APPA receives $4 million grant for cybersecurity

June 4, 2024

DOE grant aims to strengthen cyber defenses for small public power utilities

The American Public Power Association (APPA) has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to help improve cybersecurity for its member utilities.

This grant comes from the DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) through the Rural and Municipal Utility Cybersecurity (RMUC) Program, which was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The RMUC Program aims to help smaller utilities protect against and respond to cybersecurity threats.


Key goals and actions

Scott Corwin, president and CEO of APPA, emphasized the importance of cybersecurity for all public power utilities.

“Cybersecurity remains front of mind for the public power community, regardless of the size of our member utilities,” he said. “This agreement with DOE will help bolster the cybersecurity defenses of our members and is the latest example of successful collaboration between APPA, its members and the federal government.”

The grant will primarily support small, resource-limited APPA member utilities (under 4,000 meters), by providing:

  • Assessments and training: To help utilities understand and improve their cybersecurity
  • Improved cyber incident response: Enhancing the ability to respond to and recover from cyber incidents
  • Participation in information sharing: Encouraging utilities to share information about threats and responses
  • New resources: Developing guidebooks, training courses, and events to educate members


Collaboration and support

The program focuses on utilities with critical infrastructure, including those serving military installations. APPA will work with various local and regional entities to provide resources and support.

Over the next four years, APPA will:

  • Evaluate member cybersecurity needs
  • Explore new training methods
  • Enhance internal cybersecurity capabilities
  • Increase participation in information-sharing programs
  • Improve overall preparedness and response to cyber threats


Industry impact

David Osburn, APPA Board Chairman, highlighted the importance of such grants in fighting cyber threats.

“Grant opportunities like this are vital in assisting public power in our ongoing fight against cybercrimes. This is a great opportunity for the APPA membership to improve public power’s cybersecurity defenses, and I personally would like to encourage the membership to take advantage of this funding opportunity,” Osburn said.

Tom Kent, president and CEO of Nebraska Public Power District, said smaller utilities often struggle with cybersecurity due to limited funds and resources. He stressed that this grant will help smaller utilities improve their cybersecurity defenses.

“With the electric sector continuing to be in the bullseye for advanced persistent threat actors and others, this RMUC grant will provide another avenue to support APPA’s members who need additional help to put best practices in place to defend the nation’s electric grid,” he said.

For more information, contact Chris Ching, Cybersecurity Specialist at APPA, at