Seaford’s Electric Department nationally recognized

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 4/11/24

A nationwide spotlight is shining on Seaford, saluting its Electric Department for safety and its work keeping power available to residents.

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Seaford’s Electric Department nationally recognized


SEAFORD — A nationwide spotlight is shining on the city, saluting its Electric Department for safety and its work keeping power available to residents.

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, director of electric Bill Bennett announced that the division has been honored with two 2023 awards from the American Public Power Association, with designations of being an RP3 Gold Level and Diamond Level utility.

“That makes us among the best in the nation in keeping the lights on and doing it safely,” he said.

The Gold Level designation “recognizes ... members that have achieved excellence in reliability, safety, training and system improvements,” said Mr. Bennett, joined during the presentation by Electric Department operations coordinator Greg Brooke. “It is done over a three-year average.”

The honor takes into consideration improvements, unplanned outages and how often they happen, how long they last and the average interruption rate for each customer, he explained.

The Diamond recognition, for safety, was in Group B, or utilities between 15,000-29,999 work-hours in a year.

In 2023, Seaford had 19,132.25 work-hours, with no injuries or lost time.

“That has a lot to do with their training, the safety meetings and Mr. Brooke keeping his eye on them. It’s not one person. But everybody on the ground watches everybody up in the air,” Mr. Bennett said.

Seaford has about 4,400 electric customers, he added, also noting the city’s and council’s support.

“We couldn’t (do) this, also, without the backing of mayor and council — that, when I come up here and ask for money to do something, as long as I can justify, you say yes. That’s what makes the system reliable,” Mr. Bennett said.

Mayor David Genshaw responded with accolades of his own.

“Let me say, as a homeowner in our community, that it seems like the storms roll through about dinnertime, and the power flickers off when everything is in the oven, and you’re ready to eat,” he said. “And our guys come out, in the midst of a storm, to try to figure it out and get power back on.”

The mayor added that, over the last several years, the Electric Department’s communication with the community has increased incredibly, “to let them know what we are working on, the time frames on when they think it will be fixed. That has helped a lot to let the citizens know what is going on.”

“I know we bring it up here at the table often, ... when the weather is horrible out, we’re inside, and (if) power goes out, our guys go out. Really, it (is) essential that the electric is on,” Mayor Genshaw said. “We appreciate all you do.”

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