FAQ: General MEA
- What is the mission of MEA? What is the vision of MEA?
General MEA information is available on the About page.
- When was MEA established?
The short answer is: 1905.
MEA has a long history. Learn more on our History page.
- What does MEA offer?
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses.
We were founded as a trade association over 110 years ago by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our 55 summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.
- What membership types are available?
MEA is a company-based membership association.
Membership categories and eligible company types can be found on our Membership page.
- What are the benefits of MEA membership?
Participation in MEA is a value-packed investment.
Learn more about the benefits for your company.
- How do I get involved?
More information coming soon.
- How do I sign up for email and event announcements?
Start by completing this form.
- Am I a member? How do I know if my organization is a member?
If your company/utility is an MEA member then you are a member and can have access to the “Members Only” section. If you want to know if your company is a member, check this list.
- How do I login to register for an event, get the member rate, or pay an invoice?
- What is a delegate?
Delegates receive all MEA mailings pertaining to their area of interest.
Delegates should pass along pertinent information to others in the company that may benefit from an event, offering, or resource.
- What is a primary contact?
Member companies designate one senior-level employee to be the official liaison with MEA.
In addition to the membership directory and newsletter, this person receives information on all MEA activities and should pass along pertinent information to others in the company. The primary contact is also responsible for ensuring MEA has current company information and contact information for others in the company.
- Job Center: How does it work?
MEA members may post jobs for free – you will need to login to post. Please keep descriptions short. The submission form is limited to less than 300 characters per field. The job will appear until the deadline you set is met. At that time, it is removed from the page. Submit a job.
Anyone may submit a resume. Please keep descriptions short. The submission form is limited to less that than 300 characters per field. Submit a resume.
- How many committees does MEA have? What are the different committees?
MEA has more than 25 committees made up of volunteers from energy utilities and associate companies from across the country.
There are committees focused on gas operations, electric operations, and corporate/shared services.
- Who serves on the committees?
All committee members are listed in the MEA membership directory.
Committee members can be found by logging in to the online directory, scroll to the Quicklinks section under the map, and select ‘More’.
Note: Only members have access to the online directory.
- What is the composition of the committees?
Committees consists of volunteer leaders and an MEA Staff Liaison.
The strength of the committee depends upon motivated volunteer leaders. Committees are generally comprised of 8 to 12 representatives. Non-utility members cannot make up more than 25% of the committee, but are permitted to hold leadership positions. A maximum of two representatives from any one organization are permitted to serve at the same time on any given committee. The recommended term length for committee members not in the leadership track is three years. When a committee member reaches term limits, he/she may be asked to recommend and mentor a committee replacement.
- How are committee members selected?
When space on a committee becomes available, staff review a number of criteria in identifying companies or individuals for participation on a given committee, including:
- Recommendations of an outgoing committee member (typically a replacement from their company)
- Recommendations from committee members as to which companies should have representation on that committee
- Knowledge of which companies, by virtue of their size and current level of engagement in MEA, should have additional representation on a MEA committee
- Inquiry to a select number of member companies to identify individuals who would be a good fit for the committee and interested in participating
Once individuals are identified, either MEA staff or a committee member may make the committee request, as appropriate.
If you are interested in serving on a committee, please let us know!
- Can non-members serve on committees?
Yes, committee service is allowed by non-members.
However, their term is limited to three years and non-members are not allowed to serve as the chair of an MEA committee.
- What is the role of a committee?
Our MEA committees can be described as a group of experts in the industry working together to achieve a specified goal.
In most cases, the committee’s focus and discussion are around a specific event that will benefit our association and the industry. Committees are responsible for the recommended ideas, topics, and speakers for their respective event.
Some MEA committees also have specific charters to further describe their scope, strategy, and responsibilities.
- What is a steering committee?
MEA’s gas and electric sections are guided by a steering committee for their respective sections.
Steering Committee members:
- Provide program oversight and guidance for their respective areas (gas or electric).
- Provide assistance to committees, as needed, and with appropriate committee engagement at their respective companies.
- Provide content for in-person learning events, as needed.
- What are the expectations for serving on a committee?
MEA has the following expectations for committee members:
- Committee members are expected to attend and actively participate in the in-person learning events conducted by their group.
- Committee members not in a leadership role are expected to participate in 50% or more of the conference calls for their group.
- Committee members in a leadership role are expected to participate in 75% or more of the conference calls for their group.
- Committee members are expected to be innovative thinkers, offer suggestions, and implement solutions to support the goals of the committee and enhance their event or other deliverable. Essentially, committee members are asked to be actively engaged in the development and delivery process for learning events and other committee deliverables.
- Committee members should share and promote event information internally with all employees and colleagues as well as externally with clients and partners.
MEA recognizes that the demands of a committee member’s occupation may periodically preclude participation in a learning event, conference call, or other MEA activity. However, committee members are asked to communicate to their MEA staff liaison if they are, or were, unable to participate in a given MEA activity. Advance notice is appreciated.
If committee members find that their schedule or work situation precludes meeting the above expectations, they should discuss their situation with the appropriate MEA staff liaison.
- What is the role of the MEA Staff Liaison compared to committee members?
MEA provides a Staff Liaison to each committee to provide support, organization, facilitation, and management.
MEA Staff Liaison Committee Maintain history files and event data
Create and manage budget
Supply conference materials
Coordinate and run conference calls and planning meetings
Event website and registration
Event logistics and menu selection
Contracts with hotel, vendors, paid speakers
Identify/recommend session topics and speakers
Initial outreach and confirmation of volunteer speakers
Committee selection and management
General input, feedback, and suggestions for improvement
Act as or identify SMEs for information sharing
- What committee leadership positions does MEA offer?
Committee leadership positions include chair, immediate past chair, 1st vice chair, 2nd vice chair, and member-at-large.
Commitment, experience, and demonstrated leadership ability are the main criteria for selecting a committee chair. The chair can bring insight from both their professional and committee experiences. Chairs are expected to serve as a leader for their respective committee during their term to ensure the success of their events.
Specific chairperson responsibilities include:
- Attending and participating in all section or committee activities, as applicable
- Participating in the annual planning meeting or other planning meetings, as organized by MEA
- Providing overall guidance and leadership for their respective committee
- May also be asked to attend functions for the board of directors
Immediate Past Chair
After completing their term as chairperson, this person remains on the committee in an advisory and support role as a past chairperson. After serving as past chairperson, the individual is encouraged mentor another individual within their company as a replacement on the committee.
1st Vice Chair
This committee member is expected to be available in an advisory and support role to the chairperson. The 1st vice chairperson is expected to preside at meetings in the chairperson’s absence and should use their year as 1st vice chair as preparation for taking over as committee chairperson the following year.
2nd Vice Chair
The 2nd vice chairperson should use their year as 2nd vice chairperson as preparation for taking over as committee 1st vice chairperson the following year.
These committee members are expected to contribute to the committee activities by accepting agenda assignments, providing resources, contributing ideas, participating in meetings, and any other activities designated by the committee chairperson.
- How are the committee leadership positions selected/elected?
The particular needs of a given committee dictate selection by MEA staff of individuals to serve in a leadership role.
Often, active committee members with seniority are given first-right-of-refusal to serve in a leadership role. Before agreeing to a leadership role, committee members should be cognizant of the expectations.
- What is the MEA Board of Directors?
The MEA Board of Directors is the primary governing body for MEA.
It consists of between 15 – 30 individuals from member companies, 75% of whom must be either utility or contractor companies. The MEA Board of Directors meet twice per year – in the spring and in the fall – and, like other company boards, provide overall MEA oversight and strategic direction. Board members are generally senior level, operations-focused individuals. The top ten MEA member companies, by amount of dues, are entitled to permanent seats on the Board. Remaining positions are identified and recommended by the MEA Board Development Committee based on a variety of criteria including association needs, including: member company geography, size, and business focus; individual diversity, knowledge, and experience; and other criteria.
Board members nominally serve 3-year terms. Companies may serve second terms, if desired and recommended to do so by the Board Development Committee. All incoming and renewing Board members are voted on by the Primary Contact from each MEA member company. Individuals on the Board may be asked to participate on the Board Executive Committee and, later, ascend the Board leadership line, culminating in the Board Chair position.
- Who serves on the MEA Board of Directors?
Individuals currently serving on the MEA Board of Directors are listed here.
- How do I get more information about the MEA Board of Directors?
For more information, please contact John Gann.
- I am a committee member. How do I submit my statement of understanding?
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ONLY
Thank you for your service. Please complete this short form annually.
FAQ: OQ Evaluators
- How do I know if my Evaluator is currently considered approved?
If you are an EnergyU System Administrator, check the user’s profile in EnergyU for the Evaluator ID number. This is found under the User’s “General Options” Tab in EnergyU. The evaluator id may be found in the administrator’s General Options tab.
An evaluator who is not a system admin could contact their system admin for that information, or of course, they can always call MEA.
- What are the requirements for becoming a MEA Approved Evaluator?
The requirements for becoming a MEA Approved Evaluator are:
- Attend an in-person “Train the Evaluator” class.
- Evaluator status is good for three years. After the 3-year period, you may renew your status by attending another in-person class or by taking the EnergyU online course entitled “MEA Evaluator Certification Renewal Training.”
- Complete an Evaluator Application Packet in its entirety
- This includes technical references, a resume outlining your experience in the industry, photo identification, and the Evaluator Covered Task List.
- Obtain an EnergyU login
- As a MEA approved evaluator, you will be required to complete the online training and testing modules that correspond to the covered tasks selected on the Evaluator Covered Task List. You will be given six months from the date of class to complete these modules.
- Provide proof of three or more years of field experience (usually outlined in your resume)
IMPORTANT: Failure to comply with these steps above may result in delay or suspension of approval status. MEA reserves the right to recall PEFs issued by any Evaluator who fails to complete the above required actions.
- Attend an in-person “Train the Evaluator” class.
- What online training/testing is required for Evaluators?
An MEA Evaluator must take the training (TNG) and knowledge test (KNT) for each covered task he/she will be approved to evaluate. This is an initial requirement for approval of all MEA Evaluators; no subsequent online training or testing for covered tasks will be required. A current TNG or KNT certificate (does not expire prior to December 31, 2014) will fulfill this requirement.
- Once the online training is complete, what is required for Evaluators to maintain their approved status?
Every three years Evaluators are required to take a refresher class – either attend a classroom course or take an online course that will be made available.
- Our Evaluators have not received their Evaluator IDs or EnergyU logins. When will they get them?
The Evaluator ID will be emailed to the Evaluator once all requirements are met. An EnergyU login is completed by your company’s EnergyU System Administrator.
- When will the training (TNG) and knowledge test (KNT) be available through EnergyU for the Evaluators?
As soon as the Evaluator is added to EnergyU, the company EnergyU Administrator may enroll the Evaluator in the correct courses that correspond to the tasks he/she will evaluate. These courses may be taken prior to earning an Evaluator ID.
- I previously attended a Train the Evaluator class; do I need to attend another Train the Evaluator class to be an approved MEA Evaluator?
An approved MEA Evaluator may attend a Train the Evaluator Class or complete the online refresher course to renew evaluator status.
- How do you obtain signatures on the Performance Evaluation Form (PEF) documents?
If you print the forms and manually complete them, the Evaluator and Evaluatee use a pen to sign the form. If the PDF form is filled out using a tablet or laptop, the equipment must be capable of capturing a signature (such as with a signature pad).
- Do you recommend that people download all copies of the PEFs and store them locally?
We recommend downloading the PEF documents as you need them. Since MEA will be updating the evaluation documents from time-to-time, you will want to make sure you are using the most current version.
- What should we do with our original signed PEFs?
The PEFs are a part of your company’s records and as such, should be saved in adherence with your company’s retention policy. Typically, documentation is required to be kept for 5 years.
- Can third party Administrators have access to contractor and employee IDs?
Each company is required to have one Primary System Administrator for EnergyU. This person must be a company employee. MEA can add a third-party administrator to your EnergyU account when the appropriate release is signed. The Primary System Administrator is ultimately responsible for company EnergyU records and is not to share his/her EnergyU user ID and password.
- One of our employees earned qualifications with a prior company. May I get access to those records?
Please contact the EnergyU department (651) 289-9600 for the proper Request for Release Form. Release of records is approved by the releasing company. MEA stands neutral in the release of records from one company to the other.
- How do you address a covered task that is unique to our company? In the case of the PEFs, are they writable so you can add whatever information you need to address a company’s unique requirements?
The documents are PDF writable in that you can enter required information only. For custom requirements, you would submit your customizations to MEA for approval. In general, MEA will approve the addition of company specific content. Any deletions or modifications eroding the intent of the original PEF will not be approved.
- Can an organization use the TNG/KNT courses and then have their own, non-MEA Approved Evaluator conduct the performance evaluations?
Yes. Your organization may use the MEA materials as needed. MEA does not require operators to use MEA Approved Evaluators. However, those records will not be considered valid according to the MEA Best Practices Program. MEA must be able to validate and verify records.
- "Three years field experience..." do the three years need to be tied to a specific covered task or can they involve only general field knowledge?
The field experience should be tied to the specific covered task, or in lieu of the three years, any documented training by a vendor or educational institute will also satisfy the three years requirement (provided it is tied to the covered task).
- Can you incorporate auto fill where applicable (such as name, address) on the PEF forms?
At this time, it would be up to individual companies to write an auto fill application.
- Do Evaluators have to have a valid PEF certificate for tasks they are to evaluate?
No. Evaluators do not have to perform a hands-on evaluation unless they perform a covered task as part of their position.
- Do copies of failed PEFs need to be submitted for tracking purposes? Is there a clear indication on the form of passing versus failed, and if not, how will you be able to tell the difference?
You should keep records on failed performance evaluations, but MEA does not need copies of these records. There is an option to check Yes or No for “Qualified.”
- What steps should be taken to ensure a PEF gets uploaded to EnergyU? How will we know when it is approved if we need to schedule an ISN transfer?
An EnergyU Administrator should grant the PEF certificates in EnergyU for the date the PEF was passed. ISN transfers take place automatically each night. The system will capture TNG/KNTs passed within 3 days and PEFs that have a granted date within 30 days.
- Does passing the pre-test constitute qualification for knowledge-only tasks as determined by the operator?
According to MEA best practices, passing the pre-test does not constitute qualification for knowledge.
- If my Administrator is not an Evaluator, how can the Administrator grant certificates for the evaluations?
The Administrator has ultimate rights within EnergyU along with the ability to manually grant certificates. Certificates for TNGs and KNTs are granted automaticallywhen the course is passed. MEA has an instruction document for granting PEF certificates.
IMPORTANT: MEA conducts audits of all EnergyU accounts. MEA reserves the right to revoke any TNG/KNT certificates that have been manually granted.
- Are there resources available to conduct electronic evaluations?
Yes. Each MEA Approved Evaluator is provided with resources in his/her EnergyU account. Once logged in to EnergyU, find the tab “Resources”, click and scroll to find the helpful documents or information needed.
- Do I need to bring my own equipment to the Train the Evaluator Class?
No. The Train the Evaluator Class does not teach “how” to perform a covered task. The class is designed to give the evaluator the soft skills needed to conduct a performance evaluation.
- What are the costs associated with EnergyU and approved evaluators?
Please visit the MEA Energy Association website (www.meaenergy.org) for a list of events, costs, and contact information.