Cover-Up for something more Ominous ?
Glenn Steiger joined Glendale Water & Power in February 2008 to June 2012 (4 years 5 months) as the organization’s General Manager where he transitioned the utility through the integration of “smart grid” technology, water and energy efficiency and a significant increase in the provision of renewable energy. (1)
I was never a supporter of Glenn Steiger who was responsible for transforming the City of Glendale with the smart meters, using over $60 million in Glendale Water and Power (GWP) bond funds that was originally intended and voted by the electorate for GWP infrastructure. Steiger championed the new the new technology during his tenure and was a key figure in bringing $70 million worth of so-called smart meters to the city. (2)
In California, the City of Glendale aggressively implemented an AMI / MDMS infrastructure, with smart meter installations beginning 2010, by transforming the Consumer-to-Grid Connection. GWP was the first utility in the U.S. to receive a Smart Grid Investment Grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
GWP was one of just 33 public power utilities selected for a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) award, GWP replaced all of its electric meters, which serve 84,500 customers, with smart meters that enabled two-way communications and automating its 33,400 water meters to communicate over a secure wireless network. (3)
Steiger per his “profile” on “LINKEDIN.com”: “I was Responsible for the design, development, implementation, and management, of the wireless connectivity and backhaul, of the Smart Grid utility modernization project for Glendale Water and Power (GWP)”. (4) In addition, he said:
- “I’m an accomplished, experienced and internationally recognized energy/water industry CEO-level leader”.
- “An effective strategist with broad knowledge of the energy business and over 30 years in leadership positions”.
- “A proven and innovative business developer, articulate communicator and fiscally and politically astute community leader”.
- “Strategic planning-driven to optimize complex business processes through the rebuilding of industry-lagging organizations”.
- “I’m an acknowledged visionary with a strong history of delivering financial and operational results that exceed business objectives for cost efficiency and productivity”. (4)
Well, so much for his self accolades. Prior to joining GWP, Steiger worked as;
- General Manager/CEO Mass Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.January 2006 – January 2008(2 years 1 month); (4)
- General Manager IID EnergyImperial Irrigation DistrictGovernment Agency; April 2003 – January 2006 (2 years 10 months) (4)
With IID Energy Imperial Irrigation District, Steiger worked on “Green Path” a massive project in which the district would partner with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and a private, nonprofit group out of Boston called Citizens Energy. The partnership called on IID to upgrade its own power line network as a backbone to a system that would connect to the north to a line DWP would build and to a line to the south Citizens Energy would build.
- The goal of Green Path, IID was to move geothermal energy through the IID control area to DWP and to Citizens Energy. In this regard, the Imperial Valley and IID would become important energy providers to Southern California while expanding IID’s own energy system to accommodate growth demands. (5)
On April 26, 2006 – Glenn O. Steiger, as CEO of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), he charted a new course for the company. Steiger said, there was a need for MMWEC to compete more effectively in the region’s electric power business and develop a forward-looking strategy that focuses on improved service to member utilities, adding
- “We need a strategy to deal more effectively with the dynamic changes occurring in the wholesale power markets so that we can bring more stability to our power costs,”
To help achieve this objective, MMWEC created a new Supply and Trading DivisionThe new division included an energy procurement and trading function that will enable MMWEC to react quickly to changing market conditions and participate in transactions to hedge risks associated with energy and fuel purchases. (6)
On February 21,2007, per the Public Power Daily, under an agreement withMMWEC, the Energy Authority was to serve as MMWEC’s trading partner and provide support for MMWEC’s financial hedging transaction. The hedging program was scheduled for implementation in 2007when information surfaced in regards to IID. Steiger said that. “MMWEC’s Energy Price Risk Management Program will bring greater stability and more consistently competitive prices to the municipal utility power supply,”. (7)
On July 15, 2007, there was a Hedging Fund Probe from Coast to Coast. The fallout of the Imperial Irrigation District natural gas hedging investigation stretched across the country to Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co’s board., where two former IID managers worked, delayed the proposed electrical hedging program that organization was ready to approve. (8)
Steiger, coincidentally was General Manager IID Energy from April 2003 – January 2006. He left IID after he was named GM of MMWEC.
More was revealed on IID hedging….. An energy trading unit within the Imperial Irrigation District bought natural gas on the futures market beyond district-imposed spending caps.
- Such purchases were made without proper approval, IID spokesman Kevin Kelley said. The program has been blamed for a projected $47 million Energy Department shortfallwhat IID has called “uncollected” natural gas costs. .
Glenn Steiger, who led IID’s Energy Department when the hedging program was implemented, said “hedging was a way to avoid the volatility of the open market”.He supports hedging and those who were part of the energy trading unit, saying if the group spent beyond its parameters, he has no such knowledge! In September 2005 the IID board voted to hedge 100 percent of the district’s natural gas needs, a gamble that ultimately worked against the district as gas prices fell on the open market. IID General Manager Charles Hosken said those in the district who were involved in the energy hedging program acted as a “rogue operation.” (9)
- This led the district to stop the hedging program altogether. Steiger said the district is making a mistake by doing away with the hedging program.
As GWP General Manager, Glenn Steiger continued his ambitions in dealing with Hedge Funds. Per the Minutes, Glendale Water and Power Commission, City of Glendale April 6, 2009, presenting a “Strategic and Quarterly Risk Planning Update”, Steiger presented handouts pertaining to the System Hedge Schedule for the past 18 months and procuring energy over the next 18 months. The second handout showed GWP’s position in terms of what was actually purchased and hedged.
- Hedging is the actual purchase of natural gas as a percentage of the total energy portfolio that GWP uses to generate power.
Per the Minutes, Glendale Water and Power Commission, City of Glendale April 4, 2011,, GWP retained the services of RMI (Risk Management Incorporated) for Energy Risk Management. Strategic Development, Portfolio Management Systems, and Commodity Execution. Mr. Schnell presented a detailed report regarding GWP’s Risk Management Portfolio, including hedging programs relating to natural gas, etc. Glenn Steiger said that GWP has been looking into establishing metrics for our hedging program.
|FY2012-13||ELECTRIC UTILITY OPERATING STATISTICS|
|Average Number of Meters|
|Total Meters – All Classes||85,629||85,358||84,962||84,800||84,554|
|MEGAWATT-HOUR SALES (MWh)|
|Retail Sale of Electricity|
|Total Retail Sale of Electricity||1,127,696||1,094,194||1,050,451||1,102,311||1,151,391|
|Wholesale to Other Utilities|
|Sales to Other Utilities||61,407||493,511||487,753||108,731||76,272|
|Total Wholesale to Other Utilities||297,254||897,830||884,686||185,665||204,828|
|Total Megawatt-Hour Sales||1,424,950||1,992,024||1,935,137||1,287,976||1,356,219|
|FY2012-13||ELECTRIC UTILITY OPERATING STATISTICS|
|Operating Revenues Retail Sale of Electricity|
|Total Retail Sale of Electricity||159,212||154,131||150,204||166,461||188,594|
|Wholesale to Other Utilities|
|Sales to Other Utilities||1,686||23,049||17,437||6,942||7,695|
|Total Wholesale to Other Utilities||14,489||41,876||37,597||10,442||18,583|
|Total Operating Revenues||$173,701||$196,007||$187,801||$176,903||$207,177|
For FYE June 30, 2011 Wholesale sales increased 476% from the prior year. The increase was primarily the result of the Electric Utility’s increased participation in wholesale transactions due to favorable market conditions that meet the City’s risk criteria. The wholesale sector experienced higher net revenues of $5,438 on revenues of $20,160 less $14,722 in expenses.
For FYE June 30, 2012 The wholesale sector experienced lower net revenues of $3,153 on revenues of $18,827 less $15,674 in expenses.
Note Glenn Steiger resigned from the City of Glendale as General Manager in June 2012.although it appears that the City didn’t lose money in 2010-11 and 2011-12 on the buying and selling of Utility futures (Sales to Other Utilities and Wholesale Sales).
For FYE June 30, 2013 Sales to other utilities decreased 93% from the prior year due to changes in market conditions and in accounting to more accurately distinguish between wholesale and retail sales. Wholesale sales decreased 32% from the prior yeardue to changes in market conditionsand the introduction of introduction of California Cap -and-trade system for carbon emissions.
|In 2013, GWP continued its effort to minimize exposure to market spikes in power and natural|
|gas by contracting for advisory services related to risk management of the utility’s exposure to|
|natural gas prices and energy portfolio management.|
In May 2012, Glenn Steiger abruptly resigned as Manager of GWP, while city officials were investigating a case of possible double-billing based on expense receipts he submitted to another public agency. The implication was that Steiger may have been reimbursed by both the city and the authority for the same conference.
According to documents provided by the SCPPA, Steiger submitted receipts for the conference in Monterey that totaled, $1,164.02 for lodging, parking and mileage expenses. At the time Steiger earned a base salary as the utility’s general manager, with a range between $179,508 and $224,388.
Note – This was the first time that Glendale officials had asked an outside agency to review expense reports submitted to it. Doyle asked Carnahan to “treat this matter with the utmost degree of confidentiality.” The next day, Steiger resigned from the city and his position as president of the Southern California Public Power Authority, citing personal reasons. (10)
- Steiger’s departure came just two months after the City Council approved raising water rates over the next four years to lift the water side of the utility out of an estimated $21-million budget hole.
Despite budget challenges facing Glendale Water & Power, this illegal confiscation of monies from the bond fund and annual transfers to the General Fund resulted in the utility sustaining deficits, and lacking necessary funds for future essential infrastructure.
Glendale, being one of the first cities to implement this new “Smart Meter” technology was in effect a guinea pig, that substantially increased the utility’s operational costs by millions of dollars annually in monitoring, software updates, hiring of personnel with expertise in this new technology, and repairs and replacement of equipment that often malfunctions. At the time Willdan was contracted and approved by the City Council to develop the basis for a Citywide water rate increase. Steiger said “In general, we want to start looking at rates that encourage and incent people to conserve water,” (11)
- If this was the criteria used by the City for the rate increase, to encourage the community to conserve, and not based on the Utilities increased costs, then the water rate increase was in violation of State Proposition 218.
Note – the water rate increase of 2012, under consultant “Willdan Financial Services” turned into a fiasco, months later, that needed to be completely revised resulting in an even higher water rate increase and longer duration, under “Bartle Wells & Associates“, in July 2014. City officials were previously forewarned before it was ever approved, that Bartle Well’s methodology was also in violation of Prop. 218, and may be the subject of a second lawsuit by the Glendale Coalition for Better Government.
Although Steiger allegedly resigned as General Manager of GWP for personal reasons, he immediately found employment as follows:
- INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT to the Utility Industry, Lincus. Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Mechanical or Industrial Engineering industry from June 2012, same month and year that he resigned from GWP, to September 2013 (1 year 4 months) (4)
- DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGERNavajo Tribal Utility AuthorityNonprofit; 501-1000 employees; Utilities industry October 2013 – July 2014 (10 months) Fort Defiance, AZ (4)
- GENERAL MANAGER Alameda Municipal PowerJuly 2014 – Present (3 months) (4)
In 2012,Glenn Steiger earned $ 107,421.95 from January to June 2012 (six months) as General Manager/CEO Glendale Water and Power, prior to resigning in June 2012. So, what is this nonsense for his abrupt resignation over $1,164.02 in questionable travel expense irregularities that Steiger said he may have been inadvertently submitted twice to two different agencies.
- How did Glendale city officials even learn of this alleged duplication with another agency?
- Why would Glendale Human Resources Director Matt Doyle so quickly act and request Southern California Public Power Authority’s expense report records on Steiger, submitted in March, under the public records request act?
- Steiger said the city of Glendale at first denied some of his reimbursement requests, so he submitted them to the Southern California Public Power Authority. However, he said that he also unwittingly submitted other expenses already covered by his city-issued credit card.
- So, why did Steiger resign so abruptly over an innocent oversight that immaterial in nature in comparison with his regular salary with an annual base pay of $224,388? He had claimed that it was inadvertent mistake after resigning.
This situation does not pass the smell test, There’s appears to be something more ominous, behind his resignation that isn’t being said by City Officials. However these events occurred around the same time that the City may have learned that Willdan Financial Services bungled the rate increase and the City was in short, in the hole, by almost $9 million dollars.
Also, on the subject of wholesale buying and selling of energy to other utilities and, hedge funds, although it appears that the City didn’t lose money, in accordance with the City’s Utilities financial report for 2010-11 and 2011-12 on the buying and selling of Utility futures (Sales to Other Utilities and Wholesale Sales). However, during the same period, under Steiger’s tenure at GWP, the Utility lost a significant amount of money, some that could partially be attributed to the recession and conservation policies. However, there is something very ominous and incomprehensible how the utility could sustain such a substantial decrease in its cash and cash equivalents over the same period that the city’s utility claims that it made a net profit in the Sales to Other Utilities and Wholesale Sales .
Note – the City’s Cash and Cash Equivalents decreased by $85.6 million during Steiger’s tenure. Also, Steiger had a demeanor that tend to rub others the wrong way.
What is also clear is that Glenn Steiger is a risk taker with other peoples’ taxpayer’s money. Per his “persona”, he appears to be “rogue operative “, as exemplified by his activities and very short tenure as General Manager IID EnergyImperial Irrigation DistrictApril 2003 – January 2006 (2 years 10 months) and General Manager/CEO Mass Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.January 2006 – January 2008 (2 years 1 month). I’m surprised his tenure as General Manager with GWP lasted as long as it did.
It’s apparent that if Glenn Steiger was not hired by the City of Glendale, the city would have not been involved in the Smart Meter Program, and the City would have been $60 million dollars better off, not including the millions spent annually on monitoring, software updates, hiring of personnel with expertise in this new technology, and repairs and replacement, that would not have necessitated the substantial increase in water and electric rates that city residents and business are now experiencing to bring down the GWP deficit and rebuild a reserve.