As determined by the American Public Power Association, CU has been designated a Diamond Level Reliable Public Power Provider, a distinction best recognized in the industry as RP3.
Since 2006, CU had carried the APPA’s Platinum Level which was the second highest measure of performance, according to Bart Borden, vice president of CU’s Electric Division. However, for years 2014-17, the local power provider has earned the highest award — the Diamond Level.
CU was one of 94 utilities recognized recently at the APPA Engineering and Operations Conference in Oklahoma City as RP3 recipients. Of this number, 20 were designated as Diamond Level — including the local power company.
Further perspective about the prestigious award can be drawn by considering the sheer numbers of public utilities in the United States. Currently, more than 2,000 power companies operate across the nation and only 184 have been awarded RP3 designation by APPA. Of the 184, only 26 bear the Diamond Level distinction; and that list now includes Cleveland Utilities.
“This designation places Cleveland Utilities in a very elite group,” Borden stressed. “We’re very proud of this accomplishment.”
The Electric Division leader gave full credit for the lofty status to the utility’s workforce.
“The achievement reflects the dedication and hard work our employees demonstrate on a daily basis,” Borden said during a recent gathering of the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities. “I want to thank them for their work ethic and heart they bring to the workplace.”
Specifically, Borden offered a “special recognition” for a handful of CU associates who played a direct hand in organizing two years worth of documentation that was submitted to APPA for RP3 consideration.
His tribute included Kenny Longley, distribution engineer who led the assembly of information submitted to APPA; and Deanna Hitch, human resources representative, Wendy Doty, engineering department clerk, and Amy Ensley, operations department coordinator, who compiled the submittal. All attended the CU board meeting for public recognition.
“A great amount of time went into collecting information over the last two years by numerous engineering and operations personnel,” Borden said.
Ken Webb, president and CEO, joined Borden in praising the utility’s employees whose work he also credited as being responsible for the APPA recognition.
Webb stressed Cleveland Utilities continues to meet customer demand and move forward in keeping up with community growth because of two groups — the employees and the CU board.
“The biggest asset we have at Cleveland Utilities is our employees,” Webb said.
He added, “The other group [that is making this RP3 Diamond Level status possible] is our board.” Speaking directly to board members at the recent monthly formal session held in the Tom Wheeler Training Center, Webb stated, “Thank you for allowing us to do our job, and for giving us the tools to do our job.”
The Cleveland Board of Public Utilities includes Aubrey Ector, chairman; Eddie Cartwright, vice chairman; and members Chari Buckner and Joe Cate, as well as Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland who represents the Cleveland City Council on the utility board.