Power Team: Transmission Operation

Welcome to our “Power Team” focus – a new feature where we will highlight an employee to offer a little insight into the wonderful people that work hard, day in and day out, to bring electricity to your home and/or business.

Yvettea Johnson, Senior Chief Electric Switchboard Transmission Operator

Most of the world never really gives much thought to their local utility suppliers, we just think about it long enough to pay the monthly bill so that we may have lights, power, or gas for the next thirty days.  With that being said… let’s focus on Cleveland Public Power for a moment!  Where do you think our power comes from?  Well we definitely aren’t generating it here for you because unfortunately, our power generation facility stopped generating power in 1977.  So then how can we be a power company that supplies Clevelanders with power you ask?  Well, we’ve been purchasing the power that we supply residents and local businesses with and shipping it directly to you via our transmission lines with the assistance of our Transmission Operators.

Yvettea Johnson, proudly displays her painting. This piece was on display at University Hospitals in February.

Yvettea Johnson, proudly displays her painting. This piece was on display at University Hospitals in February.

Yvettea Johnson is a Senior Chief Electric Switchboard Transmission Operator at CPP and her primary responsibility is the operation of transmission for the 138kV Bulk Electric System that feeds all 36 of CPP’s Substations.  She is also responsible for the monitoring of power in each of the substations as well as supervising and training the Junior Electric Switchboard Operators.  It’s not a job to take lightly because it’s a position that requires a considerable amount of training and federally regulated certifications.

Yvettea has been with CPP for 16 years now and has worked her way up along the ranks.  She started as a Line Helper Driver (those are the people out in the field who drive the line trucks and bucket trucks and they’re required to have a Class – A CDL driver’s license), then she obtained her Journeyman’s Certification, and she’s been going non-stop… now she has her NERC and PJM Certifications which aren’t easy tests to pass, and they prove her job knowledge to be reliable and credible.

When asked, Yvettea said the best thing about her job is “the experience” she’s gained.  She has a vast amount of experience that extends beyond the Control Room to which she is confined to.  Her hobbies include drawing, reading, interior design and donating countless hours of her time to the church.  Art means freedom and life to her and she is extremely passionate about it.  She has even had one of her portraits displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  In this article she is featured holding one of her pieces that was displayed during the month of February at University Hospital because it radiates a high level of peace.

I began asking Yvettea a series of random questions and these were her responses:

Where is the most amazing place you’ve ever been to?  I was fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for 23 days last February!

What is the most challenging task you’ve ever experienced?  My most challenging task is not work related at all… it’s on a more personal level.  It was having to watch a disease (pancreatic cancer) consume my mom’s life and take her from this earth.

What is your greatest achievement/accomplishment in life?  EDUCATION!  I have an Associate’s Degree in of the Study of Electrical Contracting, Degree in Interior Design, Journeyman’s License, NERC and PJM Certifications.

What’s your favorite movie?  Identity Thief

What three items can you absolutely not live without?  My Daily Inspirations Book – it serves as my spiritual food, my car – because it’s my transportation to get around, and my art supplies.

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?  I love the fact that Cleveland is currently on the rise.  Right now it’s up and coming!

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?  Selfishness!

If you could switch positions with anyone at your job, who would it be and why?  No thank you, I would opt not to switch positions with anyone at this current time because I’m in a very fortunate position; however, I’m always open for new opportunities.

Who in your life has inspired you the most?  My mother and my current church reverend.

Let’s just say that you’re the head chef at the fanciest restaurant in town and the King of Zamunda is coming in for dinner tomorrow night… what meal will you prepare for him?

Well that’s simple… I’d make him some Alaskan king crab legs, a loaded sweet potato and some Brussel sprouts because that’s my favorite meal and I’d want him to enjoy what I love.

 In your opinion, what are some positive things about CPP?

  • They are consistent with providing service to customers.
  • They are reliable when it comes to restoration of service.
  • They are very efficient with cost.

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Celebrating Heart Health at CPP

Cleveland Public Power staff members don their red in support of Go Red For Women! (Photo by Williams Rieter, Chief Photographer)

Cleveland Public Power staff members don their red in support of Go Red For Women!
(Photo by Williams Rieter, Chief Photographer)

“GO RED FOR WOMEN”… what’s that all about you ask?  Well let me tell you!  It is a campaign designed by the American Heart Association over ten years ago to promote heart health and highlight the importance of focusing attention on heart disease because it is currently the number one killer of women in the U.S.

Around this same time the American Heart Association realized that heart disease was not just taking the lives of more women than men, but it also took more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined… now how crazy is that!

As an organization, why not get involved?  Here at Cleveland Public Power, we not only care about our external customers… we’re also concerned with the health of our employees (our internal customers).  We value our employees and we want to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle.

So for a number of years we CPP has participated in the annual national “Go Red for Women” campaign which consists of wearing red on the first Friday in February in support of heart health month.  In addition to wearing red, we also take a group photo in the Rotunda at Cleveland City Hall, and individual photos at our Administration Building with those donning their red in support of this cause.

With the individual photos, we ask employees to tell us why heart health is important to them, and they will be featured on CPP’s Facebook page.   Here is a response from one of our employees.  “The fact that I’m getting older made me realize how important my health (heart) is to me. Now I have a daily routine which consists of a total of a 20-30 minute walk in the winter (which increases to 45-60 minutes in the summer). As well as eat plenty of fruits daily,” says Customer Service Representative Precious Robinson.

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Scammers targeting Cleveland businesses

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Thieves are once again preying on utility customers to make a quick buck. This week Cleveland Public Power customer commercial business customers were contacted with the threat of disconnection of their electric service if they did not call a toll-free number and make a payment to the Disconnection Department.

Fortunately the customers suspected something was amiss and contacted CPP’s Customer Service Center and reported the incident.

The Department of Public Utility Police Department has been and will continue to look into these calls, and Cleveland Public Power is urging its customers to disregard these calls.

“This scam is targeting commercial businesses and while Cleveland Public Power will contact these customers about their bills, we would not refer them to a third party payment option. Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to the Public Utilities Police at (216) 443-2426,” said Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson.

Henderson also said, “When there is a threat of disconnection the only way to make payments would be in person in our Payment Center, by calling in and making a payment with our Customer Service representatives or make an online payment yourself.”

Cleveland Public Power will post notices about the scam on its website and through its social media sites.

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Mayor Jackson and Officials Help Launch Year of Clean Water

Cleveland Public Power:

Originally posted on Thursday, January 15th.

Originally posted on Straight from City Hall:

Today, Mayor Frank G. Jackson helped launch the Year of Clean Water in the City of Cleveland. Every year leading up to 2019, the City Cleveland will focus on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable economy as a part of Mayor Jackson’s Sustainable Cleveland initiative. The initiative creates a framework for Clevelanders from all walks of life to work together to build a robust and resilient region by focusing attention on annual key areas fundamental to a suitable economy– 2015 is the Year of Clean Water.

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The Year of Clean Water is designed to connect people to their water resources in order to restore, conserve and protect this valuable asset. “We’re  positioning and moving Cleveland into the future in order to create a sustainable economy,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “A sustainable economy creates opportunities for economic prosperity, increased quality of life and the improved physical and social health of our community, clean water…

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As snow falls, stay safe and warm!

As snow falls in CLE, remember these tips to stay safe and warm.

As snow falls in CLE, remember these tips to stay safe and warm.

As a fresh coating of winter white comes down, we thought we would share some tips to keep you warm, while trying to save some money at the same time.  The cold weather prompts concern and Cleveland residents should be aware of the fact that the majority of electrical fires take place in the winter months.

Some of the contributing factors in these fires are electric blankets, space heaters, over exerting power strips and/or extension cords, and the use of counterfeit electrical products that have not met safety standards.

When using these items you should follow these safety tips:

  • Always unplug your electric blanket when not in use.
  • Keep all furniture, draperies, flammable materials, and other household objects at least three feet from your space heater.
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet – DO NOT USE AN EXTENSION CORD!
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone else from turning it back on.
  • Because it is common for portable heaters and electric blankets to be recalled, make sure you check your brand and model to ensure that your particular heater or blanket has not been subject to any product recalls.
  • Never ever purchase a counterfeit electrical product because they have not met any of the testing or safety standards and they can be extremely hazardous.

By following this safety advice, you should have a warm cozy and safe winter season.  Additionally, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well as your carbon monoxide detector.

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Winter 2014: Electric Safety Tips

CLE was hit with a lake effect snow yesterday and today. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

CLE was hit with a lake effect snow yesterday and today. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

Winter came in with a bang this week, and most of us aren’t prepared for the cold and snow. To aid you in your preparations here are some tips to keep you safe and warm.  The cold weather prompts concern and Cleveland residents should be cognizant of the fact that the majority of electrical fires take place in the winter months.

Downed power lines – Never touch, move or go near any downed or hanging lines. The first action should be to call 9-1-1 or your local utility. CPP’s Trouble Line is 216-664-3156.

  • Do not put your feet in water or snow where a downed line is laying
  • Do not try to move tree limbs
  • If you see someone who has come into contact with a downed line, do not touch them, again call 9-1-1
  • If a line comes down on your car stay inside, roll down your window and warn others to stay away. Call authorities or ask a passerby to call authorities. The only time you should exit a vehicle with a downed line on it is if it has caught fire. If the vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump with both feet together to avoid contact with the car. It is metal and you could receive a shock.

Power outage and food safety – Unless there is a major outage extending more than 4 hours, your food should be safe in the refrigerator as long as you leave the doors closed. After that point you may want to begin to prepare and/or eat the food.

Food in the freezer will hold much longer. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”

If it appears the outage will last for a prolonged period of time, the USDA advises obtaining dry ice or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold. The USDA reports “fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.”

 In Home Tips

If you must use space heaters to keep warm, ensure that they are plugged directly into an outlet, do not plug them into extension cords.

Keep all furniture, draperies, flammable materials, and other household objects at least three feet from your space heater.

  • Always unplug your electric blanket when not in use.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone else from turning it back on.
  • Because it is common for portable heaters and electric blankets to be recalled, make sure you check your brand and model to ensure that your particular heater or blanket has not been subject to and product recalls.
  • Never ever purchase a counterfeit electrical product because they have not met any of the testing or safety standards and they can be extremely hazardous.

By following this safety advice, you should have a warm cozy and safe winter season.  Additionally, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well as your carbon monoxide detector.

In the event of widespread outages customers will also be able to follow updates as well as report outages on Twitter, by following @clepublicpower on http://www.twitter.com.

 

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Snow Emergency Parking Ban Declared

Originally posted on Cleveland Division of Police:

 Snow Emergency Parking Ban Declared

Parking prohibited on streets on which signs are posted

CLEVELAND – Michael McGrath, Director of Public Safety for the City of Cleveland, has declared a Snow Emergency Parking Ban for the city of Cleveland effective at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14, 2014. As a result, stopping, standing, and parking of vehicles will be restricted and prohibited on City streets with posted red and white signs UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Parking is prohibited on designated Snow Emergency streets, which are identified as necessary for transportation, the movement of food and fuel supplies, medical care, fire, health and police protection and other vital facilities of the City.

Significant snowfall can cause streets to become congested and un-passable.

Vehicles left parked in the roadway prevent snowplows from clearing streets, which can make driving down these streets impossible. The resultant bottlenecks and gridlock can hamper response by…

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