Page 1

Summer 2010

cover story:

Bellevue Public Schools Receives Harding Award

Inside Recipe for Success.............. 14 OPPD has a strong mix of fuels by design. Fuel diversity protects electric companies and its customers from contingencies, such as availability and price fluctuations.

Getting Lean....... 18

Heard in the Halls................................... 4 The Bellevue Public School District receives OPPD’s Harding Award for energy management and environmental stewardship.

Employees are working together to save money and streamline operations.

Roped In..... back cover OPPD hosted the 10th annual American Public Power Association Lineworkers Rodeo this spring.

Ideas Magazine

Scholars.............. 9 OPPD awards J.M. Harding Memorial Scholarships to Shane Hanson of UNO, celebrating above, and Song Zheng of Creighton.

Star Status........ 10 The Omaha-World-Herald building is among 27 buildings in OPPD’s service area to receive ENERGY STAR certification.

Ideas is published by Omaha Public Power District for its commercial and industrial customers. The magazine promotes the efficient use of energy and provides information about new technology in the energy industry. Editor/Designer Paula Lukowski OPPD, 444 S. 16th St. Mall, 3EP/EP1 Omaha, NE 68102-2247 Production Editor Joe Comstock Contributors Chris Cobbs Vicker Sykes Jeff Hanson Terry Zank Photography Larry Larson Django Greenblatt-Seay George Sinos Brian Alspaugh


Bright Idea....... 12 Airlite Plastics is seeing savings from OPPD’s Lighting Incentive Program.

OPPD is a proud ENERGY STAR partner. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, helping consumers save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

About OPPD

Omaha Public Power District is a publicly owned utility that serves more than 343,000 customers in 13 counties in southeastern Nebraska. OPPD’s commercial and industrial rates are consistently below the national average. For more information on OPPD, please visit

Power Plant Marks First Anniversary

Nebraska City Station

OPPD’s Nebraska City Station Unit 2 has successfully wrapped up its first year of operation. Since going online in May 2009, NC2 has operated under budget and produced more power than projected. Overall, NC2 had better reliability and a higher capacity factor compared to industry benchmarks. Capacity factor is a measure of a generating unit’s output during a specific period of time, expressed as a percentage. OPPD uses half of the output from the 682-megawatt plant, and the remaining half is going to seven other public power and municipal utilities.

New Bill Format Simplifies Data, Saves Resources

OPPD has made changes in the appearance of customer bills, making them easier to read and understand. If you’d like additional explanation, visit for details of the following types of customer bills: S tandard Bill - A bill for a typical homeowner or business account.  ulti-Premises Standard Bill – A bill for customers with multiple M service addresses who consolidate to one bill, with usage details and graphics for each service location. S treetlight Bill – A bill for municipalities for whom OPPD provides streetlighting.  ondensed Bill – A bill for commercial/business customers who C are on the Summary Billing Program.

OPPD ideas/summer 2010 3

J.M. Harding Award of Excellence

Bellevue Public Schools Wins Harding Award Champions for children and energy efficiency. The Bellevue Public School District takes its motto – Champions for Children – to heart. While it is preparing the students for the future, it is making sure its facilities are energy efficient and affect the environment as little as possible. The district has 15

elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools, serving more than 10,000 students. The district received exemplary ratings at all grade levels for its assessments and student achievements on the state report card, one of only two districts to do so.

Lewis & Clark Middle School is a pioneer in its own right when it comes to energy efficiency.

Bellevue has produced state and national trophies in debate, forensics, drama, band, music, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), Science Olympiad, Knowledge Master, Science Bowl and Future Cities.

It has two large nationally recognized Air Force ROTC programs, mentoring programs in all schools, and top-notch facilities, with no portable classrooms. And as the fourth-largest school district in the state, Bellevue maintains twomillion square feet of school, administration and recreational space. In its quest to provide quality education, the district has done a fair share of homework itself to ensure its facilities operate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. As a result, Bellevue Public Schools has become a champion for energy-efficiency and envi-

Mission Middle School Dean of Students Shawn Hoppes and Principal Laurie Hanna meet in the school’s media center.

ronmental stewardship at all of its locations. For its continued efforts in this area, OPPD has awarded Bellevue Public School District with a second J.M. Harding Award of Excellence for efficient and innovative use of energy.

Named for the first president of OPPD, J.M. Harding, the award has been given since 1984 to a commercial or industrial customer for demonstrating efficient and innovative use of energy. Bellevue’s repeat receipt of the award is a reflection

OPPD ideas/summer 2010 5

Award Has Honored Excellence For 27 Years OPPD has awarded the Bellevue Public Schools with the 2010 J.M. Harding Award of Excellence for efficient and innovative use of energy. OPPD began giving the award in 1984, and the school district becomes the second commercial and industrial customer to receive the award for a second time. Bellevue first received the award in 1997. Mutual of Omaha also received the award twice – in 2007 and 1990. The award is named for J. M. Harding, OPPD’s first president. Harding served in that capacity for 20 years and built OPPD into the most progressive public power district in the state. Past Winners 2009 – Gallup 2008 – NatureWorks 2007 – Mutual of Omaha 2006 – Millard Public Schools 2005 – Methodist Health System 2004 – The Lund Company 2003 – Henry Doorly Zoo 2002 – Creighton University 2001 – Westside Community Schools 2000 – Offutt Air Force Base 1999 – University of Nebraska Medical Center 1998 – Baker’s Supermarkets 1997 – Bellevue Public Schools 1996 – First National Bank 1995 – 3M Valley 1994 – Nebraska Furniture Mart 1993 – First Data Resources, Inc. 1992 – KVI Associates, Inc. 1991 – Omaha Public Schools 1990 – Mutual of Omaha Companies 1989 – Wilkinson Manufacturing 1988 – Campbell Soup Company 1987 – Control Data Corporation 1986 – Vickers 1985 – AT&T – Omaha Works 1984 – Valmont Industries, Inc. 6 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

A ground-loop heat exchange system, buried under this field at Bellevue Elementary School, is similar to ones previously installed at the district’s Welcome Center, Lied Activity Center and Lewis & Clark Middle School.

of the leadership of the administration, led by Dr. John Deegan, Bellevue’s superintendent of schools, the Bellevue Board of Education, and the teamwork of the Bellevue Public Schools’ staff. Lean and Green “Going green isn’t just a trend in Bellevue, we live it every day,” said Dr. Deegan. “Bellevue Public Schools has partnered with the Omaha Public Power District for many years. OPPD has evaluated our energy systems and recommended plans on how to become more efficient. These recommendations have paid off for the Bellevue Public Schools and provided us an opportunity to be good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars and good role models for our students.” Bellevue Public Schools has been very proactive in energy-efficiency upgrades, both in partnership with OPPD and on its own, according to Steve Sauer, OPPD account executive. OPPD, with assistance from the Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Nebraska, has evaluated the district energy systems, provided recommendations and helped develop a plan on how to become more

efficient. “Once the plan is fully implemented, energy costs may be reduced by 20 percent or more,” said Sauer. “Bellevue also does a great job of long-range energy planning,” said Sauer. “The district always has something on its long-range plans. For example, West and East high schools both have HVAC comfort and upgrade needs. Once funds become available, they will address them.” Bellevue believes in a payas-you-go program, according to Dr. Deegan. The district saves money and then builds or upgrades facilities. It has the lowest tax rate in the metro area, and it has no bonded indebtedness – all of the schools are paid for. True Champions “A driving force in all of our projects is comfort for students. If they are comfortable, they will be able to learn and perform better,” said Jim McMillion, director of support services for the Bellevue Public School District. “But we certainly look at cost when we are planning projects. We try to put together programs and projects that go hand-inhand with comfort, cost and

energy efficiency. We look for the best bang for our buck.” A dramatic transformation took place in 2009 at Bellevue’s oldest school, Mission Middle School, when old radiator heat and inefficient air conditioning units were replaced with energy-efficient heat pumps, a new cooling tower and high-efficiency boilers. Principal Laurie Hanna helped orchestrate the change, which began while school was still in session. “We had to move classrooms for two to five days at a time so workers could run ductwork and install heat pumps in each classroom,” said Hanna. “We had to move through the building in a manner that was efficient for the workers, and we had to give teachers at least a day’s notice to relocate their classrooms. It worked like clockwork.” When school got out for

the summer, workers had the run of the school. “I took pictures of the whole thing because I wanted the

staff to realize everything that went on,” said Hanna, who knows the school inside and Continued

School District Offers Its Own History Lesson The Bellevue school system is Nebraska’s oldest. It took roots in 1833, when Baptist missionaries were sent to Nebraska to convert and educate the Otoe Indian tribe, which lived near the Bellevue Indian Agency. Up until that time, fur trading was a bustling business along the Missouri River. The Otoe – along with the Omaha, Missouri and Pawnee tribes – had supplied goods to fur-trading posts on both sides of the river. However, with the decline in the fur trade in 1832, Lucien Fontenelle sold Fontenelle’s Post to the U.S. government for use by the agency. By the mid-1850s, Bellevue was the oldest and most widely known settlement in the territory. Omaha and other areas started to prosper, and in 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state in the union. In the 1890s, Fort Crook located in Bellevue and provided impetus to the city’s future population growth. Fort Crook was later named and redesigned as Offutt Air Force Base. Today, the Bellevue Public School District is the fourthlargest school district in Nebraska. It serves more than 10,000 students, 35 percent of whom are dependents of active-duty military personnel stationed at Offutt.

Jim McMillion, Steve Sauer, Robert Ingram III, principal at Bellevue Elementary, and Jerry Kline, lead custodian at the school, look at the geothermal system pipes in a mechanical room. OPPD ideas/summer 2010 7

out – she taught there for eight years before her four years as principal. Many people did notice the differences. Gone were the clanking sounds from the old radiator heaters and the whistling from the air conditioners. Teachers did not have to open windows in the middle of winter because of radiator hot spots. “I didn’t get near the level of complaints that I received in the past, and I never heard the kids talk about it,” she said. “There was an absence of distraction, which was good for learning.” Digging Deep At its newest schools, Bellevue Elementary and Lewis & Clark Middle School, the district installed ground loop heat exchange (GLHE) systems, technology that it already had at the Welcome Center and Lied Activity Center. The GLHE is a spaceconditioning system that uses the earth’s relatively constant temperature to provide heating and cooling to buildings. Wells are drilled below the surface, where heat is transferred from the earth to a liquid solution, which circulates through the piping network to heat the building. The same system cools a building by removing the heat from the interior and transferring it back to the ground. The system at Bellevue Elementary has 196 boreholes, 163.5 feet deep. Piping in a mechanical room 8 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

Over the years, Mission Middle School has retained interesting design features and added new ones, like this entryway. It is the district’s original school, founded circa 1890.

links the well field to the geothermal heat pumps throughout the school. “The biggest benefit of geothermal heat pumps is that they use 25 percent to 50 percent less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems,” said Sauer. “These systems also provide excellent zone space-conditioning, allowing different parts of the building to be heated or cooled to different temperatures.” In addition, Bellevue Elementary’s design also includes three bioretention cells, added McMillion. Traditional bioretention cells ­– also referred to as rain gardens – are small landscaped, graded areas constructed with a special soil mix and lined with a porous medium that can aid in reducing storm water run-

off, replenishing the aquifer and filtering pollution. The Bellevue school system also is the first OPPD customer to install Digital Optimizer Technology, which will be used at Lewis & Clark Middle School. This new technology will extend the life of cooling equipment, as it is designed to reduce the amount of cycling, which wears out the compressor. “It will reduce energy consumption and demand by about 40 percent for the associated equipment, and it will be another money-saver,” said Sauer. Not only do the Bellevue students benefit from the district’s efforts, but it has a lot to teach other customers, too.

Harding Memorial Scholarships Awarded to Creighton, UNO Students OPPD awarded J.M. Harding Memorial Scholarships to Shane Hanson of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Song Zheng of Creighton University. Both students have their sights set on careers in their fields of study. Hanson, a civil engineering major, hopes to work at an engineering firm that has a focus in wastewater engineering. He would like to help design sewer systems and work on water-treatment processes. Shane currently works as an intern at Olsson Associates. Shane, who attended Mount Michael Benedictine High School, received Shane Hanson of the University a Regent’s scholarship to attend UNO. With a 3.94 gradeof Nebraska at Omaha point average, he has been on the dean’s list and chancellor’s list, and he is a member of the Chi Epsilon honor society. He belongs to the American Society of Civil Engineers, plays indoor recreational soccer and enjoys biking. Hanson is the son of John and Donna Hanson of Omaha. Song Zheng, a Creighton junior who is studying finance and accounting, speaks two dialects of Chinese, English and a little Spanish. Originally from China, Zheng attended Bryan High School, where he ranked fourth out of 341 students. At Creighton, he has earned a spot on the dean’s list each semester, with a 3.68 grade-point average. Zheng is the son of Chang Zheng and Yu Wang. His involvement with the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Future Business Leaders of America earned him state recognition. Zheng’s activities at Creighton include Peer 2 Peer, the Anna Tyler Waite Leadership Program and the Asian Student Association. Song Zheng of Creighton In the community, he has worked with Hun- University ger Clean Up, Boy Scouts of America and Youth 2 Youth, and has visited nursing home and pediatric patients. Zheng also enjoys reading, playing basketball and hanging out with his friends.

OPPD ideas/summer 2010 9

Star Status Omaha World-Herald Building Gets ENERGY STAR Certification

Photo courtesy Omaha World-Herald

Improving energy efficiency, reducing operating expenses and being a good community partner – that’s an appealing package for any enterprise, especially in a period of budget constraints. The Omaha World-Herald joined an expanding list of businesses to achieve the three-tiered objective when its facility at 1314 Douglas Street in downtown Omaha received ENERGY STAR certification, meeting energyefficiency guidelines set 10 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy. The World-Herald partnered with OPPD, which is actively promoting ENERGY STAR participation via personal contacts, targeted emails, website and trade shows. “We are telling customers this is a cool program, and we’ve seen an impressive increase in the last two years in the number of buildings that have received ENERGY STAR awards,” said Judy

Sunde, project manager, Marketing Strategies. The potential rewards of the ENERGY STAR program can be seen in the 30 percent reduction in demand usage at the Omaha WorldHerald Building, said Shannon Yates, senior vice president – Management Services for Grubb&Ellis/ Pacific Realty. His firm serves as property manager for the Omaha World-Herald Building, and he worked with OPPD Account Executive Steve Honig on the ENERGY STAR project. “We kicked off the project in January 2008 with implementation of an ECO 24/7 project, which encompassed a lot of work on the heating and cooling systems,” Yates said. “We also completed a lighting retrofit project. We had much of the work done by November 2008.” The 385,000-square-foot facility was awarded the ENERGY STAR designation in June 2009. In the ensuing year, the numbers have underscored the value of the program. “We have seen a 10 to 12 percent decline in actual costs, along with a bigger reduction in usage,” he said. Overall, The World-Herald Company is pleased with the energy efficiency measures that enabled them to attain ENERGY STAR status. “It’s great to have an ENERGY STAR building,” Yates said. “It reduces demand and is more earthfriendly.” The World-Herald’s experience is in line with what other companies have

gained through participation in the program, said Honig. “Property management firms want their buildings to be energy efficient,” Honig said. “When they lease all or part of an ENERGY STAR building, they advertise that that the energy-efficient building meets the EPA’s rigid indoor air quality and lighting requirements. People who lease space know they will get a better deal

and won’t be over paying for utilities.” Once a building attains ENERGY STAR status, it can reapply annually to be recertified and show the owner’s continued commitment to energy efficiency. OPPD received special recognition at the annual ENERGY STAR awards in Washington, D.C., in March for its efforts promoting the ENERGY STAR program.

Reaching for the Stars The following are ENERGY STAR-certified buildings in the 13-county OPPD service area, as of June 7, 2010. Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School, Omaha Public Schools (OPS), Omaha ConAgra, Omaha First Data Corporation, Omaha Harrison Elementary, OPS, Omaha Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Elkhorn JC Penney, Oakview Mall, Omaha Jefferson Elementary School, OPS, Omaha Kohl’s Department Stores: Papillion, Crossroads, Eagle Run Manchester Elementary School, Elkhorn Public Schools, Omaha Miller Park Elementary, OPS, Omaha Morrissey Engineering, Omaha Omaha World-Herald, Omaha Omaha-Douglas Civic Center, Omaha Plaza of the Americas, Omaha Rohwer Elementary, Millard Public Schools (MPS), Omaha Rose Hill Elementary School, OPS, Omaha Terrace Plaza, Omaha Union Pacific Center, Omaha Verizon Wireless, Omaha Wakonda Elementary School, OPS, Omaha Washington Elementary School, OPS, Omaha Wheeler Elementary School, MPS, Omaha Zurich Home and Field Office, Omaha 11600 Centre Plaza, Omaha OPPD ideas/summer 2010 11

Bright Idea OPPD Program Lightens Energy Bills for Airlite Plastics 12 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

Even with a limited budget for reducing its energy bill, the decision to take advantage of OPPD’s Lighting Incentive Program was a fairly simple one for Airlite Plastics. The Omaha company is in the process of replacing lighting systems in two facilities, a move that will cut energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. Airlite is one of many companies taking part in OPPD’s Lighting Incentive Program, which offers incentives for lighting retrofits and replacements. These retrofits and replacements may also qualify customers for federal tax deductions. “It’s simple – you know what you will save before you do it,” said Jim Johnson, project manager. “You know what wattage you were using and what you will use with the new lighting system.” Airlite Plastics, which has approximately 650 employees, operates manufacturing and warehouse facilities in north Omaha. The company produces containers and lids for food packaging, drink cups and lids. In addition, its product line includes polystyrene coolers, insulated concrete form building blocks and other custom plastic products. Over a three-year period, Airlite will phase in new fluorescent lighting across 400,000 square feet of space and will be using about

half the energy it consumed with older lighting, Johnson said. “We are happy Airlite Plastics operates manufacturing and with the warehouse facilities in north Omaha. program,” he said. “We have limited exceed demand-reduction funds to spend each year on goals and are spurring almost energy reduction. By doing $2 million worth of lighting it in phases over three years, projects in OPPD’s 13-county we are able to take full advan- service territory. tage of the rebates available Looking ahead to next year, through the Lighting IncenOPPD is working to add autotive Program.” mated features to the 201l The OPPD Lighting Incen- program. Applications that tive Program enjoyed a strong once required lots of paperdebut last year, and it is mak- work will be handled elecing further strides this year. tronically and will be simpler “Our 2010 Lighting Incen- to fill out, making the entire tive Program has been a great process more user-friendly. success for our customers and “We are excited about the for OPPD,” said Judy Sunde, future and are thrilled the project manager, Marketing Lighting Incentive Program Strategies. has spurred so much interest The program has preapin energy efficiency,” Sunde proved lighting projects that said.

Beautiful landscaping welcomes employees and visitors to Airlite Plastics. OPPD ideas/summer 2010 13

Fuel Mix OPPD’s Diverse Fuel Mix is Recipe for Success

Electricity is electricity and it doesn’t matter where it comes from, right? Well, not exactly. The mix of fuels that make the electricity is important to reliability and affordability. Taking out an ingredient to any recipe can alter the outcome. Electric companies around the world rely on a variety of fuels to generate electricity. Depending on the availability in their area, that fuel mix can include a combination of coal, nuclear energy, natural gas, fuel oil, hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other technologies. In 2009, OPPD’s generation mix included 73.1 percent coal, 26.0 percent nuclear, 0.6 percent oil and natural gas and 0.3 percent other (landfill gas and wind). “Fuel diversity protects electric companies and their customers from contingencies, such as fuel availability, fuel price fluctuations and changes in regulatory practices that can drive up the cost of a particular fuel,” said David Ried, division manager of Energy Marketing & Trading. Fuel diversity also helps ensure stability and reliability in

14 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

U.S. Fuel Mix in 2008

Nuclear 20%

Non-Hydro Renewables and Other Hydropower 3% 6%

Fuel Oil 1%

Coal 49%

Natural Gas 21% *"Non-Hydro Renewables and Other" includes generation from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass (agricultural waste, municpal solid waste, landfill gas recovery, wood, pitch), hydrogen, batteries, chemicals, non-wood waste, purchased steam, sulfur and miscellaneous technologies. Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA).

electricity supply and strengthens national security. “We don’t have all of our commitments on a single fuel, which gives us flexibility in meeting our customers’ energy demand at the least cost,” said Jon Hansen, vice president of Energy Production & Marketing. “If gas is high-priced, we run very little of it, and we can move our lower-cost coaland nuclear-generated electricity into the wholesale market.” Mixing it Up “If you look around the Midwest, utilities like Kansas City Power & Light, MidAmerican, St. Louis-based Ameren and OPPD all look in the same buckets as to what they want to include in their portfolio,” said Ron Boro, division manager of Fuels. “We all have coal and nuclear as our baseload, with a gas-turbine fleet for peak loads. “As you move to other parts of the country, you see different fuel mixes that take advantage of the resources of the area,” Boro said. Fuel mixes vary greatly from state to state and region to region. For example, in 2008: • West Virginia’s fuel mix included more than 97 percent coal, due to its proximity to West Virginia and Pennsylvania coal mines. • Hawaii, near oil rigs in the Pacific Ocean, had more than 77 percent of its generation from oil. • Washington, with large dams on its waterways, got 75.4 percent of its generation from hydroelectric power. • Alaska, rich in natural gas, got more than 60 percent of its generation from that fuel.

Coal Natural Gas Nuclear Hydropower Non-Hydro Renewables and Other* Fuel Oil

OPPD Fuel Mix in 2009


Nuclear 26 %

Oil and Natural Gas 0.6 %

(landfill gas and wind)

0.3 %

Coal 73.1% Coal Oil and Natural Gas Nuclear Renewable

OPPD ideas/summer 2010 15

Major changes in the availability of a fuel can have economic and reliability impacts, especially on a regional basis. OPPD got a taste of that in 1993 and 2005, when coal transportation troubles drastically slowed delivery. OPPD and neighboring utilities faced a similar problem in 1993, following severe flooding in the Midwest. A rail bridge near Nebraska City eroded, and OPPD went without coal deliveries for almost four weeks. OPPD is diverse by plan, and its fuel mix benefits from its composition of domestic fuels. Correct Ingredients Employees working at OPPD in the 1960s were strategic and saw the value nuclear energy would bring. They made the decision to go nuclear in 1966. At that point, OPPD was relying primarily on coal and natural gas, with some fuel oil.

Net Generation by State


Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

6.0 % 8.6 % 7.3 % 0.0 % 75.4 % 2.7 %




Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

9.0 % 0.0 % 60.9 % 8.8 % 21.2 % 0.1 %

Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

1.0 % 14.7 % 48.5 % 1.1 % 22.3 % 12.4 %

Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

65.3 % 28.4 % 2.5 % 0.1 % 2.6 % 1.1 %

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station began commercial production of electricity in September of 1973, just one OPPD Generating Capacity month before the Arab oil embargo, which caused the in 2009 Energy Crisis of 1973. After the energy crisis hit, fuel oil Renewable Coal prices soared. 0.2 % 52.8 % Nuclear “Twenty to 25 years ago, people were talking about 16.8 % coal and nuclear energy,” said Boro. “Today, natural gas and renewables are taking a bigger swing.” The interest in natural gas stems from an abundance in supply, according to Boro. Renewable energy has gained favor due to environmental advantages and concerns, as well as the prospect of regulatory actions that could greatly impact utilities. “OPPD controls its own destiny,” said Ried. “We can Oil and Coal Natural Gas manage our costs if we have the load, and our diverse Oil and Natural Gas 30.2 % fuel mix is designed to ensure that we have that load.” Nuclear Renewable



Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

1.9 % 0.0 % 42.5 % 3.5 % 25.4 % 26.7 %

West Virginia 36.5 % 10.3 % 49.2 % 0.5 % 0.2 % 3.3 %

Coal Nuclear Natural Gas Oil Hydro Non-Hydro Renewables and Other

97.7 % 0.0 % 0.4 % 0.2 % 1.5 % 0.2 %

Hawaii 14.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 77.2 % 1.2 % 7.3 %

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Report (EIA-920), Combined Heat and Power Plant Report (EIA-920), and Electric Power Monthly (2006 Preliminary). Data compiled from

OPPD ideas/summer 2010 17

Lean Can Mean

GREEN Managers who study their business know that improving their processes can improve their bottom line, their customer service and their ability to keep prices competitive. The improvements may not be headline-grabbing or huge. However, when added together, they can mean significant improvements in a number of areas. OPPD is combing through its processes to find ways to do things better. Thirtyeight employees now are certified as Lean facilitators after going through several weeks of training and project work. They have teamed up with employees around the company in 25 projects so far that are shaving days and dollars from the way the utility operates. The Lean method of improving processes was developed from Toyota’s continuous improvement philosophy of operations, known as the Toyota Production System. Although Toyota has been the subject of negative headlines recently, it has used continuous improvement methods to make the customer the main focus of how it operates. “Lean is about creating value for the customer, while eliminating waste,” said Joe Waszak, division manager of Operations Analysis. His 18 OPPD ideas/summer 2010

division is heading the Lean training effort. The biggest money-saving process change so far has involved the discovery of new ways to recycle equipment and material that comes into OPPD service centers from the field. Early numbers indicate the savings could add up to more than $300,000 annually at one location. OPPD now is taking the new recycling process to other areas of the company and will study if similar savings can be made there. Not all process improvements have such savings in money. However, eliminating a day or two from an operation could mean customers will see reduced lead times for some of the work they need from OPPD. “Ultimately, the goal is to continually improve the services we provide to our customers as we strive to exceed their expectations,” said Waszak. The success of the Lean process-improvement method relies heavily on the people who actually are involved in the process day to day. These employees know best where improvements can be made. The Lean facilitators guide them through the improvement process and introduce them to the tools. They then spot the best improvements

and make the changes happen. Sometimes, processes evolve over time for what may once have been a good reason. Even though that reason may have gone away, the process has stayed the same “because we’ve always done it that way.” “We find that certain workers in the process are now more aware of what the others are doing,” Waszak said. “By assembling cross-functional teams, workers become aware of how they impact the ability of others upstream or downstream in the process.” With the new tools and knowledge, employees can identify what is vital to the process and what can be eliminated. Metrics are developed and honed for lead time and process time with an eye to reducing both. As OPPD cuts its costs, it reduces pressure for increases in rates, which nobody wants. “Some of our costs have increased over the years,” Waszak said. “We intend to streamline our processes with Lean and other improvements, as well as take other cost-cutting measures. Lean is just one of many tools OPPD is using to control rate increases.” In that way, Lean can mean green for OPPD customers, as well as OPPD itself.

Contact Information For more information about the products or services mentioned in this issue, please call (402) 636-3536. Economic Development.......................... 402-636-3726 Toll-Free Number................................ 888-781-4415 Energy-Efficiency Programs (ECO 24/7). 402-636-3536 Energy Reviews....................................... 402-636-3536 Heat Pump Program Commercial and Industrial.................. 402-636-3536 Multifamily Dwellings and Condos................................................. 402-636-3752 Performance Contracting....................... 402-636-3536 Power-Quality Reviews........................... 402-636-3536 Real-Time Energy Monitoring................ 402-636-3536 Standby Generation & Curtailment Program.............................. 402-636-3536 Summary Billing...................................... 402-536-4131 Toll-Free Number................................ 877-536-4131 Thermal-Conductivity Testing................ 402-636-3536

Account Executives Customer service is a top priority at OPPD. Our account executives specialize in different industries and are able to help large commercial and industrial customers with many energy-related issues, including added service for new or expanded facilities or new technologies. A list of account executives by business sector is available at > Business Customers > Customer Service > Account Executives. You also may contact 636-3536.

Electrical Service Designers Electrical Service Designers (ESDs) are the primary customer interface for line-extension requests, load-addition requests, equipment relocations, or other operational requirements related to commercial and residential customers. A complete list of ESDs is available at > Business Customers > Customer Service > Electrical Service Designers. You also may contact the office nearest you: Elkhorn.................................................. 552-5830 Omaha/Papillion................................... 552-5330 Louisville................................................ 552-5521 Syracuse................................................ 552-4030 OPPD ideas/summer 2010 19

Presorted Standard U.S. Postage 444 South 16th Street Mall Omaha, Nebraska 68102-2247


Omaha, NE Permit 97

Address Service Requested

On the cover: Gathered in an entryway at Mission Middle School are Steve Sauer, OPPD account executive; Laurie Hanna, principal at Mission; Shawn Hoppes, dean of students at Mission; and Jim McMillion, director of support services for Bellevue Public Schools. OPPD is presenting Bellevue Public Schools with its 2010 J.M. Harding Award of Excellence for energy management efforts.

APPA Lineworkers Rodeo

Nation’s Best Show the Ropes in Omaha

A soggy start failed to dampen competitors’ spirits at the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo on March 27. OPPD hosted the 10th annual event at Levi Carter Park. The strongest endorsement on OPPD’s planning and execution of this event came from a visiting APPA official, who said it will serve as the template

for future APPA rodeos. Nearly 200 participants from across the country competed, including 39 three-person journey lineworker teams and 49 apprentice line technicians, who competed individually. A total of 24 OPPD employees competed, and many others worked hard to make it happen.

Summer 2010 Ideas  
Summer 2010 Ideas  

Summer Ideas