MEUW Weekly :: July 30, 2019

Massive mutual aid effort helps Wisconsin Rapids recover:  Some 120 utility workers from 44 Wisconsin public power communities were marshaled to provide mutual aid assistance to Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission (WRWW&LC) last week. The effort to restore power came after strong thunderstorms downed trees and power lines on July 20. The cleanup is believed to be the largest in-state mutual aid event MEUW has ever coordinated.

At the height of the storm, more than 10,000 Wisconsin Rapids-area customers had lost power. The outages continued for several days as utility crews cleared trees and rebuilt lines to enable service to be restored. The last of the customers was able to accept power one week later. More than 100 broken utility poles needed to be replaced. Mutual aid assistance crews were released this past Sunday – more than a week after the storm.

In an email, WRWW&LC General Manager Jem Brown wrote, “I want to extend a thank you to the MEUW members who provided much needed mutual aid over the past week! It was an excellent response with a display of great teamwork for all of those who participated. At the start of week, I couldn’t imagine we would have everyone back up within 8 days with over 100 downed poles and 800 occurrences of trees in the lines. Thanks again for your diligent and safe work!”

Registration opens soon for annual Accounting and Customer Service Seminar:  MEUW’s annual gathering for municipal electric utility accounting and customer service employees is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26. This year’s forum is being held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. The program will include presentations by staff from the Public Service Commission with timely reminders about service rules and tips for preparing for a billing audit as well as updates from Focus on Energy and a discussion of Bankruptcy 101, among other topics. The cost to attend is $100 for MEUW members. Registration is expected to open on Aug. 1. Additional details are available on MEUW’s website.

Next Management Training Program focuses on Utility Planning and Risk Management:  MEUW’s popular Management Training Program continues with Session C of on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Hotel Marshfield. With advances in technology and evolving customer needs driving rapid change in the utility industry, utilities must be need to assess where they are and how they’ll need to adapt for the future. This session on Utility Planning and Risk Management will offer insights into effective strategic and project planning processes, among other topics. 

The day-long session will again be led by Dave Krause of Krause Power Engineering and communications strategist Linda Pophal whose previous engagements have brought positive reviews for their preparation and presentation style.

MEUW’s 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 (A-F) program. MEUW awards certificates to all those who complete the program.

For more information or to register, click here.

MEUW to host Cybersecurity Summit:  MEUW is hosting a one-day workshop to help utility managers and governing board members understand more about the risks associated with cyberattacks. Led by an expert with more than 30 years of experience in communications and cyber security in the utility and telecommunications markets, the session will provide the foundational knowledge necessary to help utilities develop a comprehensive cyber-related risk-management program based on real-world examples and utility case studies. The Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Additional details and information about registration are available here.

The cover story in the July edition of MEUW’s Live Lines focused on the topic of cybersecurity. If you missed it, click here

Updated Statistical Data now available:  Wisconsin’s 81 municipal electric utilities now serve more than 295,000 customers, had $716 million in revenues and paid their municipalities more than $23.2 million in lieu of taxes last year. Those are a few highlights from the updated statistical data MEUW has compiled based on recent reporting to the Public Service Commission. You can access the complete data sheet here. If you discover any problem with the information listed for your utility, please contact Mallory Conradt at (608) 478-2528. 

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 We will review and include it in our member communications.