Clallam County PUD gets perfect score in national review

Clallam County Public Utility District has received a perfect score in a national review of its electric system’s reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

Clallam PUD received 100 out of 100 possible points from the American Public Power Association in its Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) assessment for 2020, district officials said.

It is one of six public power systems in the state to hold a “diamond” rating of 98 points or more.

“This is a big deal,” Commissioner Will Purser, board chairman, said after a staff presentation Monday, May 17.

“It’s quite an endorsement of the job we’re doing.”

The 2020 designation, which is valid for three years, is a “sign of us having an efficient, safe and reliable distribution system,” said Nicole Hartman, district communications and government relations manager.

“It’s also an opportunity for us as a PUD to kind of perform a self-assessment against an established standard,” Hartman added.

The diamond designation may improve the district’s bond rating, result in savings on worker’s compensation and insurance and attract prospective businesses to the area, PUD officials said.

“Our utility is one of the county’s greatest assets, and this RP3 recognition helps us show it to the public,” General Manager Doug Nass said.

“I know how hard our employees work to serve our customers.”

PUD department heads spent about four months gathering information and submitting thousands of pages of application materials to the American Public Power Association (APPA) for the district’s third RP3 designation.

Previously, Clallam PUD received scores of 90.5 in 2014 and 97.5 in 2017.

APPA has more than 2,000 members nationwide, 127 of which received a diamond-level RP3 rating.

Benton, Clark and Cowlitz County PUDs, Mason PUD 3 and Seattle City Light are the only other public power providers in the state to have diamond ratings, Hartman said in a Thursday email. She did not know if any of those utilities had achieved a perfect score.

Clallam County PUD’s application was spearheaded by Nass, Hartman, Assistant General Manager John Purvis, Human Resources Manager Jamie Spence, Safety Manager Larry Morris, Finance Manager Sean Worthington and Information Technology Manager Steve Schopfer, all of whom gave detailed summaries in the commissioners’ meeting Monday.

“I want to emphasize that it’s not just the speakers who contribute to the RP3,” Purvis said in a virtual business meeting.

“I would venture to say that as many as 30 people are involved in Clallam PUD’s submission.

“For the sections I’m involved in,” Purvis added, “it’s probably closer to 20 people who contribute major sections of this, even down to the linemen and substation technicians who actually, day-to-day, run our programs.”

Commissioners Purser and Rick Paschall each said the RP3 designation was “worth the effort.”

“It is a benchmarking exercise, and we were looking at the metrics that a good utility should be looking at,” Purser said.

“It’s a good endorsement.”