MEUW Weekly :: Feb. 11, 2020

Next Management Training session focuses on Utility Accounting and Finance: The next session in MEUW’s long-standing Management Training Program focuses on utility accounting and finance. The one-day session takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Hotel Marshfield, and will be led by Jodi Dobson, a partner in the Energy and Utilities Group at Baker Tilly. Complete details and registration information are available here.


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


MEUW to offer flagger training to meet new state requirement: As of Jan. 1, 2020, the State of Wisconsin requires all flaggers working on Wisconsin state highways to be trained and certified in a state-specific flagger training curriculum. The new requirement came into effect after Wisconsin Department of Transportation inspectors observed a number of work zone safety issues, including inattentive flaggers and improper use of personal protective equipment. The new training is designed to provide for the safety of flaggers and the traveling public.

After successfully piloting a one-day training class that meets the new state training requirement in January, MEUW is now making plans to offer the course at locations across the state. If your community or utility is interested in serving as a host site for one of the training sessions, please contact MEUW Manager of Safety Services Mike Czuprynko at (608) 478-2530 or by email. Watch for more details about training dates and locations in future MEUW communications.


Applications for Safety Awards are due March 2: MEUW enjoys recognizing member utilities for taking steps to improve their overall safety performance. We are now accepting applications for 2019 performance measures. Each utility is encouraged to take time to compile the necessary information and submit the application spreadsheet, which is available at MEUW.org/safetyawards. The deadline to submit the required documentation is Monday, March 2.

Nominations are also being accepted for MEUW’s Association Honors and Awards that recognize individual contributions and achievements toward advancing public power.  Awards are presented in a number of categories and those that meet specific criteria will be reviewed by the Awards Committee. To nominate someone in your area, please visit MEUW.org/awards, complete the nomination form and submit it by the March 31 deadline.

Awards will be presented at MEUW’s 91st Annual Conference in May.


Register now for March Watt-Hour Metering Workshop: MEUW’s annual Watt-Hour Metering Workshop will be held March 16-19 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Green Bay. The workshop combines classroom education with practical, hands-on experiences, and is a “must-attend” for meter technicians who want to stay up to date on new technologies, approved work practices, and proper procedures.

A half-day pre-workshop session on Monday, March 16, covers metering basics for those who may be new to metering or would like a refresher. The agenda also include techniques for verifying and identifying metering inaccuracies, and instruction on choosing the correct metering equipment. Suppliers will also be on hand to showcase the latest in metering technology and equipment at the Tuesday evening Vendor Show. Registration and a complete agenda are available here.


Training session focuses on improving workplace communications: MEUW is offering a one-day training session about interpersonal communications and the impact verbal and non-verbal cues have on everyday conversations. “That’s Not What I Said … or Was It?” will be held on Thursday, March 12, in Wisconsin Dells. To learn more about the program, click here.


WPUI offering programs of interest to MEUW members: Consistent with its mission to advance understanding and discussion of relevant utility industry topics and emerging trends in the electric, natural gas, and water industries, the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) is offering programs that may interest MEUW members:

  • Public Utilities Law Update 2020 — March 4:  This annual program highlights the regulatory and legislative changes over the past year, including presentations from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin as well as from attorneys familiar with those recent changes.
  • Energy Utility Basics — Oct. 5-9: A comprehensive five-day course covering the fundamentals of energy utilities, including an overview of the history of the electric and natural gas industries, insights into regulatory decision-making, analysis of current issues facing the industry, and more. WPUI has offered this essential course each fall since 1983.

For registration information and to learn more, visit WPUI’s Website.


Save the date and plan to attend a Customer Service Roundtable near you:  Each year, MEUW brings together member utilities to exchange ideas and information with one another for the Customer Service Roundtables. There are seven sessions scheduled across the state in April and May, including one at a site near you. The first one happens on Thursday, April 17, in Kaukauna.  For a complete list of dates and locations, click here. The Roundtables are free and lunch is provided; registration will open soon.


MEUW Awards Committee looking for new members: If you’d like to support MEUW and give a bit of your time, the Awards Committee would welcome involvement from a few more MEUW members. The primary function of the Awards Committee is to review the applications received in various categories for individual honors bestowed by the association each year. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact Awards Committee Chair Randy Jaeckels of New Holstein Utilities at (920) 898-5776 or by email.


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


Public Service Announcement: Two quick reminders —

This Friday (Feb. 14) is Valentine’s Day. There’s still time to pick up a card, order flowers, buy chocolates or make reservations for dinner with that special someone.

Next Tuesday (Feb. 18) is primary election day in Wisconsin. Voters statewide will narrow the field of candidates for State Supreme Court Justice while those living in the U.S. Congressional District 7 will pick candidates to face off to fill that vacant seat. There are also dozens of local races across the state, all leading up to the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary on April 7. Click here to learn more.