MEUW Weekly :: August 25, 2020

PSC votes to extend disconnect moratorium again: When the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) met on July 23, the Commissioners voted 2-1 to continue the moratorium on utility residential customer disconnections, vowing to revisit the decision on Aug. 20. With little change in the direction of coronavirus spread in Wisconsin, the Commissioners voted 2-1 last week to further extend the moratorium to Oct. 1. The summary of data collected by PSC staff is available here.

In voting to extend the moratorium, PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq said, “I don’t think we have a choice.” Commissioner Tyler Huebner voted with her. Commissioner Ellen Nowak dissented. The PSC will review the matter again at its Sept. 17 meeting. MEUW will continue to provide updates as needed.

What’s the plan for COLA in 2021? We are currently collecting data about MEUW members’ plans for cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) next year. One of our members has requested the information in order to share it with their community’s leaders, so we’ve put together a simple form to capture the data. Click here to share. Those who provide an email address will receive details about the information others have shared. Your input by the end of this week is appreciated.

MEUW Board endorses new approach for next year’s Operations Conference: After more than half of respondents to a July survey said coronavirus made it “unlikely” they’d attend the annual Electric Operations Conference & Expo (formerly “Joint Sups”) in January 2021, the MEUW Board of Directors voted to support staff plans to stage a different kind of event next year. The vote came at the Board’s regular meeting held on Friday, Aug. 21.

While the plans still need to be worked out, MEUW expects to host an outdoor “show” in late April 2021 to bring together operations folks in an open-air environment to interact with one another, hear from select speakers and see what vendors have to offer. The event is most likely to be held at a county fairgrounds or similar venue and is expected to feature a trade show and equipment demonstrations. The traditional January conference will not be held in 2021. Watch for full details once plans for the April event are finalized.

The MEUW Board of Directors held a regular meeting via a Zoom videoconference on Aug. 21. The draft minutes of the meeting are here (MEUW member login is required to access the download).

WPUI offering virtual seminar about “Emerging Technologies”: The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) is hosting a web conference on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The program will address how emerging technologies are reaching consumers and the partnerships that are needed to bring innovative technologies to market. Speakers will also discuss what utilities and regulators need to consider to ensure emerging technologies can be implemented cost-effectively and sustainably.

The online-only session runs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For registration information and to learn more, visit WPUI’s Website. The “early bird” registration discount ends on Monday, Aug. 31.

Registration is now open for Accounting and Customer Service Seminar: MEUW is hosting its annual gathering for municipal accounting and customer service personnel on Tuesday, Sept. 22. This year’s seminar will be held virtually to ensure the safety of attendees. As always, the program includes a presentation and Q-&-A with staff at the Public Service Commission. There will also be a roundtable discussion about the coronavirus response, a review of meter-to-cash processes, and other presentations. The full agenda and registration details are available here.

Discounted hi-vis shirts on sale: A limited quantity of Bulwark arc-rated, hi-visibility, long-sleeved work shirts are on sale to MEUW members at a deeply discounted price. Thanks in part to VF Workwear’s sponsorship and support of MEUW, the shirt is available for $40 (typically retails for $139). Sizes XL and XXL are still available. These shirts were purchased for the 2020 Watt Hour Meter Workshop and Underground Distribution School that were canceled due to COVID-19. The shirts are for sale exclusively online at All orders must be purchased using a credit card.