MEUW Weekly :: Dec. 11, 2018

Rich Zipperer to leave PSC: Wisconsin Public Service Commissioner Rich Zipperer said he plans to resign as soon as Gov.-Elect Tony Evers takes office.

Zipperer, a former state legislator who was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker earlier the year but was never confirmed by the state Senate, will remain in Wisconsin and start work as Chief of Staff in the Janesville office of U.S. Rep.-elect Bryan Steil in the new year.

While his term was scheduled to end March 1, Zipperer said he will resign on Jan. 7, the day Evers takes office. Evers will then be able to immediately replace Zipperer on the three-person PSC.

PSC Chairman Lon Roberts on Nov. 30 announced his intention to resign. Gov. Walker appointed Ellen Nowak to serve the remainder of Roberts’ term, which expires in 2023. Nowak had previously served as PSC Chair, but left to lead the Department of Administration earlier this year. Nowak’s appointment is subject to Senate approval. If confirmed, Nowak will serve as PSC Chair until March 1. It is expected that Evers’s choice to join the PSC would become Chair on that date, pending Senate confirmation.

Save the Date for Lineworker U: MEUW will host Lineworker U, a refresher training seminar for experienced  lineworkers, on Feb. 4-6 at the Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Energy Education Center in Eau Claire.

During this three-day event, MEUW will offer numerous technical and safety presentations, hands-on training, the latest equipment, and many networking opportunities. A detailed agenda and registration information will be available on MEUW’s website soon.

We’d like your feedback about MEUW’s District Dinners:  District Dinners have been a long-standing tradition at MEUW. In the past two months, we’ve held them in six communities. These gatherings provided an excellent forum to update members about legislative and regulatory priorities and talk about what’s new at MEUW. Executive Director Tim Heinrich also appreciated hearing about what is happening with MEUW members, and attendees enjoyed networking with colleagues from around the state.

Those who attended this year’s District Dinner were asked to provide feedback about the gatherings.  And we also want to hear from those who didn’t or were unable to attend one of the District Dinners.  Please complete this short survey to share your thoughts about MEUW gatherings. The survey will remain open until Dec. 21. If you have any questions on the survey, please contact

PSC approves Wisconsin Power and Light’s proposed credit card tariff revision: At its regular meeting on Nov. 29, the PSC approved WP&L’s request to recover credit card transaction fees in its O&M budget, rather than charging those fees directly to customers who pay by credit card. MEUW submitted a letter in support of WP&L’s request to allow rate-recovery of those transaction fees. We believe this change will make it easier for customers to take advantage of online and self-service offerings. The PSC’s decision opens the door for municipal utilities to adopt a similar approach.

The Commissioners delegated authority to PSC staff to approve Wisconsin utilities’ requests to recover credit card transaction fees through O&M budgets. However, if other utilities’ applications are not identical to WP&L’s application, they will be subject to additional PSC review.  The Commissioners also requested that staff report (at least annually) about the number of utilities adopting this new policy and the cost effects.

Joint Sups is coming up!  Remember to register for the annual Joint Superintendents’ Conference and Expo, which will be held Jan. 16-18 in Wisconsin Dells. The annual gathering is presented by MEUW and the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association and features a large trade show hosted by the Wisconsin Utility Suppliers Association (WUSA).  Register today!

MEUW Weekly will be on hiatus for the holidays:  Next week’s edition will be the final one for 2018.  We will not distribute an e-newsletter on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. Also, the January edition of Live Lines will be published on Tuesday, Jan. 8, so the first edition of MEUW Weekly in 2019 will be distributed on Jan. 15. As always, we welcome your feedback about the news you receive from MEUW. Please use the Comment section below to “leave a reply” and share your thoughts. Thank you … and happy holidays!

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