Reliability And Safety

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CBPU Earns 'Diamond' RP3 Designation  

The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities is proud to announce that it has achieved the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA), placing CBPU among the best-of-the-best of public power utilities nationwide. Recognition by the RP3 program reveals a utility’s commitment to its employees, customers, and community, as well as its dedication to operating and managing an efficient, safe, and reliable power system.

The RP3 designation lasts for three years and recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate excellence in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. The CBPU began applying for the RP3 designation in 2015, earning Platinum in both 2015 and 2018. There are three possible levels of designation; Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. The Diamond designation signifies that a utility has met over 98 percent of the evaluation criteria.
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The RP3 application asks questions in four disciplines and is evaluated by a panel of 18 industry experts:

  • Reliability: Includes collection and analysis of reliability data, mutual aid agreements, systemwide disaster management, emergency response plans, and cyber and physical security.
  • Safety: A culture of safety means a commitment from the top – all aspects of operations from power generation to line work require safety protocols. The delivery of safe and reliable electricity demands benchmarking safety metrics, focusing on frontline workers, implementing rigorous safety training, using safety manuals across the utility, and establishing safe work practices.
  • Workforce Development: Staff development involves various mediums, including webinars, workshops, conferences, college courses, in-house programs, and opportunities to network with public power colleagues from across the nation. Employees should also be encouraged to expand their perspectives through membership in state, regional, and national committees.
  • System Improvement: Maintenance of system integrity and long-term planning accomplished through asset management and system improvement. Utilities must participate in research and development programs and create procedures to maintain power system(s) and financial health.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this designation,” said Jim Odneal, Engineering and Technical Service Director of the CBPU. “It takes a collaborated effort of teamwork and dedication from people who care about powering our community. This designation was a goal but not a final destination. We are constant in our commitment of continued ways to improve our operations and service to our customers.”

The American Public Power Association has offered the RP3 designation for 15 years now. The Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 49 million people in 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. The Association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations.

Safety Award of Excellence 2020 Winner

One hundred twenty-nine utilities have earned our Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2020, with a total of three hundred twenty-nine entrants across the country. Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker-hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2020. Utilities’ incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2020, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The CBPU earned first place in their category (C) for their dedication to safety and their lack of work-related accidents.

Minimizing Service Interruptions

Minimizing interruptions to our customers is of the highest priority for the CBPU. The most common causes of service interruptions in our area are animals, weather, and trees.

As a result, the CBPU manages an extensive equipment maintenance and tree trimming program of which can help prevent the large majority of interruptions.

During the past ten years, the CBPU has proudly reported that customers had electric service provided 99.99% of the time.
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