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Employee Spotlight May 12, 2023

Employee of the Month > May 2023

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Employee of the Month > May 2023

Michael Coe, the PUD’s May Employee of the Month, has been serving the utility for almost two decades. In the last ten years alone, he has recovered over $70 million from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for conservation work in our service territory that helps offset the utility’s $100 million investment in conservation during the same time period. His co-workers recognize him as a leader, educator and innovator.

As Principal Utility Analyst, Michael acts as a liaison between several key internal and external stakeholders (BPA, Commerce, Power Supply, Treasury, etc.) to ensure regulatory compliance, goal execution and fiscal reimbursement. Michael orchestrates the Conservation Potential Assessment, a key component of the PUD’s program goals and Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process. Additionally, Michael ensures that the Energy Services team is up-to-date with BPA’s regional energy-efficiency program and manuals.

As part of the rates the PUD pays to BPA to purchase power, a portion is set aside by BPA to pay for implementation of conservation in the region. Since the PUD funds its own conservation, this funding is actually a reimbursement. Michael’s efforts annually yield up to $7M in reimbursement back to the general fund. This is not simply a function of invoicing, it requires daily, weekly, and monthly communication, hands-on management and problem solving.

“The PUD is the largest purchaser of power from BPA, and our ability to manage this relationship and recover conservation funds is key to our continued success delivering essential conservation programs to our customers and the region,” said Pam Baley, Assistant General Manager Customer and Energy Services. “Michael is worthy of the Employee of the Month recognition, not only because he does an excellent job representing the PUD with our external partners, but because he consistently goes above and beyond to equip his teammates with tools they need to be successful.”

“Michael advocates for the utility and its customer,” said Shelley Pattison, Senior Manager Strategic Partnerships. “One area this can be seen is in his work with BPA. Michael recognizes the value of efficiency and is not afraid to push back when presented with process-change proposals that create more work with no benefit. Additionally, he continues to pursue reimbursement for energy-efficiency projects that BPA has deemed non-reimbursable. Michael does not give up easily. He uses his knowledge and experience to provide convincing arguments that have resulted in custom projects qualifying for reimbursement.”

Michael supports the efforts of the entire department through his willingness to share knowledge and train others. He spends a great deal of time ensuring all his teammates understand and have the tools they need to be successful – whether translating the BPA Implementation Manual, deciphering SAP processes, or simply supporting program managers with real-time program reporting.

“Michael willingly shares his knowledge, and with so many key regulatory and fiscal dependencies, his knowledge is invaluable,” said Jeff Feinberg, Senior Manager Energy Services and Customer Innovation. “He is an effective teacher, and in the process, he makes our entire department better.”

Michael is also an innovator and is always looking for ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness. During the most recent Conservation Potential Assessment process, Michael ensured the inclusion of a new Demand Response Potential Assessment (an updated cost-effectiveness calculator) and assisted Power Supply in establishing geo-spatial analysis for our territory. While all these processes have the ability to be dry regulatory compliance obligations, Michael ensured they were each crafted in a way to maximize the end users’ experience so they can provide the most value and be a helpful tool moving forward.

“Michael is always willing to bring his experience to a project and yet remains nimble and excited to try new things,” said Jeff. “This combination of experience and innovation makes him such a valuable teammate in his current role. Michael is always willing to be flexible and support any initiative. It is not uncommon to casually mention a potential reporting need and next thing you know there’s a report in your inbox with a note that says, ‘is this close to what you were thinking?’ Michael seems to always be one step ahead!”

Like all great leaders, Michael is humble and recognizes the importance of being supported by a talented team.

“Thank you for this honor! My success would not be possible without all my great Energy Services teammates and the quality of work they all do,” said Michael.

Please join us in congratulating Michael on being May’s Employee of the Month, and thanking him for his dedication, creativity and service to others.