MEUW Weekly :: July 14, 2020

Discounted hi-vis shirts available beginning tomorrow: MEUW is offering for sale a limited quantity of flame-resistant, hi-visibility, long-sleeved work shirts at a deeply discounted price. The shirts go up for online-only sales on Wednesday, July 15.

The Bulwark arc-rated, hi-visibility shirt is made in the U.S.A. and regularly sells for $139. Thanks in part to VF Workwear’s sponsorship and support of MEUW, the shirt is for sale to MEUW members for just $40! Limited quantities of sizes large, XL and XXL will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. These shirts were purchased for the 2020 Watt Hour Meter Workshop and Underground Distribution School that were canceled due to COVID-19.

In anticipation of high demand at the discounted price, the shirts will go on sale exclusively online at on Wednesday, July 15, at 9 a.m., until all sizes are sold out. Each shirt is embroidered with the MEUW logo and either “Watt Hour” or “Underground School.” All orders must be purchased by credit card through the MEUW Website (no phone calls or checks accepted).

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

Join us for the “Public Power Fore-ward” golf outing: Even though the MEUW Annual Conference was canceled due to COVID-19, the golf outing is a go! The event is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 19, and provides for a safe, outdoor gathering of MEUW members. Sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Utility Suppliers Association (WUSA), the outing will take place at the Castle Rock Golf Course in New Lisbon to provide for a more centralized site. Click here for details and to access registration information. Space is limited; early registration is encouraged.

Give us your feedback about the Operations Conference: Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” In that spirit, MEUW has begun exploring plans for the next Electric Operations Conference & Expo (formerly the Joint Superintendents’ Conference). Like everything, planning for the 2021 event — currently planned for Jan. 13-15 in Wisconsin Dells — is complicated by continuing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

We’ve put together a brief survey to collect feedback to help us prioritize our planning for EOCE 2021. Please take a minute to complete the survey here.

Regulatory rules suspended due to COVID-19 re-start July 15: As previously communicated, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is beginning the process to roll back rules suspensions that have been in place during the public health emergency. Here are some important reminders and details to keep in mind:

  • As of July 15, utilities may begin issuing disconnect notices for nonpayment and for failure to provide documentation of residency and identity. The first available date for disconnection or refusal of service is July 25. Utilities must fill out the PSC’s “disconnection plan” survey at least five days prior to implementing their plans. The survey form is available here.
  • Beginning July 15, utilities may resume assessing late fees, but only on amounts incurred beginning on July 15 or later. The utility cannot apply late fees to amounts incurred during the period from March 24, 2020 to July 14, 2020. Utilities have the option to continue waiving late fees through the end of the year, but they must notify the PSC.
  • All utilities are required to provide another report of COVID-19-related expenses, which is due July 15. The PSC authorized all electric, gas, steam, and water public utilities to defer their COVID-19-related expenses (such as foregone revenue and carrying costs) and required utilities to accurately report on these costs. The PSC has provided a survey form to report expenses from June 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. All utilities are expected to complete the survey by July 15, even if they are not reporting any COVID-19-related expenses. The survey is available here.

The PSC has updated the Q-&-A on its website and provides additional guidance on each of these topics as well as deferred payment agreements. You can access the Q-&-A here.

Municipal utility employees who have questions about PSC rules and customer issues are encouraged to call the PSC’s Utility Inquiry Line at (608) 266-3766 or send an email.

Limited number of seats available for upcoming workshops: MEUW is moving ahead with three in-person workshops planned for August and September because much of the actual training takes place outdoors and the number of attendees is being limited to encourage physical distancing. To learn more, click on the date(s) to link to the registration page for each of these upcoming sessions:

  • Facility Locating Workshop: Aug. 11, Chippewa Falls
  • Competent Person/Excavation Workshop: Aug. 24, Waupun Utilities
  • NESC Code Seminar: Sept. 14-15, Oconomowoc Utilities