The directors of the Frankfort Plant Board took the first step in developing a local Network Operations Center (NOC) at their monthly meeting Tuesday night. The move starts the process that will aim to improve after-hours service for customers and safety conditions for employees.
The board approved staff’s recommendation to hire a director to develop and manage a NOC. This department would be responsible for regular and after-hours dispatch, customer outage management, after-hours customer contacts, facility locates and emergency responses.
Recognizing the need to enhance these services, $535,000 in funding was included in the 2018-19 budget and approved by the board last month to develop the NOC.
In other news, the board heard an update on an energy efficiency study that began in May. Last year, FPB’s Board of Directors approved funds to study options of energy efficiency programs that would best meet the needs of FPB’s customer base.
In March 2018, the board awarded a $120,000 contract to Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) to lead this effort. This not-for-profit company based in Vermont assists utilities in the design and implementation of energy efficiency programs.
In May, VEIC began assessing the efficiency needs of FPB’s electric customers. The firm began by researching FPB’s residential, business and industrial energy consumers. Consultants conducted a series of stakeholder meetings with representatives from each customer class. This process provided direct input to understanding customer interest and efficiency needs. Since May, the VEIC team has analyzed the interview data and has begun comparing the needs to possible programs.
Tuesday night VEIC representatives Juliette Juillerat and Joananne Bachmann shared some of their assessments and discussed various program development ideas for possible consideration. These include options for residential, commercial and industrial customers including product rebates, appliance recycling, community education, energy efficiency kits, energy advising and technical assistance.
The VEIC consultants will return in September to present their final report and recommendations to the board.
In other business, the board approved funding to purchase new video equipment, ductile iron pipe, ductile iron fittings, tapping sleeves and transformers. The board also met in closed session to discuss progress of the search to fill the General Manager’s position.
The FPB Board of Directors’ next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave in Frankfort.