Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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PUD Showcase

Meet Allison Grinczel

Energy Management Engineer, Market Segments
Employee of the Month for March

Employee of the Month

Our employee of the month for March, Allison Grinczel, loves to hit the books. She reads more than 100 books a year, enjoys browsing process flows and is always pleased to peruse a workbook or two.

As an Energy Management Engineer, Allison works with business customers on energy-efficiency projects. She also partners with two energy-cohort teams, one for manufacturing and another for wastewater customers. No surprise (what with her book habit) that Allison enjoys learning, which is great because her job demands a lot of it. Almost all of her projects require sitting down with customers to learn what they do and how they do it. This helps her better understand each customer’s energy-use challenges so that she can point the customer toward the most beneficial programs and cost-saving measures.

“It’s nice being someone who helps the customers get money with rebates and incentives,” said Allison, who added jokingly, “It’s very rewarding and makes them like me more easily.”

Allison is well liked by her customers and not just because she listens carefully and helps them save money. It’s how she does it—which is thoughtfully and always with the utmost efficiency in mind… even if it involves hitting a workbook or two.

Last year, Allison developed a pilot program to aid customers who submit multiple lighting retrofit projects annually. Her streamlined processes make it much simpler to report these projects to the PUD and easier for utility staff to process as well.

In order to test the pilot, Allison reached out to several local school districts and provided custom workbooks that allowed them to plug-in projects from multiple locations. The workbook contained a quarterly budget allotment and maintained a running tally so that school district staff would always be in the know about available energy-efficiency funds.

This improvement also meant that instead of providing multiple project workbooks per year, a school district could provide one per quarter that contained multiple upgrades. This was not only incredibly helpful to the school district, but for PUD staff as well. Now, instead of having to process multiple incentive payments for the school district every quarter, a project manager can process just one, which saves Accounting time as well.

Allison’s desire to help both customers and the utiility improve the lighting process – from equipment installation to incentive payments – is what led to the creation of the pilot. And true to form, Allison worked with all the components and players to ensure every step of the process was analyzed for efficiency afterward.

That’s just Allison. From cover to cover, she’s devoted to efficiency. Allison also enjoys spending time with her friends and family. And lest you think she’s always nose-deep in a book, Allison also loves swimming, knitting, yoga and kickboxing – and knowing her, she’ll do several at the same time to keep things efficient. 

Allison, thank you for your dedication to our customers. Your open-mindedness and innovative thinking have improved the customer experience and boosted access to energy-saving measures. Kudos to you!

Recent Awards

  • Hydropower Award (2017)
    The National Hydropower Association honored the PUD with a 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award for its success in providing access to additional fish habitat in the Sultan River Basin, site of the PUD’s Jackson Hydroelectric Project. In late 2016, the PUD opened up six miles of additional fish habitat on the Sultan River by modifying a diversion dam on the upper reach of the river. Within weeks of the project’s completion, coho salmon were detected upstream – for the first time in nearly 100 years!
  • SAP Utility of the Year (2016)
    The PUD was named Utility of the Year by SAP, a multinational software corporation, for the utility’s ongoing “ONE” program, a multi-year software implementation that creates a foundation for the utility’s future business growth. The program greatly consolidates hundreds of software programs as part of a PUD continuous improvement effort.
  • Metering & Smart Energy International (2016)
    South African Metering & Smart Energy International, a media and research organization serving the utility industry, honored the PUD as a Global Smart Energy Elite for both its work with cybersecurity and utility transformation through the ONE program. The PUD achievements will be featured in the organization’s fall magazine.
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Publication: 2016 Current Calendar
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Social Media

To see more awards, click here.