MEUW Weekly :: Jan. 11, 2022

Electric Operations Conference & Expo 2022 starts tomorrow! We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 12). More than 250 participants are registered and 65 municipal utilities will be represented. The annual conference is organized by MEUW in cooperation with Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA).

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Don McMillan, a former software engineer turned comedian, who promises to entertain attendees with his presentation, “Take Back Your Job: Finding Humor All Around Us.”

Other conference topics include preparing for a safety inspection, current employment issues, and keeping positive in a negative world. There will be four breakout sessions, enabling registrants an opportunity to select from a wide range of 17 different topics. Many of the presentations will be available online after the conference. Full details are provided in the program brochure, which will be distributed at registration check-in.

Attendees also will have the chance to visit more than 85 manufacturers and suppliers of the latest and most in-demand products and services at Thursday’s Expo. The annual Apprentice Graduation banquet – honoring more than 75 new journeymen tradespeople in electric line work and metering from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 – will be held Thursday evening. The MEUW Board of Directors also will meet on Friday morning in conjunction with the conference.

Some have expressed concern about COVID-19 and its impact on the event. We are focused on the health, safety, and well-being on our attendees. Details about steps we’re taking are here. Most importantly, we’re reminding registrants that if you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who is, please do not travel to attend the event. If you need to cancel, please complete the online form here. All cancellation fees are being waived.

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

One-day three-phase transformer workshops happening next week:  In an effort to maximize cold-weather days for in-person training, MEUW’s Randy Larson will lead a series of one-day workshops on the fundamentals of three-phase transformers in six locations across the state beginning Monday, Jan. 17. Full details are available here.

The schedule allows utility crews to attend a session at a site nearer them to avoid an overnight hotel stay. Each of the six sessions will begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude by 2:30 p.m. The training schedule includes an extended mid-day break to allow attendees to get lunch on their own. The cost to attend is $25 per person, and pre-registration will be required. Visit MEUW’s online Event Calendar to sign up. The registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 14.

Registration is now open for “Lineman University”: The annual seminar is returning to an in-person format and is planned for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24-25 at The Lodge at Mauston. Topics to be covered are useful for anyone who works in the field of electric power systems, construction, and maintenance.

All apprentice and journeymen lineworkers, crew leaders, foremen, groundmen, operations personnel, and related occupations with all levels of experience are encouraged to attend and network with peers. The program has been expanded to one-and-a-half days based on feedback from members who said an overnight stay supports more networking. Likewise, wrapping up before lunch on a Friday allows attendees to get a jumpstart on their weekend.

Lineman U. 2022 will include discussion on a wide variety of topics, including grounding; care, use, and testing of rubber goods; electric vehicles; renewables; and the Smart Grid, among others. Attendees will also participate in a roundtable discussion of emerging industry issues and learn about the anticipated impact of updates to interconnection rules in PSC 119.  

The complete agenda and registration details are available here. The cost for MEUW members is $250, and the registration deadline is Feb. 18. Questions about the seminar should be directed to Randy Larson at (715) 559-7542.

Excavation Competent Person workshop planned in Marshfield and Chetek: Two one-day, in-person Excavation Competent Person workshops are planned for Feb. 8 in Marshfield and April 21 in Chetek.

Each session will be conducted by Tim Palet, an instructor who brings decades of knowledge and experience. Upon completion, attendees will be certified as Competent Persons according to OSHA standards. Register via the Event Calendar at

“Powering Futures” scholarship applications due soon: Applications for MEUW’s scholarship are due on Jan. 26. The Powering Futures Scholarship Fund was created in 2018 in order to grow the number of qualified tradespeople for positions in municipal electric utilities. Each one-time scholarship awarded is for up to $1,000.

To be eligible, students must reside in one of over 80 Wisconsin communities operating an electric utility and must be pursuing post-secondary education to become a Field Service Technician, Groundman, Lineman Apprentice, Electric Meter Technician, Substation Electrician Apprentice or Utility Technician. For more information and to review the complete criteria, visit The recipients will be recognized at MEUW’s Annual Conference in May.

Utility Accounting and Finance subject of upcoming Management Training session: The next session in MEUW’s popular and long-standing Management Training Program focuses utility accounting and finance. The one-day session will be led by Jodi Dobson, a partner in the Energy and Utilities Group at Baker Tilly.

The training (Session D in the series) takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. Complete details about the subject matter and a biography of the instructor are available here. The 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 series and are recognized after completing the program.

Notes from recent association meetings are online: Draft minutes from two recent MEUW meetings are now online and available at the links below (member log-in required).

  • The Executive Committee of MEUW’s Board of Directors held its regular every-other-month meeting on Dec. 1.
  • MEUW’s Board of Directors met by Zoom on Dec. 8 to approve the association’s 2022 budget and handle other business.

The next regular meeting of MEUW’s Board of Directors is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 14. For an up-to-date listing of MEUW Board members, click here.