CARY – ElectriCities of North Carolina, a member network of municipally-owned electric utilities, is hosting its second annual Connections Summit later this month, focused on the evolution of the utilities industry as new technologies come to market.

Slated for February 18-20 at the Embassy Suites of Cary, the conference aims to inform industry stakeholders—including finance directors and utility directors, and leaders in information technology, operations and city management—on ways to meet their customers’ changing expectations, says ElectriCities of NC Senior Government Affairs Liaison Drew Elliot.

“The summit will be a great way to showcase the value of public power and highlight the investments that cities across the state and beyond continue to make in their communities,” Elliot adds.

Keynote speakers include Sacramento Municipal Utility District CEO and President Arlen Orchard, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association Chief of Strategy and Innovation Ivan Urlaub and Cape Fear Partners Innovation Managing Partner Darsweil Rogers.

The three-day conference is broken up into five tracks: Information technology, utility operations technology, finance and customer service, workforce, management and coordination.

Breakout session topics in each track were chosen by municipal leadership. Throughout the conference, dozens of experts and executives from both national and local companies and organizations will present short talks on subjects of importance to the conference’s demographic, including cybersecurity, smart grids, 5G and broadband, electric vehicle chargers, budgeting and cash reserve policies, talent development and staffing strategies.

“The session topics change each year and are very relevant to today’s needs,” Elliot says. “Our cities are very focused on innovation, while maximizing the advantages of a community-owned utility that is reliable and affordable to their customers.”

Representatives from over 40 municipalities and 36 vendor partners are planning to attend the conference. Elliot added that since the inaugural event last year, registration has increased by more than 20%.