Virtual Customer Service Roundtable set for next week: MEUW will hold an online forum to provide municipal customer service employees an opportunity to compare notes and exchange ideas with one another. Based on feedback from those who attended September’s annual Accounting and Customer Service Seminar, there was overwhelming interest in organizing the information exchange.
The session will be held as a Zoom conference on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 10:00 a.m. There is no charge to participate, however, pre-registration is required. Visit MEUW.org for details. The in-person Customer Service Roundtables typically held each spring were canceled this year due to COVID-19, so the virtual format is a suitable alternative.
Next week is Utility Scam Awareness Week: Scammers are especially active at this time of the year and prey on customers who are unaware of utility’s collection practices and policies. During the week of Nov. 16-20, Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of more than 130 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities (and their respective trade associations), will again be working to raise awareness to help combat impostor utility scams by educating and protecting customers. UUAS has a variety of materials available on its Website to help utilities spread the word with their own customers. Click here to learn more.
Ropes and Rigging Safety Training on Dec. 1: MEUW is offering Ropes and Rigging Safety Training focused on the fundamentals of overhead rigging and knot-tying and the use of knots, ropes, blocks and tackle in the performance of line work. The one-day session will include classroom and hands-on training and take place at Fennimore Electric Utility on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Training will be conducted to conform with personal-hygiene and social-distancing guidelines associated with COVID-19, including a cap on the number of attendees. Click here to register.
The November edition of Live Lines was distributed last week. In case you missed it, you can find it online here.
Will utility workers have priority for COVID-19 vaccine? As coronavirus news this week shifted to focus on the success of recent vaccine trials, there are ongoing discussions about how a vaccine would be distributed and to whom. While nothing has been decided, some speculate that utility workers will be classified as essential workers, with priority to receive the vaccine. Two groups – the American Committee on Immunization Practice and the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee – are guiding decisions about vaccine prioritization, and their current work is largely focused on healthcare providers. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provided this document to provide the latest information on vaccine prioritization. MEUW will continue to monitor this and provide updates as they become available.
One-day Transformer Workshops set for January: Four MEUW members have each agreed to host a daylong workshop on the fundamentals of single-phase transformers during the week of Jan. 18, 2021. Each session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 2:30 p.m. Utilities are encouraged to send their employees to the site nearest them and take advantage of a cold-weather training day.
The dates and locations are:
- Monday, Jan. 18 – Fennimore Electric Utility
- Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Waupun Utilities
- Wednesday, Jan. 20 – Plymouth Utilities
- Thursday, Jan. 21 – Florence Utilities
Training will take place in the shop at each utility in order to follow public health protocols. Watch for more details in future editions of MEUW Weekly.
2021 APPA Legislative Rally goes virtual: Due to the ongoing pandemic, the American Public Power Association (APPA) will hold its national Legislative Rally in a virtual format in 2021. The virtual gathering will take place at the same time the in-person rally was scheduled to take place, from March 1-3, 2021, though it is likely to be condensed into two days, rather than three. Further details will be communicated as plans are finalized. APPA put together a summary of frequently asked questions, which is available here.