At its fall meeting, the board of directors of the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments program, or DEED, awarded two grants for IAMU projects. The first grant is to develop a handbook on innovative business models and services for small public power utilities. For many small public power utilities, evaluating the diverse array of potential innovations can be overwhelming. This project will provide a handbook, designed for managers and governing bodies of small municipal utilities, that details practical ways a utility can modify its business model and offer additional services to customers.
The second grant is to develop a succession planning toolkit for public power utilities. The toolkit will be for governing bodies addressing top level leadership succession and for public power management, often with limited human resources experience or support, addressing succession planning for positions of critical skills. It will include (1) an educational guide on the importance of, issues surrounding, and steps to be taken to address leadership or critical skills succession planning, (2) a succession preparedness checklist to help governing bodies and management evaluate risks that may create a succession need, and to assess both utility's preparedness and capability to address those needs quickly, and (3) a quick start guide to addressing the most serious preparedness issues.
Both projects will provide important resources for municipal utilities in Iowa and across the country as they adapt to a period of great change in the electric utility industry. IAMU will present the results of the projects through webinars and conference presentations.
APPA’s DEED program is a research and demonstration program funded by and for public power utilities. In addition DEED provides funding for student internships and scholarships. DEED members can apply for funding, receive updates about current research projects, and have access to a database of all the projects funded through DEED. Municipal utilities that are members of APPA are encouraged to become DEED members as well. More information about the program can be found online.