email address 1-2 days prior to the training date. (If you do not receive the webinar link, please check your SPAM folder.)
Questions? Contact Steve Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 289-1999.
Regular external communication with your customers and ongoing internal communication with your staff is important to build positive relationships. Many times, you’ll have your own content to convey, but if you’re at a loss for what to say or write, take advantage of observances.
Observances can be a day, week, or month long. There are state, national, and world observances. Some are more serious in nature; others are light-hearted. Use observances to pass along valuable information, to provide recognition to public utility workers, or to just have a little fun.
You might want to check for observances a quarter, or at least a month, ahead of when they happen. That way, you can plan ahead for how you might want to observe them. Often times, organizations have materials that you can use for op-ed submissions, media releases, proclamations, social media posts, images, videos, and more.
Organizations such as the American Public Gas Association, American Public Power Association, and the American Waterworks Association have information on their sites related to observances for those specific utilities.
For example, here is a link to the APGA’s page on Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day, which is held yearly on March. 18. (Put it on your calendar; it will be here before you know it.) On the page, you’ll find a logo, video, proclamation, sample op-ed piece, sample press release, and sample social media posts and images.
Here is a link to some fun observances: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/year-at-a-glance/. Find at least one or two days to observe each month. You can also get creative in how to tie in a utility message.
Be sure to check IAMU’s Facebook Page regularly, too. We often include social media posts related to observances. You’re always free to share them. In fact, we would love for you to share them.
On February 25th IAMU Energy Services will be hosting its first Webinar of 2021: A Solar Roundtable Discussion Focused on Small Utility Scale Solar! Bring your solar questions to this virtual roundtable discussion!
Our roundtable panel of experts will be hosted by IAMU’s Jeff Gorrie and will include:
Tyler Anderson - President at Simpleray Solar
Warren McKenna - Former GM of Farmers Electric Co-Op
Chris Ball - Utility Solar Specialist
Click this link to register: https://lnkd.in/gP5VNgg
Have a complex question you would like the panel to research before the webinar? Send all inquiries to: email@example.com