MEUW Weekly :: Aug. 16, 2022

Outcome of PSC proceedings could significantly impact municipal utilities: Members of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) recently voted 2-1 to open proceedings to determine whether third-party-financed distributed energy resources are public utilities as defined by Wisconsin statute. The outcome — which is expected no later than Dec. 1, 2022 — could fundamentally alter the current regulatory compact and enable third parties to provide power without the obligations to serve that are required of public utilities.

Consistent with our mission, MEUW is working collaboratively to advocate for municipal utilities. MEUW is among 17 other entities that filed to intervene. The docket numbers are 9300-DR-105 and 9300-DR-106.

Given the importance of these dockets, we are hosting a briefing session to keep members informed and engaged. Richard Heinemann of Boardman Clark law firm, MEUW’s legal counsel, will provide an overview of the issues, detail milestones in the schedule, and respond to questions. For details about this members-only conference call, please click here (member log-in required).  

MEUW Board of Directors to hold strategy session: Members of MEUW’s Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, Aug. 31 to review and consider changes to the association’s long-term strategic plan that was adopted in 2019. The purpose of the meeting (to be held at The Lodge At Mauston) is to evaluate progress on the current plan, which was developed with an eye toward what MEUW could look like when the association marks its 100th anniversary in 2028. The planning will take into consideration how external factors might impact MEUW members and what services and offerings could be developed to strategically address them. All members are welcome to attend and participate; details are here.

The August edition of Live Lines was distributed Aug. 2. In case you missed it, you can find it online here.

Register now for September lineworker tree-trimming workshop: Recognizing that safely cutting limbs and branches around energized wires and equipment requires a high level of focus and skill that cannot be taken for granted, MEUW is hosting an advanced, hands-on workshop specifically targeting lineworkers of all experience levels. Seating is limited to the first 25 registrants. The workshop will help participants refresh their skills and learn about safe tree trimming and tree felling, according to ANSI standards.

The one-day workshop, which will be led by the full-time line clearance crew at Plymouth Utilities, is scheduled for back-to-back dates — Sept. 21 and 22. Each session will be held in Plymouth, and begins at 8:00 a.m. and wraps up by 3:00 p.m.; lunch is provided. To learn more, click here.

Agenda set for Accounting and Customer Service Seminar: MEUW is holding its annual gathering for municipal electric utility accounting and customer service employees on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Lodge At Mauston. As always, the program features a presentation from the Public Service Commission, and this year’s presenter is Kristy Nieto, Administrator of the Division of Digital Access, Consumer and Environmental Affairs. Other presentations involve legal and regulatory hot topics, including bankruptcies, records retention, and more, as well as small group discussions about leading practices in the tax-roll process. The cost to attend is $135 for MEUW members. The complete seminar agenda is available here.

Consider joining MEUW’s S&E Committee: We are currently looking to fill a vacancy on MEUW’s Safety and Education Committee. If you are interested in joining the committee or have questions regarding the role, please contact MEUW’s Manager of Safety Services Mike Czuprynko or any of the current committee members. Those individuals who may be interested are asked to submit a brief email that explains their background and the reason(s) they would like to be considered for a seat on the committee. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Sept. 15.

Changes are coming to MEUW Management Training Program:  MEUW’s Board of Directors recently approved an overhaul of the association’s professional development offerings. The changes, which involve a streamline of certain course offerings and the introduction of a new “Municipal Utility Leadership Program,” are rolling out in 2023. Full details are available here.

Updated Statistical Data now available:  Wisconsin’s 81 municipal electric utilities served more than 298,000 customers, had $708 million in revenues and paid their municipalities more than $23.2 million in lieu of taxes during 2021. Those are a few highlights from the updated statistical data MEUW has compiled based on recent reporting to the Public Service Commission. You can access the complete data sheet here. If you discover any problem with the information listed for your utility, please contact Tim Heinrich at (608) 478-0998. 

MEUW Weekly remains on summer schedule: A reminder that MEUW is not distributing an e-newsletter every week during the summer. Look for the next MEUW Weekly in your inbox on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The September edition of MEUW’s monthly newsletter, Live Lines, will be sent as usual on the first Tuesday of the month (Sept. 6).