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Wisconsin utilities earn national recognition for safe operating practices

Twenty-three community-owned utilities in Wisconsin have earned national recognition for their safe operating practices in 2019. The Safety Award of Excellence is presented annually by the American Public Power Association, a national trade group representing the interests of public power utilities.

More than 335 utilities from across the country submitted information for the annual Safety Awards, which is the highest number of entrants in the 60-year history of the program. Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker-hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2019. The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2019, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Wisconsin utilities that earned this year’s Award of Excellence are:

  • Arcadia Electric Utility
  • Bangor Municipal Utility
  • Brodhead Water and Light
  • Clintonville Utilities
  • Columbus Water & Light
  • Evansville Water and Light
  • Kaukauna Utilities
  • Lodi Utilities
  • Medford Electric Utility
  • Menasha Utilities
  • New Holstein Utilities
  • Prairie du Sac Utilities
  • Reedsburg Utility Commission
  • City Utilities of Richland Center
  • River Falls Municipal Utilities
  • Shawano Municipal Utilities
  • Stoughton Utilities
  • Sturgeon Bay Utilities
  • Two Rivers Water & Light
  • Village of Muscoda
  • Waunakee Utilities
  • Waupun Utilities
  • Wisconsin Rapids Water Works & Lighting Commission

April 18 is National Lineman Appreciation Day

This year’s commemoration of National Lineman Appreciation Day takes on special meaning as the nation copes with the coronavirus pandemic and an increased reliance on essential workers to help citizens stay safe at home. Celebrated officially since 2013 and commemorated by a Resolution in the United States Congress, April 18th is set aside each year as the Day to express appreciation for all the men and women who put their talents to work as electrical line workers.

Together, MEUW member utilities employ more than 300 lineworkers across Wisconsin, and the association is using social media to recognize these hard-working individuals who commit themselves to their customers and communities. Those who wish to honor lineworkers and their families are encouraged to use the hashtag #ThankALineman in social media. Learn more here.

MEUW focusing on helping municipal electric utilities to speak with “one voice” in pandemic response  

The pace of change and volume of information in this public health crisis is astounding, and it can be challenging to keep up with all that is happening. MEUW is diligently monitoring legislative and regulatory activity related to the pandemic. We’ve been engaged with staff at the Public Service Commission to provide timely updates to MEUW members. We are also working with our joint-action agency partners and other state trade associations to coordinate our actions and information sharing. In an effort to further streamline communications, we’re asking MEUW members to funnel questions and issues directly to MEUW Executive Director Tim Heinrich so that we can be coordinated in our response. Likewise, the staff at the PSC will be relying more heavily on MEUW to share information directly with municipal electric utilities.

Wisconsin line crews requested for Hurricane Dorian mutual aid

Crews from at least 16 Wisconsin communities were offered to provide mutual aid support in the wake of damage expected from Hurricane Dorian. Despite efforts to prepare for a mission to Kissimmee, Florida, the storm changed course and it is now likely the crews won’t be needed. To learn more, click here.

Under the Dome is back

MEUW’s periodic update on what’s happening at the Wisconsin State Capitol and has potential to impact municipal electric utilities is now online. To access the latest information, please click here.

Live Lines is on

MEUW’s monthly publication is available on the association’s main website.  To access past issues, click here and select the month of the issue you’d like to read (after the jump, please scroll to the bottom for the most recent issue).

Check out past issues of MEUW Weekly

Every edition of the weekly news from MEUW can be found on this page.  To access past issues, simply click of “MEUW Weekly” above and then select the date of the issue you’re interested in.

MEUW Weekly to debut in August

Beginning in mid-August, MEUW plans to distribute a weekly update to members.  The e-mail “newsletter” will include highlights from Tim Heinrich, MEUW’s Executive Director, as well as updates and reminders regarding MEUW events and services.  The plan is to send the e-mail each Tuesday in order to establish a regular communications tool and reduce the number of “one-off” emails that come from the MEUW office.  The existing Live Lines newsletter will continue to be published and distributed on the first Monday of each month.  Over time, the editorial focus on Live Lines may shift to include regular articles about industry issues, emerging trends and additional human-interest stories relevant to MEUW members.

Tim Heinrich joins MEUW as Executive Director

On April 27, MEUW’s Board of Directors announced the hiring of Tim Heinrich as Executive Director.  Tim is a utility industry veteran with nearly 25 years of experience working for Alliant Energy where he held leadership posts in corporate communications, community affairs and customer service operations.  He is a Wisconsin native and currently lives in Madison.    

In the announcement of Tim’s hiring, MEUW Board Secretary Treasurer Tim Herlitzka, who chaired the Search Committee, said, “We are delighted to have Tim at the helm of MEUW.  His proven leadership abilities, track record as a highly effective communicator, and in-depth knowledge of the issues facing our industry make him an ideal choice, and he will enjoy the strong support of our board and membership as he takes on this role.”

Tim’s selection as Executive Director came as a result of an extensive search process with participation from across the MEUW membership.  He joined MEUW on April 30 and will work closely with the 19-member Board and lead the statewide employee team to advance the interests of Wisconsin’s community owned, locally-controlled, not-for-profit municipal electric utilities. 

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