MEUW Weekly :: Jan. 15, 2019

Joint Sups starts tomorrow! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the Joint Superintendents’ Conference and Expo at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells tomorrow. With nearly 200 participants registered and 59 municipal utilities represented, this year’s event promises to be a good one! The annual conference is organized by MEUW and the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA).

Our keynote speaker is Jack Jackson, a safety professional who formerly worked at Johnson Controls and Avanzar Interior Technologies. In his presentation, “Ten Feet Tall and Bullet Proof,” Jackson will discuss new ideas on how to advance your utility’s safety culture by getting people to think differently about their own personal safety.

Other conference topics include spill containment, workers’ compensation, electric vehicles, load securement and more. All presentations will be available online after the conference. See more details in the program brochure, which will be distributed at registration.

Attendees can also plan to visit nearly 80 manufacturers and suppliers of the latest and most in-demand products and services at the Wisconsin Utility Suppliers Association (WUSA) trade show, and enjoy the annual Apprentice Graduation banquet and WUSA-sponsored social hour.  The MEUW Board of Directors also will meet on Friday morning in conjunction with the conference.

The first “Powering Futures” applications due soon: Applications for MEUW’s new “Powering Futures” scholarship program are due on Jan. 31.  The Powering Futures Scholarship Fund was created to support students pursuing careers in electrical power distribution.

To be eligible, students must reside in one of over 80 Wisconsin communities operating an electric utility and must be pursuing post-secondary education to become a Field Service Technician, Groundman, Lineman Apprentice, Electric Meter Technician, Substation Electrician Apprentice or Utility Technician.

Member utilities can help grow the fund and enable MEUW to award more (or larger) scholarships to support our future workforce.  One way to help is by rounding up your annual dues payment.  Every cent of the excess payment will be put toward the Powering Futures Fund.  So, for example, if your 2019 dues are $1,167.90, consider paying $1,200.00 and put the extra $32.10 to work funding scholarships.

For a full list of the scholarship criteria or additional information, please click here.

District Dinner scheduled in Black River Falls: MEUW’s District Dinner in Black River Falls has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 4, at the Skyline Golf Course. Registration for the Dinner will open in March, but save the date now … especially if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend a District Dinner during the fall.

More than 90 people attended one of the six District Dinners held last fall. Results of surveying completed by attendees at the 2018 District Dinners showed that 97% of respondents indicated that it is “somewhat” or “very important” that MEUW hold a gathering like the District Dinners every year.

Those who did not attend the District Dinners were asked to respond to the same survey online; not surprisingly, 31% of those respondents indicated it was “not that” or “not at all important” for MEUW to hold gatherings. The online survey respondents also indicated they’d be more likely to attend gatherings held in the spring and at lunchtime.

We will use this survey feedback to determine the best approach when planning MEUW gatherings this year.

Ideas for Annual Meeting topics? MEUW leadership and staff are already busy planning MEUW’s 90th Annual Conference to be held May 15 -17, 2019, in Delavan. We encourage you to save the date and join us. Look for information soon on how to submit nominations for MEUW’s annual awards, including our safety awards.

In the meantime, we welcome suggestions for speakers and topics at this year’s special 90th anniversary Annual Conference! If you have any ideas or thoughts to assist in the planning process, please send a note to

Plan to attend Customer First! Power Breakfast: The Customers First! Coalition will host its annual Power Breakfast on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Madison.  MEUW is a founding member of the Customers First! Coalition, organized in 1995 to advocate on behalf of Wisconsin consumers in the debate over electric-utility restructuring.

The program will highlight “industry game changers,” with presentations by experts in the areas of energy storage, renewable energy, electric vehicles and electrification.  Detailed speaker announcements are expected soon.

The half-day session will be held from 8:30-11:00 a.m. at Madison’s Concourse Hotel.  The registration fee for the general public is $35.  Representatives from MEUW member utilities are invited to attend the event at no cost. To register, click here and enter the promo code, CFCMEMBER.

Refresh your skills: MEUW will host Lineworker “U” Feb. 4 to 6 at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire. This three-day event is a refresher training seminar for experienced lineworkers. This program is not recommended for Apprentices, as it is geared toward experienced lineworkers.

When registering, participants will be asked to choose classes that best match their training needs and interests for six break-out sessions. There will also be several general sessions, hands-on training, an introduction to the latest equipment, and time for networking. The seminar agenda — with course choices and details — is now listed on MEUW’s website. Registration is open. Don’t miss this great opportunity to refresh your skills!

Member Inquiries:  We have two questions for MEUW members this week —

Ken Kozak from Two Rivers Power and Light would like to know if there are any MEUW members currently being asked by Wisconsin Energy or Wisconsin Public Service to allow an AMI repeater/antennae device to be located on their poles? If so, do you have a new contract, costs and metered/non- metered solutions? Contact Ken with any information at

Also, Floyd Taber of the City of Tipton, Iowa, is studying issues with MTU Generators (also referred to as MTU Onsite Generation), specifically that the EPA revoked certain engine families’ Certificate of Compliance. He would like to know if any of these generators are located in Wisconsin. His questions are:

  • Are you aware that certain engine families in the MTU Gen Set lines had their EPA Certification revoked?
  •  If you have an affected engine that has had its EPA compliance revoked, would you be inclined to seek compensation from MTU for damages?

If you own a MTU Generator and are willing to help, please contact Floyd at

Access the latest MEUW Calendar of Events, which has been updated with dates for Board of Directors’ meetings through 2020.