THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 14

2. What are some barriers for
growth or issues you must face, and
how does your system deal with
those? Because of the typical climate
in Southwest Missouri, natural gas
is the choice for most builders and
homeowners for space heating and
water heating, and natural gas logs are
a common enhancement. However,
natural gas is often overlooked in
multifamily developments. We work
with builders and local building
regulation departments to promote the
benefits of natural gas and technologies
such as corrugated stainless steel tubing
(CSST), which can bring their initial
capital cost down. Appliance efficiency
and improved building codes continue
to help our customers reduce usage and
control their costs; however, we are still
seeing a slight increase in natural gas
usage per customer for both residential
and commercial customers. We feel this
indicates that our customers recognize
the value that natural gas brings. As
our system continues to grow, we often
compete with investor-owned gas
utilities on the fringes of our system. We
maintain a competitive advantage by
making the process as easy as possible
for developers and keeping our costs
low by installing gas and water mains
in common trench.
3. What are some unique
characteristics about your system?
City Utilities is a municipal system
with several business units: power
generation, electric T&D, gas, water,
broadband and transit. On the natural
gas side, CU operates 49 miles of
transmission lines, which is fairly
uncommon for most APGA members.
We also provide natural gas to a number
of electric power generation units, both
steam boilers and turbine generators
that are all owned and operated by CU.
The distribution system does not contain
any bare steel or cast iron piping-that
was all replaced many years ago.
4. Safety is a vital aspect to natural
gas utilities, how do you best manage
safety on a day-to-day basis? Safety
is extremely important at City Utilities,
both in terms of public safety and
accident avoidance in the workplace.

Safety is one of six major goals in our
corporate strategic plan. In terms of
employee safety, we have a Safe Worker
Program that recognizes employees
who work safely and avoid preventable
vehicle accidents. This is a point-based
incentive program whereby employees
can gain points for working safely and
lose points if they have a work-related
injury or vehicle accident. The points
can be redeemed for gift cards at the
end of each year. We also hold meetings
with each employee that sustains a
work-related injury, with the objective
of determining the root cause and
taking action to prevent a recurrence.
Nearly one year ago, we implemented
a policy of no cell phone use while
driving. Since then, the total number
of vehicle accidents is down 24 percent
for the entire company and preventable
collisions are down 70 percent. The
safety of our customers and the public
is also a critical point of emphasis at City
Utilities. We have an "Act Fast" program
that educates the public on the correct
actions to take if they smell gas.
5. What are any marketing or
communication protocol or projects
that you have in place? As a multiservice utility, we do not market one
product over another-electric versus
natural gas, for example. We do,
however, make an effort to educate
customers on using energy and water
wisely and we offer rebate programs
designed to promote efficient use of our
products. We have recently increased
our presence on social media, such as
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as an
effort to improve communication with
6. How do you most utilize APGA
membership? We find our APGA
membership to be extremely valuable
in a variety of ways. We utilize the APGA
Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF)
SHRIMP and Gas Overall Awareness
Level (GOAL) programs to help us
comply with federal pipeline safety
programs. We participate in several
APGA committees, which enable us
to keep our finger on the pulse of the
latest issues facing the natural gas
industry. For example, being active


in the APGA Operations & Safety
Committee allows us to help shape
regulatory actions impacting gas
utilities, as well as understand and
comply with regulations once finalized.
We are also contributors and active
participants in the APGA Research
Foundation. This allows us to be a part
of advancing technology and improving
efficiency of both our internal
operations and the end-use of natural
gas. We also participate on the APGA SIF
Board of Directors, which oversees the
production of products and services like
SHRIMP. Finally, APGA's advocacy efforts
are invaluable in shaping legislation
and public policy impacting the energy
industry. APGA makes our voice on
Capitol Hill many times stronger than
any single utility could possibly have.
7. Can you please explain your
efforts for succession planning and
any sort of planning you undertake
to ensure that your utility thrives in
the future? Succession planning is a
huge issue for virtually all companies
as the baby boom generation begins
to retire in vast numbers. We formed
a Succession Planning Task Force at
City Utilities a few years ago to address
this issue. One important initiative
coming from the task force was the
creation of an employee development
program called Leadership CU. This
is an advanced program designed
to develop the next generation of
leaders at our utility. Our executive
staff spent many hours evaluating and
interviewing candidates for this program
to ensure we selected the best and
brightest for future leadership roles.
We recently completed our second
Leadership CU class. The development
does not end with the completion of
the formal program, however. The
program graduates are given additional
development assignments at the utility,
including job rotations, assignment
to special projects, etc. We have also
formed three young professional groups
to look at disruptive technologies, the
employee experience and changing
customer expectations. The purpose of
these groups is to get a millennial insight
as to how we need to evolve to ensure


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2017

First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Representative Walden
A Conversation with an APGA Member
Look Out Your Window
Winning Insight into Gas Losses
Electrify, Electrify
Furnace Rule Update
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - cover1
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THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 3
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 4
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 5
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 6
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 7
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 8
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 11
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Q&A: Representative Walden
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - A Conversation with an APGA Member
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 14
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 15
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Look Out Your Window
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 17
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Winning Insight into Gas Losses
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 19
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Electrify, Electrify
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 21
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Furnace Rule Update
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 24
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 25
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 28
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Summer 2017 - 30
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