May 3, 2021 – Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing reliable and safe electric service.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. NPU joins more than 270 public power utilities nationwide that hold the RP3 designation.

“Being recognized by the APPA is a very significant honor for NPU, but nothing is more important than knowing that we are meeting the needs of our customers every day of the year,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager of NPU. “We are proud but never complacent and will always work to improve our performance for the benefit of our customers and community.”

In order to receive this designation, NPU completed a rigorous application over the course of several months.  Applications are reviewed by an 18-member panel of national utility experts, who review applications to identify public power utilities that exhibit operational excellence and demonstrate leading practices in four key areas:

  • Reliability – The panel looks for evidence that a utility is going beyond just keeping the lights on by reviewing storm response plans and mutual aid agreements, data analysis programs, and cyber and physical security.
  • Safety – The panel looks for a culture of safety within a utility starting with top management. This is confirmed by an adherence to safety policies and standards that are included in all aspects of utility operations.
  • Workforce Development – The panel looks for how a utility builds and maintains its workforce. They look for best practices in recruitment, succession planning, and individual development plans for employees that incorporate professional development and networking opportunities.
  • System Improvement – The panel looks for evidence that utilities are maintaining the integrity of their systems through long-term planning. This includes system betterment programs that incorporate research and development

Only 265 of the 2,000+ public power utilities in the United States have been awarded APPA’s RP3 designation.  Of these 265, even fewer achieve the Diamond Level as NPU has, which recognizes the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service delivery among public power providers.


The American Public Power Association has offered the RP3 designation for the past 16 years.  APPA is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 49 million people in 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. APPA advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations.