MEUW Weekly :: Aug. 13, 2019

Rubber Gloving Hotline School set for Sept. 17-18 in Green Bay: MEUW’s Electric Utility Safety and Training Coordinator Randy Larson is leading a two-day, hands-on training session offering simulations of hotline field operations and safety procedures next month. The seminar is designed for all lineworkers, regardless of their years of experience, and will include simulations related to 5KV, 12KV, and 25KV systems.

The program will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at the Northeast Energy Education Center in Green Bay. The cost is $285 for MEUW members. To learn more about the training and to register, click here.

Registration now open for annual Accounting and Customer Service Seminar: MEUW is holding its annual gathering for municipal electric utility accounting and customer service employees on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. This year’s program will include presentations by staff from the Public Service Commission with timely reminders about service rules and tips for preparing for a billing audit as well as updates from Focus on Energy and a discussion of Bankruptcy 101, among other topics. The cost to attend is $100 for MEUW members. A complete agenda and additional details are available on MEUW’s website.

Also, every member utility is being asked to complete a census survey to share insights about their accounting and customer service practices. The survey seeks to gather information about systems and vendors used by municipal electric utilities as well as data about deposits and disconnection thresholds, credit card fees, and the like. The results will be compiled and shared at the Accounting and Customer Service Seminar. The last time MEUW gathered this information was in 2013. To share insights about your utility’s practices, please complete the survey here.

Provide your feedback about recent mutual aid effort: MEUW is collecting member input about the July mutual aid assistance events organized to support Wisconsin Rapids’ recovery from devastating storms. We’re seeking a candid assessment of what worked and what didn’t by answering a few open-ended questions, and we want to hear from everyone – including those who were not able to send crews. Please take a few minutes to respond to this brief survey and help us compile some “lessons learned” from this most recent event.

Be sure your community doesn’t miss Thursday’s deadline for cable TV franchise fee filing: Under a new state law, the Video Service Provider (VSP) fee percentage rate a community assesses will be reduced by 0.5%. So if your municipality’s VSP fee percentage is currently 5% of cable gross receipts, it will be 4.5%. The State of Wisconsin will replace the lost revenue to municipalities in 2020 by paying an amount equal to 0.5% of VSP gross receipts from 2018.

The Department of Revenue provided information on its Website. In order to qualify for the 2020 reimbursement payment from the state, a municipality must file Form SL-310 by this Thursday, Aug. 15. To learn more, check out this information from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Plan to attend this year’s Wisconsin Energy Providers Conference: Join your fellow energy industry professionals for insights and networking at the Wisconsin Energy Providers Conference to be held in Wisconsin Dells on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The Conference brings together representatives of all facets of Wisconsin’s electric-utility industry and includes attendees from public power, cooperative and investor-owned utilities as well as the Public Service Commission.

In response to attendee feedback, this year’s event will take place outside of Madison during the more temperate early fall. You can take advantage of this new format by participating in a pre-conference golf outing and reception on Monday, Sept. 30, followed by a day of informative programming on Tuesday, Oct. 1, with a focus on industry trends and emerging technology. Featured in the speaker line-up is the always-popular CEO panel. Invited speakers include Governor Tony Evers and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Confirmed speakers include Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq.

To learn more and to register for the event, click here. The event is a collaborative effort of Dairyland Power Cooperative, MEUW, Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA), Wisconsin Utilities Association (WUA), and WPPI Energy.

For Sale: Algoma Utilities is currently accepting sealed bids for the sale of a bucket truck. Details are available here.

The August edition of Live Lines was distributed last week. In case you missed it, you can find it online here.

Plan to attend Customer First! Power Lunch: The Customers First! Coalition will host its annual Power Lunch on Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Madison. 

The program – “Energy 2050” – will focus on what the utility world might look like at mid-century. Futurist Rebecca Ryan will offer perspective from Fortune 1000 companies, med-tech, the U.S. military, and NATO to see what futures are emerging, the role of utilities in enabling or disabling them, and what those futures teach us about how to prepare for 2050. Following her keynote presentation, Ms. Ryan will join industry executives for a panel discussion about carbon reduction, affordable electricity, and their predictions for 2050. 

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison (lunch is included). The registration fee for the general public is $40. To register, click here. Representatives from MEUW member utilities can attend the event at no cost by entering the promo code CFCMEMBER.

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.

Next Management Training Program focuses on Utility Planning and Risk Management:  MEUW’s popular Management Training Program continues with Session C of on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Hotel Marshfield. With advances in technology and evolving customer needs driving rapid change in the utility industry, utilities must be need to assess where they are and how they’ll need to adapt for the future. This session on Utility Planning and Risk Management will offer insights into effective strategic and project planning processes, among other topics. 

The day-long session will again be led by Dave Krause of Krause Power Engineering and communications strategist Linda Pophal, whose previous engagements have brought positive reviews for their preparation and presentation style.

MEUW’s Management Training Program provides education for existing managers, mid-level managers and future management prospects. Participants may start at any point in the six-session (A-F) program. MEUW awards certificates to all those who complete the program.

For more information or to register, click here.

MEUW to host Cybersecurity Summit: MEUW is hosting a one-day workshop to help utility managers and governing board members understand more about the risks associated with cyberattacks. Led by an expert with more than 30 years of experience in communications and cyber security in the utility and telecommunications markets, the session will provide the foundational knowledge necessary to help utilities develop a comprehensive cyber-related risk-management program based on real-world examples and utility case studies. The Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Additional details and information about registration are available here.

The cover story in the July edition of MEUW’s Live Lines focused on the topic of cybersecurity. If you missed it, click here

Several new positions have recently been added to the “Jobs in Municipal Utilities” page on MEUW’s Website – check them out here.