The Smart Energy Provider (SEP) program is a national designation given by the American Public Power Association.
Utilities apply for the designation, and an expert review panel evaluate applications to ensure utilities meet criteria.
This is the third year APPA bestowed the designation onto utilities.
More than 90 public power utilities across the country received the designation, which recognizes a utility’s commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, and environmental initiatives.
The designation recognizes community-owned, not-for-profit public power utilities that exhibit leading practices in:
- Smart Energy Information: Structuring a smart energy program into their operations; engaging in research and development in areas including energy efficiency, sustainability, and distributed energy resources; and benchmarking these programs against utilities with similar attributes.
- Energy Efficiency and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs): Offering a variety of energy efficiency and DER programs — such as supply-side and demand-side energy efficiency programs, demand response, and distributed generation and storage — to different types of customers.
- Environmental and Sustainability Programs/Initiatives: Working to reduce emissions and other adverse impacts to the environment through programs and partnerships with other community stakeholders. This includes tracking and evaluating emissions and emission savings from smart energy programs.
- Communication/Education and Customer Experience: Communicating with customers about smart energy policies, procedures, and programs and evaluating customer satisfaction with smart energy programs. This includes training customer service representatives to enhance the customer experience with these programs.
This is not a “rubber stamp” program.Through the SEP program, utilities have a chance to learn, grow, and improve their smart energy practices, as well as serve as an example for others striving for excellence in these areas.
- Applicants must complete a thorough application.
- Applicants must meet criteria for practices in each of the four areas in order to achieve the designation status.
- Applications are reviewed by a panel of utility experts from diverse backgrounds and regions across the country with substantial industry expertise in the smart energy program disciplines.
- The application is continually evaluated to ensure that questions and criteria are relevant, thorough, and aligned with the latest industry trends and best practices.
The SEP designation lasts for two years, starting on December 1st, 2021, after designations are officially conferred at the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference.