Easton Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. Only 3% of more than 2,000 APPA public power members received the Diamond Level designation – the highest a utility can achieve. “Being recognized by the APPA RP3 Program demonstrates commitment to our customers, community, and employees and is an indication of a utility’s commitment to excellence in all facets of its operations,” said Arnold R. Boughner, Jr., Electric Department Manager of Easton Utilities.
The RP3 program recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each of the four RP3 areas are based upon sound business and recognized industry-leading practices. “Achieving the highest level of designation speaks to the quality of our operating practices and I am proud of our entire team for this accomplishment,” said Hugh E. Grunden, President & CEO of Easton Utilities.
To earn the designation, Easton Utilities completed a thorough application to provide evidence of best practices in all four categories. The application was submitted in June 2016 and the entire process took one year to complete. An 18-member panel of national public power experts scored the application and awarded the RP3 designation based on the extent to which the utility met program criteria. The Diamond Level designation is awarded to those who met 98 – 100% of the criteria. The RP3 designation is valid for three years.
Key elements of the Reliability section include collecting and analyzing reliability data, having a mutual aid agreement, devising and using a system-wide disaster management plan (emergency response plan), and implementing any needed cyber and physical security. The Safety section ensures the commitment to safety is mandated by top management. Furthermore, the utility must demonstrate rigorous and continuous safety training deemed crucial to the delivery of safe and reliable electricity. Workforce Development focuses on the training of employees, whether through traditional avenues such as workshops and college courses or through in-house programs, demonstrating a utility values its workforce. The System Improvement section confirms the utility maintains the integrity of their system and promotes long term planning by embarking on improvement programs that include both an eye on the future through research and development and a commitment to system betterment programs.