Berlin Electric Praised After National Award

BERLIN – Officials praised the town’s electric department following a national recognition.

The Berlin Town Council presented Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence with a plaque signifying Berlin Electric being named a Reliable Public Power Provider on Monday. The designation is given to public power utilities that are proficient in safety, reliability, workforce development and system improvement.

“Tonight we are honoring our electric utility and the great work that they do,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said.

This is the second time the town has received the designation, which lasts three years. It was last received in 2016.

According to Allen, the designation is given by the American Public Power Association and is awarded to utilities that meet criteria in the areas of reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. In all, 270 of more than 2,000 public power utilities in the United States hold the designation.

“Really what this means is our electric utility is performing in the top 14% of their peers nationwide,” she said.

Council members thanked Lawrence and his staff for their commitment to the electric utility. Councilman Thom Gulyas joked that he’d spent extra money to install a generator at his home only to find out it was rarely needed.

“I want you to know I think you guys do an outstanding job,” he said.

Other council members also expressed their appreciation. Councilman Elroy Brittingham said he was amazed by the extensive computer system department staff used to keep the utility running.

Lawrence said that was one of the initial improvements he helped implement when he came to Berlin in 2010.

“That was one of the first things I tried to get completed when I came here, to upgrade the relay system,” he said. “When I first got here we had outages occurring every other day almost it seemed like. That was one of the big issues was the relay system. By updating that you see less outages and that type of thing.”

At Monday’s meeting town staff also brought attention to the fact that for May, the town’s power cost adjustment (PCA) would be the lowest it’s been all year at 1.8 pennies. The PCA, which is a separate line item on each Berlin Electric statement, reflects the increases or decreases in the town’s cost of purchased power. The PCA has been gradually declining since February, when it was three pennies.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.