I live in Alameda, California, and through a series of blog posts, I chronicled some energy improvements that I made to my home:
- Results of My Home Energy Audit
- Improvements to My Home based on My Home Energy Audit
- The Continuing Benefit of the Dollars and Cents of My Home Energy Audit
One of the other things that I did was that I signed up for Alameda Green. Though I pay a few dollars more for the electricity that I consume, the energy is obtained from renewable sources.
Alameda Municipal Power (AMP), our community-owned utility, is 131 years old. In fact, it's the oldest public utility west of the Mississippi River. I am a fan of having my power come from the city where I live. It adds a certain Mayberry R.F.D. charm to our little slice of California.
AMP's mission is to:
Manage and safely provide reliable, cost effective, environmental friendly electric service for a sustainable Alameda.
AMP is working on its strategy for the next 10 years. Their strategy needs to pay attention to market trends that are influenced by technology and culture. For AMP, the purpose of having a strategy is to provide a connection between individual staff activities and utility-wide priorities.
Last Wednesday, I attended a meeting of AMP stakeholders. NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC and AMP held the third of four advisory panel workshops to gather insight and feedback from AMP community stakeholders on the development of AMP's Strategic Plan. The purpose of this third meeting was to get community input on where AMP wants to be in 10 years.
There was some lively discussion at our meeting as we wordsmithed drafts of portions of AMP's Strategic Plan. Some of what was considered was:
"Advancing" — "Continuing" could have been used as AMP is already executing on what their strategic plan encapsulates, but AMP wants their plans to "go big" and strive to do more.
"community ownership" — AMP is unique in that it is owned by the citizens of Alameda. The word "stewardship" was considered since "Do people really own electricity since it is ephemeral?" Perhaps a compromise is "city ownership and community stewardship"?
"21st century" Though the strategic plan is forward-looking, as in 21st century, AMP is aware that we're already about 20 years into the century. Perhaps a compromise is "Advancing our 131-year tradition of city ownership, community stewardship, and sustainability to power the needs of Alameda for the next 131 years."
"personalized" — Some AMP customers like good old-fashioned customer service. They can walk into a building, talk to a person, and pay a bill. Others want a digital experience where everything happens from their smartphones. AMP is committed to continuing to provide both.
As part of crafting its strategic plan, AMP is planning to address issues so that it can be realized.
Workforce and Culture
AMP must attract and retain employees while fostering a collaborative culture and adapting to changing industry trends.
Organizational Structure and Workflow
AMP must improve its business processes to meet the needs of a changing workforce, customer demands, and industry trends.
AMP must optimize its technology and workforce to meet its evolving business environment.
AMP must maintain its competitiveness and financial performance by utilizing its sustainability resources
AMP must increase its value to the community by enhancing the customer experience (programs, brand, interactions)
In tackling these issues, AMP has the benefit of being community owned in that they can focus on serving the needs of the community instead of operating for-profit to provide a return to investors. For the city of Alameda, the customers are the investors. This element of local-control/local-service sets AMP apart from traditional power companies.
I am happy to be part of this group. It's great that our local power company takes the time to get input from the community as it crafts its plans.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). Energy production is one of those "things."
Electricity is still alive in the lab.