The American Public Power Association has recognized Columbia Water and Light for its operational excellence and reliability, according to a news release from the association.

Neil James, chair of the association's review board, presented the Columbia nonprofit, community-owned utility with the Diamond-level Reliable Public Power Provider designation — the highest designation available — at a conference on Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina. The designation is valid for three years and goes to utility providers that have demonstrated reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement, according to the release.

There are three tiers of achievement: diamond, platinum and gold. Diamond indicates that a power provider has met 98 to 100 percent of the criteria.

Although Columbia Power and Light has garnered multiple program designations over the past decade, this is its first diamond-level designation. It is one of 240 total utility providers nationwide recognized by the APPA as a reliable public power provider.  

"These utilities and their communities should be proud to represent the best of the best in areas of reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement," James said in the release.    

"We are very proud to receive both of these recognitions," the utility's distribution manager, Fred Eaton, said in the release. "It is a testament to the hard work and the commitment to excellence that the employees of Columbia Water and Light have to provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers."

  • Kathryn Palmer is an education reporter for the Columbia Missourian and a graduate student at the MU School of Journalism. She can be reached at kathryn.palmer@mail.missouri.edu

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