CPS Energy is well known for its innovative approaches in using creative and emerging technologies to deliver the best services for its customers. This trend for capitalizing on the latest technologies and honing in on meeting customer expectations of convenience and integration were highlighted in New Orleans last week at the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) National Conference.
CPS Energy is among the more than 2,000 municipally-owned electric utilities that comprise APPA’s membership. CPS Energy was honored at the conference with APPA’s “Energy Innovator Award” for demonstrating its energy efficiency programs. Click here to read the news release. CPS Energy staff attended the conference and collaborated with other public power leaders across the nation to discuss new concepts and challenges.
“Attending this conference is always a great way to connect with colleagues at other city-owned utilities from across the country,” said David Kee, Energy Market Policy Manager. “As part of the conference, the APPA offers educational seminars and I always learn something new. Texas is beginning to formulate regulatory policy on energy storage and seeing what other utilities have experienced will help us capitalize on successes and avoid potential pitfalls. We count on the APPA to curate a set of relevant and timely topics as well as a wide variety of perspectives.”
APPA CEO Sue Kelly urged public power utilities to consider global trends where “one possible future could be utilities being a one-stop shop for all things energy.” She highlighted the successes of the public power business model and how it serves as a platform to provide diverse and creative products for retail customers.
“No one is better positioned to do all this than the local, community-owned, non-for-profit, utility,” she said.
APPA is always busy representing public power’s interests in our nation’s capital before the three branches of government and regulatory bodies. Throughout the conference, leaders from public power utilities and the industry provided briefings at various breakout sessions on issues of importance to the industry.
Gabriel Garcia, Director & Senior Counsel for CPS Energy, was a panelist at a breakout session at the conference that focused on pole attachment standards. He discussed CPS Energy’s Pole Attachment Standards & Procedures and how both are being implemented in San Antonio. In discussing the formation of those standards, he said, “Our linemen provide input and we incorporated lessons from our linemen and other safety considerations.” Gabriel said safety, reliability and customer service were the principles required by CPS Energy in creating the standards, which are being seen as a model for other APPA members.
Other breakout sessions touched on topics addressing bond ratings, energy storage, cybersecurity and electric vehicles. Additionally, breakout sessions also focused on congressional activities and regulatory activities with respect to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
APPA will hold its next National Conference in Austin in 2019.