News, O&M

Energy Cast podcast: COVID communications at NY’s ConEdison

Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.

Energy Cast is a regular podcast featuring some of the top experts across all links in the industry chain. Those include coal, nuclear, efficiency, renewables, oil and gas, as well as top government researchers. Longtime project manager Jay Dauenhauer created it and has been hosting Energy Cast for several years.

Click below to listen to the full episode:

New York’s ConEdison is the utility at the heart of electrical service in that region and, as such, has been in the thick of that state’s costly fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Strong measures by state leaders have turned the tide for New York even as other states are now getting hit hard by the novel coronavirus. The city’s death toll jumped past 10,000 by April, so the informational and health response was crucial early on.

Energy Cast podcast host Jay Dauenhauer talked with Mary McCartney, head of communications for ConEdison, a few weeks ago to discuss that utility’s part in the battle vs. COVID-19. The utility has had a pandemic team for 10 years and it’s composed of numerous departments within the company.

The goal is fairly simple in theory and complex in action.

“The fundamentals that we follow with the pandemic team is to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations, to benchmark and look at best practices,” McCartney told Dauenhauer. “We communicate and overcommunicate as much as possible.”

ConEdison utilized its employee wellness response, back tracing and a pandemic hotline, among other initiatives in the response. It also pushed social distancing as early as possible.

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Dauenhauer himself was previously executive director of the Clean Coal Technology Association in Texas. He also has worked as project director in power generation and transmission as well as a media analyst for TXU Energy prior to the $45 billion leveraged buyout of that company in 2007.

A Louisiana native and proud graduate of Louisiana State University, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Dauenhauer hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders.

Dauenhauer also is a member of the POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International advisory committees. Clarion Energy is the parent company of Power Engineering, POWERGEN, DISTRIBUTECH.