In & Around ECG
National Lineman Appreciation Day
National Lineman Appreciation Day was appointed and approved by the United States Senate for April 18, 2013.
This recognition was celebrated by linemen from across the State of Georgia in Griffin, GA. Linemen and represenatives from ECG, MEAG Power, EMCs, Georgia Power and more attended a reading of U.S. Senate Resolution 95 recognizing the contribution of the brave linemen who protect the public safety and provide essential service to homes and businesses across the nation.
Thank you to the hundreds of linemen in our communities, our State and our Country, who help improve our quality of life. You are heroes!
Jack Glenn has been running an aluminum foundry in the City of Acworth since 1984, and until recently, he was using too much electricity during demand peak hours.
Glenncast is a manufacturer of large aluminum sand castings, small, high quality weldments and batch powder coating. The company makes large custom castings, and that requires a staff of about 35 to operate five melting pots and two shot blast machines that require about as much electricity as a big box store.
The Electric Director in the City of Acworth requested an ECG Industrial Energy Audit for Glenncast to reduce cost due to their high electric demand during peak hours to find suggestions to shave off the amount of electricity that was adding to the City’s peak demand.
ECG Energy Services Engineer Brian Jaynes met with the City Manager and Electric Director from Acworth and with the staff at Glenncast. Ultimately, he determined that a demand control device could allow Glenncast to automatically stagger the electricity usage so that the melting pots were not all working simultaneously – which was causing the spike in energy usage.
This solution caused minimal loss of productivity for the boutique aluminum shop and was a cost-effective way that would recoup the upfront cost in less than a year.
“I did my research to find a solution,” said Jack Glenn. “We brought in an electrician and others – their ideas ranged from $25,000 – 50,000. Brian came up with a solution that cost a fraction of that to shave off the cost we were paying for electricity at peak demand.”
Working together, the City of Acworth, ECG and Glenncast found a solution that was mutually beneficial for the City and the company – the energy savings will amount to cost savings for both.
“I have never worked with a better, more hands-on consultant than Brian,“ said Glenn. “After a lot of suggestions from other consultants that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars, we had a solution. All of the sudden, this thing works.”
As a key customer, the City of Acworth and Glenncast have enjoyed a strong business relationship for over 27 years – their offices are even across the street. Acworth relied on ECG Energy Services to help with an Industrial Energy Audit for a customer, and the ultimate solution has amounted to cost savings for both.
Value Assessment 2013
Please respond by February 28
In January and February, ECG Regional Managers will be distributing ECG Value Assessments for 2013. We encourage you to participate. Your responses help us to measure how efficiently we deliver and communicate the value of our services.
If you prefer to respond to the Value Assessment online, follow this link.
Thank you for your participation!
Welcome Aboard, Chickamauga!
The City of Chickamauga is the most recent addition to the ECG Team.
ECG is a strong advocate of local Georgia communities that own and operate a public power utility. We exist to provide resources that ensure structural reliability and economic success. With the addition of Chickamauga, we proudly serve 52 Georgia communities.
As a joint-action agency, ECG designs solutions that are to the greatest benefit to all Public Power Communities in Georgia. We welcome the City of Chickamauga to the team and look forward to a growing partnership not only with ECG, but among all 52 participant communities.
Edison Electric Institute National Key Accounts Workshop
The 2012 Fall EEI (Edison Electric Institute) National Key Accounts Workshop was held in Baltimore, Maryland, at the end of October. This event gives energy providers a chance to meet current and potential commercial and industrial customers in one location.
Derrick Craig, ECG National Accounts Representative serves as an advocate and single point of contact for ECG communities, and Chau Nguyen, ECG Pricing & Sales Principal Analyst attended the event as an expert on the rate infrastructure that make ECG communities attractive locations for key customers.
Among the topics covered at the conference, two received the most attention:
- Energy Diversification: partially as a result of increasing consumer and governmental as well as fuel costs, the industry is pursuing energy diversification to broaden energy sources leading providers to clearner options.
- Communication during Power Outages to Key Customers: a single point of contact is a critical component of successful long-term relationships between key customers and utility providers.
There are several opportunities to meet face-to-face with key customer contacts and potential customer choice participants as a representative and single point of contact of ECG communities. The key customers that ECG met with are in the list below:
Kohl's | Target | Best Buy | HealthSouth | JCPenney | Walmart
Extended Stay Hotels | Publix | Kroger | Marriott | Bed Bath and Beyond
ECG National Accounts will continue to foster these relationships with these key customers to share the benefits of locating in an ECG community.
If you would like to learn more about this conference or the benefits of ECG National Accounts service, I would love to hear from you.
Intergovernmental Contract Timeline
Would you like to track the progress of ECG's new Intergovernmental Participant Contract?
Review this link for some overview information about the contract and its progress over the last year.
If you would like to review the ECG Board Meeting Minutes, you can find them in our Document Center.
Hurricane Sandy: Storm Restoration
Electric crews from across Georgia, coordinated by Jon Beasley of ECG, packed up and drove into the storm in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to help turn the lights back on for people without power in western Maryland.
Big thanks for sending crews: Calhoun, Dalton, Elberton, Ellaville, Griffin, and LaGrange!
Update: November 2, 2012: a second wave of crews from Albany, Cartersville, Crisp County & LaFayette are being deployed to New Jersey. Jimmy Norman of Albany is coordinating these crews. They will leave the morning of November 3. Thank you all!
Update: November 8, 2012: electric crews from Griffin, LaGrange, and Ellaville are on their way back to Georgia after over a week away from home. Calhoun, Dalton have moved to Mon Power, a neighboring sister utility. Jimmy Norman of Albany is leading crews from Albany, Cartersville, Crisp County & LaFayette in New Jersey and expect to remain there a few more days.
Update: November 12, 2012: Crews from Dalton and Calhoun have been released by MonPower and returned home on Friday night. Crews from LaFayette and Catersville will head home today. Crisp County and Albany crews will stay a few more days in New Jersey.
Update: November 19, 2012: All Georgia crews have been released and are on their way home. Thanks to all of you who gave sacrificially of your time and comfort to bravely go into harsh conditions to turn the lights back on.
To see an updated slideshow of the work in Deer Park, click on either of the pictures below:
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Recognizes Hurricane Sandy Storm Restoration Crews
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise asked his colleagues to recognize the utility workers from the state of Georgia who assisted in the massive power restoration effort after Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast United States at the end of October leaving 8.6 million customers without power, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Georgia utilities sent lineworker crews to join thousands of workers from across the nation to restore power.
Commissioner Wise noted, "Georgia utility workers from Electric Cities of Georgia, Georgia EMC and Georgia Power responded to the call, leaving home and family to help those suffering in desperate conditions." Two dozen workers attended the Administrative Session of the PSC. See photo.
Ten Georgia municipalities volunteered a total of 48 crewmen led by ECG Training & Safety Superintendent, Jon Beasley, and ECG Training & Safety Specialist, Brandon Wylie. These crews worked to restore power primarily in Maryland and New Jersey for First Energy including Potomac Edison, MonPower and Jersey Central Power and Light over the course of 14 days.
The cities of Albany, Calhoun, Cartersville, Crisp County, Dalton, Elberton, Ellaville, Griffin, LaFayette and LaGrange sent crews and resources.
Mutual Aid Agreements allow the organized coordination of crewmen, linemen, supervisors and materials to help restore power in harsh weather conditions as quickly as possible.
City-owned utilities have limited lineworkers and resources to meet the needs of the utility in their community. Volunteering the time and effort to assist areas in dire need for storm restoration efforts is an effort that exemplifies the sacrificial spirit of Mutual Aid Agreements.
ECG commends these ten Georgia municipalities for volunteering lineworkers and resources to go into the storm and turn the lights back on for millions of electric customers under harsh weather conditions.
Attending the PSC Administrative Session were the following representatives of the Electric Cities that sent crews: Greg Sharpton and Taylor White of the Cartersville Electric System, Guy Jackson and Mike Ogle of Dalton Utilities, Jimmy Norman of Albany Gas & Light Commission, Tim Buffington and Rusty Spear of Griffin Power, and Suzanne Powell, ECG Education & Development Manager.
Under the current Participant Contract, ECG Participants must give a 12-month notice if they intend to drop out of one or more services or the full contract for the following fiscal year. The ECG Board of Directors has decided to waive the opt-out requirement for FY13 as ECG restructures the Participant Contract and allow for adequate review.
As the ECG Participant Services Contract Review Committee discusses potential changes to the Participant Contract that would be effective for the 2014 fiscal year, the ECG Board has determined that the 12 month opt-out notice will be waived to allow ECG Participants adequate time to review a revised contract and determine which services best suit the needs of their communities. The ECG Participant Services Contract Review Committee consists of the following leadership: Chairperson Lynn WIlliams, Ned Watson, Bill Bosch and ECG President and CEO Keith Bass.
ECG will continue to ensure that participant communities are aware of these changes through ECG Regional Managers.
The determination was finalized during the April Board Meeting as follows: on a motion by Ron Mull, seconded by Ned Watson, the ECG Board unanimously approved ECG waiving the "opt out" termination notice deadline (12 months’ advance notice) under Section 403 (respecting designated services) and Section 503 (respecting the entire agreement) of the Participant Services Contracts until February 1, 2013. Therefore, ECG will accept any such “opt out” termination notice by a Participant through the end of the day on January 31, 2013.
ECG Regional Meetings 2012
ECG's 2012 Regional Meetings are underway! Thanks to the Participants who have joined us in these important meetings. The next step of this process to fine-tune the new Intergovernmental Participant Contract as discussed. ECG President & CEO Keith Bass will be visiting with each ECG Community in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.
General Biofuels Chooses Sandersville
ECG's Major Accounts is proud to announce that General Biofuels Georgia, LLC will construct a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Sandersville investing $60 million and creating 35 jobs.
"We are extremely excited to welcome General Biofuels to our Sandersville community, and we look forward to a successful partnership with them as their energy provider," said Judy McCorkle, Sandersville City Administrator.
For a Customer Choice project, ECG pools the efforts of several service areas: Major Accounts, Economic Development and Engineering to provide data for Sandersville to present a Customer Choice Proposal to the company and be selected for the electric load.
"This is why we invest our efforts in the Major Accounts service to assist ECG communities as they attract businesses like General Biofuels that invest right back into the community," said Walter West, ECG Executive Vice President. "Customer Choice opportunities are significant investments that continue to give back year after year."
To learn about Customer Choice Proposals or ECG Major Accounts, contact Holly Bisig.
Gas | Water & Sewer | Telecom
ECG's Pricing & Sales Team is extending its tried and true Cost of Service Study methodology beyond electric studies and into other utilities that many ECG communities own and operate.
"It became increasingly apparent that our Participants had a common need for the same quality Cost of Service Study for mroe than just the electric utility. We developed the gas, water & sewer and telecom opportunities in response to the need that we saw among so many ECG communities," said Walter West, Executive Vice President of ECG.
Cost of Service Studies support the establishment of fair and equitable rates. These studies:
- determine the adequacy of the electric rate structures to produce appropriate revenue for the city
- assess the fairness of the rates among different customer classes
- design the study to prepare equitable and efficient revised tariffs when the utility needs base rate revisions
Our Pricing & Sales Team are experts in the field. For over a decade, ECG has performed Cost of Service studies for municipal electric systems across the southeast. Now, we also offer Cost of Service studies in the areas of gas, water & sewer and telecom!
GEFA On-Bill Financing Scores Big
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority’s (GEFA) On-Bill Financing Program, which was funded through Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program as a result of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, is designed to improve energy-efficiency by providing low-cost financing to residential homeowners for home energy-efficiency improvements.
Three Georgia cities won big through the GEFA On-Bill Financing program.
Watch this video to see learn about the On-Bill Financing program, how it benefited Georgians across the state, and the impact it had on three ECG cities.
ECG Works With Power Supplier to Get Funding
ECG assisted MEAG Power, power supplier to ECG’s communities, secure a $12.2 million federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. ECG staff worked as a resource to align outside consultants with MEAG Power to win the award.
“There was a very narrow window of time to submit an application. Yet MEAG Power pulled it off. It took teamwork and willingness to dedicate staff to the initiative. Our communities will now share the benefit,” Powell explains.
With the multi-million dollar award, MEAG Power will install a new generation of equipment in its substations that will either assist in system communication or the automation of processes.
"MEAG Power plans to use the stimulus money to improve and accelerate smart grid capabilities within our system and within the communities that MEAG Power serves,” explains vice-president Gary Schaeff.
The funding is a part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for smart grid improvements on the statewide transmission system. The Obama administration has identified 100 projects to develop smart-grid technology to improve the reliability of transmitting electricity nationwide. MEAG Power learned of the grant award in November 2009. Click here to go to the ARRA Updates Page.
ECG Signs Agreement With FMPA
ECG and FMPA (the generation and transmission organization for Florida municipalities) have executed an agreement under which ECG will provide training and safety services to 11 municipal electric systems located throughout the state of Florida. The 11 Florida cities represent 211 additional employees participating in our training programs and safety meetings.
Many of these cities have been participating in our Apprentice Lineworker program for some time; almost 50 Florida lineworkers have completed the lineworker program. This new agreement is in effect until 2011, and ECG has added Florida staff member, Mike McCleary. He conducts sessions for cities located from the panhandle to the keys.
ECG Staff Directory: Do you know who to call?
As a joint-action organization, one of our priorities is to operate efficiently. Many of our staff wear more than one hat. We work together as a team while being individually responsible for our products.
We want to provide you with information so you know who to call at ECG. We provide 15 services, so having an up-to-date staff directory will help you know where to begin using us as your go-to resource.
Our website has a page dedicated to each service. Under each service, the menu on the left includes a Staff Directory Link: it will connect you with the staff members responsible for each service. For example, check out the updated Staff Directory for Regional Managers (Directory link is in the sidebar menu on the left) and Major Accounts.
From time to time, we move our staff internally to focus more pointedly on services that require more attention. As a result, we want to keep you up-to-date so we can be your community's most valuable resource.
As always, you can also call me, and I can put you in touch with our staff.