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City electric service, staff receive awards

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Roy Jones, chief executive officer of ElectriCities of North Carolina, presents the 2017 N.C. Public Power Award of Excellence to Rocky Mount city officials.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rocky Mount city staff recently received recognition for public power and communications.

The city picked up three awards for Excellence in Communications during the recent 11th annual N.C. City & County Communicators’ Excellence in Communications Awards.

The city also received the 2017 N.C. Public Power Award of Excellence from Roy Jones, chief executive officer of ElectriCities of North Carolina, during Monday's regular scheduled council meeting.

Receiving the award recognizes accomplishments in all the different areas of being an electric service provider, said Rich Worsinger, the city's director of Energy Resources.

“It shows we are continuously improving, whether we’re modernizing our electric system, making our electric rates more affordable or training our staff,” Worsinger said. “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented, hard-working employees.”

The city won first place and two second place awards out of more than 175 entries received in several categories. The city won the following awards: First Place in Printed Publications for the employee newsletters; Second Place in TV or Video for interview or talk show; and Second Place in Communication Technology for digital external newsletter.

This is the sixth year Rocky Mount has received Excellence in Communications recognition. The city's communications staff was presented the awards Thursday at the NC3C’s annual Spring Conference in New Bern and congratulated by the city council Monday.

The public power award recognizes outstanding achievement in the following categories: Value of Public Power, Grid Modernization, Continuous Improvement, Workforce Development and Wholesale Power Cost. The city received the award for all five categories, said Amy Blanton, the city's energy resources communications coordinator.

The Continuous Improvement category recognizes utilities for successfully implementing processes that increase efficiency. The Grid Modernization category recognizes utilities for their efforts to improve technologies and the security of their electric system. The Value of Public Power category recognizes utilities for their communication efforts about storms, outages and the benefits of being a public power community. The Wholesale Power Cost category recognizes utilities for their energy reduction efforts and load management programs. The Workforce Development category recognizes utilities for their safety practices and efforts to train and retain their employees.

Rocky Mount Public Utilities serves more than 31,000 households in Nash and Edgecombe counties by providing electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, refuse, recycling and stormwater services.

The NC3C organization is full of city and county government communicators who are excellent at what they do, said Catherine Lazorko, the organization's president.

“They are innovative, creative, passionate and dedicated — and that shows in their work,” Lazorko said. “It was an honor to preside over the program, viewing these exciting demonstrations of work to communicate the stories of the jurisdictions they serve.”

The purpose of NC3C awards is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization was formed in March 2007 and is made up of government professional communicators from around the state, Lazorko said.

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