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May 31, 2020

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Clark PUD gets industry award

Utility recognized for reliability, safety, workforce development

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark Public Utilities District has received the highest designation possible for a public utility from an industry group of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities.

The agency was designated a Diamond level Reliable Public Power Provider, RP3, by the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe service. It achieved a perfect score in the evaluation process.

Clark PUD was examined for its reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. The designation lasts for three years before the utility is evaluated again.

“This is the first time Clark has been designated a Diamond recipient,” utility spokeswoman Erica Erland said. “For us, it is a reminder that our culture around providing excellent service does lead the industry.”

Erland also said that because the PUD is a publicly owned utility, it’s open to sharing its practices and protocols with other utilities to help them improve.

The announcement was made May 8 during the association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Clark PUD has been evaluated several times in past years, Erland said, and saw steady improvement in the last three rounds of evaluation. She added that part of the reason behind the PUD’s designation is its drive to develop future utility leaders who will succeed officials set to retire in upcoming years.

“We’re making investments now in leadership-making succession plans. … That came from going through this in the past,” she said.

Nationwide, more than 220 other utilities hold the RP3 designation. In order to qualify, they must demonstrate sound business practices and commitment to safety and reliable electricity delivery.

“Utilities that have earned an RP3 designation demonstrate public power’s emphasis on achieving leading practices and providing a high level of service to communities,” David Lynch, chair of the association’s review panel, said in a news release.

About 49 million people, or 14 percent of the nation’s electricity consumers, are supplied by members of the American Public Power Association.

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