Agenda set for Accounting and Customer Service Seminar: MEUW is holding its annual gathering for municipal electric utility accounting and customer service employees on Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. 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 topics include construction authority and public bidding, American Rescue Plan funding, and small group discussions about best practices in credit and collections. The cost to attend is $135 for MEUW members. The complete seminar agenda is available here.
Additional date added for one-day chainsaw and tree-trimming workshops: MEUW is hosting a series of one-day workshops focusing on the maintenance and safe operation of chainsaws as well the basics of safe tree trimming. Each workshop will be conducted by certified arborist David Vincent, and will take place at six different sites across the state. Based on early demand, a session in Kaukauna on Oct. 25 has been added to the schedule. Other sites are Barron, Fennimore, Florence, Jefferson, and Manitowoc. Each session will begin at 8:00 a.m. and wrap up by 3:00 p.m. daily; lunch is provided. Cost is $235 per person for MEUW members/communities. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants at each site. To learn more, click here.
MEUW’s Board of Directors held a regular meeting in Manitowoc on Aug. 13. The draft minutes of the Board meeting are here (member login required).
Utility leaders encouraged to register for October Retreat: MEUW is organizing a two-day event to bring together those who are “in charge” of their community’s electric utility operations. The goal is to build connections, share leading practices, and help to strengthen public power. The gathering is Oct. 12 and 13 at the Lodge in Mauston; full details are here. All MEUW member utilities are encouraged to send at least one person to have their voice heard.
2021 Wage & Benefits Survey complete: The process of collecting and sharing data about the wages and benefits available at MEUW member utilities is a vital service provided by the association. In fact, in a survey completed in June 2020, 100% of respondents said it was at least “somewhat” important to their utility and said they typically share the results with their governing board members to inform decisions affecting workers’ pay and perks.
The results of the 2021 Wage & Benefits Survey were distributed on July 26. Only the utilities that provided information for the survey received a copy of the results, which were sent to the email address of the person who submitted the data. A total of 67 utilities responded. This total — representing nearly 84% of the MEUW membership — compares to 67 in 2020, 62 in 2019, and 55 in 2018.
Beginning in 2022, the timing of the annual survey will be changing. Based on member feedback, MEUW plans to collect data in March so the results can be shared prior to May 1 when many municipalities begin their budgeting process. Watch for more details early next year.
Start spreading the news: We’d like to share your utility’s news with other MEUW members. Please take time to let us know about new hires, promotions, retirements, honors, and awards. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review and include it in our member communications.
Podcast addresses what happens to retired solar panels: The fate of used solar panels is a regular question as more and more of them are installed across the country. It turns out that cutting-edge recycling technology makes the used solar panels fully sustainable. On the latest episode of “The Electric Wire” podcast from the Customers First! Coalition an expert discusses solar module recycling and the policies and costs impacting the demand for this process.
CFC’s podcast series seeks to help advance dialogue and education about energy issues across the state and features interviews with guests who have ties to Wisconsin. This most recent episode is the 15th in the series and was released late last month.
To access the podcast episodes, search for The Electric Wire wherever you subscribe to podcasts, or listen at CFC’s YouTube channel. You can follow @theelectricwire on Twitter to get notifications of new episodes, pictures and other information about the podcast series.
Next Management Training Program session is Oct. 27: Session C in MEUW’s six-part Management Training Program, which deals with topics related to Utility Planning and Risk Management, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Dells. For more information or to register, click here.