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Average expenditures for U.S. households heating primarily with propane are expected to be 54 percent higher this winter (October-March) compared with last winter, while expenditures for homes using heating oil will be 7 percent higher, natural gas 10 percent higher, and electricity 5 percent higher, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report based on its March Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Persistently cold weather east of the Rocky Mountains drove up demand for all heating fuels, depleted inventories, and put upward pressure on prices, the EIA said. Propane prices experienced an especially high spike during several weeks in January and February. The agency's current estimates for winter heating expenditures are significantly higher than the pre-winter forecasts in its October 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Between the beginning of October and the end of February, U.S. average heating degree days were 13 percent higher than last winter (indicating colder weather) and 10 percent above the 10-year average. The Northeast was 13 percent colder than last winter, the Midwest and South were both 19 percent colder, while the West was 5 percent warmer. The extreme weather had the greatest effect on households in the Midwest that primarily use propane and on households in the Northeast that use heating oil, the agency said.

The EIA's current estimate for winter energy expenditures for homes heating with propane in the Midwest is $2,212, which is $759 higher than projected in October. The current estimate for average U.S. expenditures for homes using heating oil is $2,243, which is $197 higher than projected in October.

However, in contrast to markets for propane and heating oil, where wholesale price movements are quickly reflected in retail prices, the retail electricity and natural gas rates paid by consumers who receive service through their local distribution utilities "do not immediately reflect price spikes in the spot market," the agency said. In addition, the use of electricity for space heating is centered largely in the Southeast and West—areas of the country that did not experience the same levels of prolonged, extreme cold. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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Craig Smith
Craig Smith, former chief executive officer for Richard Health and Associates in Fresno, Calif., has been named conservation resources director for Seattle City Light in Washington, effective April 1. He has worked for the Snohomish County Public Utility District in Everett, Wash., in various roles for 12 years, including assistant general manager. Prior to Snohomish, he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tenn., and the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. He also chaired the board of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in Portland, Ore., and helped organize the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council in Oakland, Calif.

Barbara Quiñones, president of the Florida Municipal Electric Association in Tallahassee, Fla., has been elected vice chairman of the board for the Florida Municipal Power Agency in Orlando, Fla. She has served on FMPA’s board since 2009.

Marc Gerken, president and CEO of the American Municipal Power, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, has been re-elected president of the National Hydropower Association’s advisory board in Washington, D.C., effective April 28. Jane Cirrincione, assistant general manager of legislative and regulatory affairs for the Northern California Power Agency in Roseville, Calif., was also re-elected vice president of the NHA advisory board. New officers of the board were also elected:

Eric Van Duren, senior manager of project engineering for the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., to treasurer; and
Steve Wenke, of Avista Corp., to secretary.

New members were also appointed to the NHA board:

• Paul Lau, assistant general manager of power supply and grid operations for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California; and
David Sinclair, president of Advanced Hydro Solutions, LLC in Beachwood, Ohio.

Nick Ferguson, a resident of Riverside, Calif., has joined the Riverside Public Utilities board of directors. The board also voted to maintain its current chair, Justin Scott-Coe, and vice chair, Ian Davidson. The board is comprised of citizen volunteers.

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On Wednesday, March 26, APPA will hold a webinar, "Managing the Impacts of Distributed Generation,"  from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time.
 
Distributed generation, specifically rooftop and utility-scale solar, is playing a growing role in the electric utility industry. The increase in distributed generation creates a number of challenges and opportunities for public power.

The webinar will be led by Paul Zummo, APPA’s manager of policy research and analysis, and by representatives from Santee Cooper, in Moncks Corner, S.C., and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif., who will discuss the operational and revenue challenges of distributed generation.
 
The webinar is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. 
            


For more information and to register, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under Webinar Series or contact Meghan Riley at MRiley@PublicPower.org or 202/467-2919. —HEIDI LAMBERT

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Early this year, the Nebraska Public Power District launched a new, external blog called "Behind Your Outlet." Once a week, a subject matter expert from the Nebraska utility writes about an energy issue from his or her personal perspective.

The blog advertises itself as "a lighter take on electricity topics from NPPD employees," and notes that its mission is "to help engage and educate on how energy is generated, transmitted, delivered, and consumed utilizing Nebraska’s unique public power system."

This week, the column is called, "Holey Socks and a Few Elephants," and is written by Jeanne Schieffer. It's worth a quick look just for the illustration —  though if you get that far, you'll probably read the essay. (If you do, be sure to note the way the quirky way the weights are depicted in the chart.)

Readers can sign up online to receive the weekly posts. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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EVENTS CALENDAR
Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Transmission
March 19

CEO Roundtable
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 23-25

Webinar – Managing the Impacts of Distributed Generation
March 26

DEED webinar – Developing a Cost-effective Conservation Voltage Reduction Program
March 27


Webinar – Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards
March 31

Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 4-5

2014 Engineering and Operations Technical Conference
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 6-9

Webinar – The Management of Successful Customer Service Operations
April 8

Webinar – Investing in Intellectual Capital: How to Capture, Mentor and Retain Critical Knowledge and Skillsets
April 10

2014 Public Communications Committee Spring Issues Roundtable
Washington, D.C.
April 11

Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Distribution
April 16

Webinar – Cybersecurity Awareness Training Part III
April 17

DEED webinar – New Program Options to Engage High School Students on Energy Usage
April 23

Webinar – Determining Revenue Requirements for Your Utility
April 24

General Accounting, Finance & Audit Spring Meeting
Washington, D.C.
April 24-25

Webinar – Industry Issues and Challenges Facing Public Power Governing Bodies
April 30

Spring Education Institute
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
May 5-9

DEED webinar – Better Building Practices Toolkit for New Residential Construction
May 8

Webinar – Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members
May 13

Webinar – The Leadership Development Process
May 15

Webinar – Development of Cash Reserve Policies
May 20

Webinar – Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems
June 3

DEED webinar – Energy and the Environment, a High School Curriculum for Public Power
June 11

Webinar – Accounting Standards and Reporting Framework Update
June 12

National Conference & Public Power Expo
Denver, Colo.
June 13-18


Webinar – Introduction to Legislative Issues and Grassroots Advocacy
June 25

Webinar – Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils
June 30

DEED webinar – Customizable Weather Database Helps Utilities Handle Customers' High-Bill Complaints
August 20


For a full APPA Events Calendar, visit Publicpower.org.


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CLASSIFIEDS
Project engineer—Moorhead Public Service (MPS) in Minnesota is accepting applications for a project engineer. Qualifications: A four-year degree in electrical engineering is required. Preferred qualifications include:

• one year of utility experience working on generation, transmission or substation projects;
• possession of or the ability to obtain an EIT Certificate within one year of hire;
• possession of or the ability to make progressive steps toward obtaining a Professional Engineer designation in the state of Minnesota within five years of hire; and
• experience with SCADA and load management control systems.

The successful applicant will provide electrical engineering services for the Electric and Water Divisions of MPS. Responsibilities include all substation systems, transmission line systems, SCADA systems and other technical systems and projects as assigned. This position directs the design, installation and upgrading of substation additions, transmission line projects, SCADA equipment and other technical systems within the utility. Compensation: The monthly salary range is from $4,876 to $6,966. Benefits include pension (Minnesota Public Employee Retirement Association), low deductible health insurance (no cost for single coverage) and generous vacation and sick leave. Apply: The application and job description are available online at www.mpsutility.com/employment; at the MPS office in Moorhead City Hall, 500 Center Ave., Second Floor; or by calling 218/299-5400. Applicants MUST complete an MPS Application for Employment to be considered for employment with MPS. EOE. The closing date for the position is March 21. Click here for a direct link to the job notice and application form.

Chief executive officer—Harlan Municipal Utilities (HMU) in Iowa is seeking a CEO with strong leadership abilities. HMU is located in the western Iowa county seat of Harlan, which has a population of 5,282. HMU provides electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications services. The utility is governed by a five-member board of trustees. Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering or other pertinent field from an accredited institution. Five years’ experience of demonstrated leadership and management in the utility industry is required. There is also a residency requirement. Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. A generous benefits package is available, including health, life and dental insurance, Section 125 Cafeteria Plan, IPERS and a 457B deferred compensation plan. Apply: Applicants should send a resume, salary history and three business references by email to recruiter@harlannet.com. The position is open until filled. For additional information, click here. A pre-employment drug screen and background check is required. EOE.

IT administrator—The City of Piqua, Ohio, is seeking qualified applicants for the position of IT administrator. Compensation: The salary range depends on qualifications and includes excellent benefits. Qualifications: The position requires completion of an associate's degree (bachelor’s degree preferred) in information technology, engineering or related field, with three to five years relevant work experience. This experience should include network administration (SCADA experience and/or CISCO CCNA desired). Apply: Please send a city application, a letter of interest, including salary history, a resume and three business references by March 28 to Elaine G. Barton, human resources director, by mail: City of Piqua, 201 West Water St., Piqua, Ohio 45356; or email: ebarton@piquaoh.org. Visit the city's website at www.piquaoh.org to obtain an application. EOE.

Senior electrical engineer—Burbank Water and Power (BWP) in California is seeking candidates for senior electrical engineer within the T&D Engineering Section of its Electrical Services Division. The senior engineer reports to the principal electrical engineer of the Substation, Protection & Automation Group. The senior engineer will be responsible for directing the design of electrical distribution system substations and their auxiliary electrical systems, including protective relay and substation automation equipment and underground conduit and cable systems for transmission and distribution. He/she may guide system planning studies, oversee system protection calculations and settings, direct the design of new electrical systems for buildings, make/direct preparation of cost estimates for electrical installations; supervise the preparation and review finished work drawings for electrical construction; prepare and direct development of specifications and requests for electrical equipment; review drafting and engineering calculations; serve in a technical advisory capacity for the site plan review process; supervise the maintenance of records relating to system operations; and make recommendations regarding hiring, promotions and transfers. The position performs other duties and responsibilities as directed. Qualifications: The minimum qualifications for this position are any combination of education and/or experience that has provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for acceptable job performance as determined by the city. An example combination includes, but is not limited to, a bachelor of science degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in engineering (preferably electrical), and four years of professional electrical engineering experience, including two years at the level of electrical engineering associate. A professional engineer's license is a plus. Knowledge of electrical engineering, design and operating practices related to electrical transmission and distribution and related auxiliary equipment is required. For additional information and a detailed profile, contact Steve Dowdy by office phone: 303/816-0047; cellphone: 303/601-3915; or email: sdowdy@dowdyrecruiting.com. Dowdy Recruiting, LLC.

Engineering assistants—The City of Redding Electric Utility (REU) in California is seeking two full-time engineering assistants to perform a variety of engineering assignments, including design, economic analysis, resource planning, study preparation and production, cost modeling, technical research and contract administration. Qualifications: The typical education would include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or other technical degree, including economics. Limited part-time or no experience is required. Apply: Apply online by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 at www.ci.redding.ca.us. EOE/FAAE.

Vice president, corporate services—Lincoln Electric System (LES) in Nebraska is recruiting for Vice President, Corporate Services. This position reports to the chief operating officer and oversees the Employee Resources Department, Transportation Department, Safety Department and Facilities Department. Requirements: The position requires proficient knowledge of human resources- and safety-related information systems, such as SAP and IndustrySafe, along with the ability to build and maintain internal relationships. The VP regularly interacts with LES’s administrative board and business consultants. Qualifications: Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree and a successful track record of increasingly responsible utility management assignments directing an organization similar to LES. Ten years of experience with facilities, safety, human resources and related information systems is preferred. A graduate degree in business is desirable. Lincoln Electric System is a municipally owned electric utility providing service to approximately 130,000 customers in Lincoln, Neb. LES employs a staff of approximately 475 non-union and union personnel. LES is governed by a nine-member administrative board. Apply: To apply, go to www.LES.com. LES is an EEO employer.


Check out APPA's career services on the Web

Visit the Career Center at PublicPower.org. Our career center allows job seekers to upload resumes, and recruiters to obtain resumes from job seekers. Classified ads in Public Power Daily and Public Power Weekly cost 70 cents per word for APPA members, and 80 cents per word for nonmembers, for a one-week run. Job posting subscriptions are available in packages of five, 10, or unlimited for a full year. The weekly deadline for placing a classified ad is every Thursday at 12 p.m. (Eastern time). If you have questions about classified ads, please write to jobs@publicpower.org, or call 202/467-2958.

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