MEUW Weekly :: September 19, 2023

We’re one month away from our celebration of public power! Excitement is building and our numbers are growing as we approach the 95th anniversary of MEUW’s founding and celebrate public power! On Wednesday, Oct. 18, our members will be raising awareness about the unique qualities that distinguish municipals from other utilities with two key events: A Day at the Capitol, where utility and municipal leaders will meet with lawmakers to ensure they keep public power voices in mind when considering policy; and the “Public Power on Parade,” which already has more than 70 vehicles from across the state joining a caravan from Waunakee Utilities (where a supplier showcase and safety demonstrations are planned) to the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. Have questions? Check out these helpful links.

Looking for lodging options? The cut-off date for the discounted room block at the Park Hotel in downtown Madison is Tuesday, Sept. 26. the cut-off date for the Waunakee Grand Stay is Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Don’t miss your chance to join in — contact Sharon Wolf at (608) 837-2263 today!

Color us proud: MEUW’s “Proudly Public Power Coloring Contest” now open. In support of our ongoing efforts to build awareness of public power utilities throughout Wisconsin, and in conjunction with Public Power Week and MEUW’s upcoming 95th Anniversary Celebration, MEUW is presenting a statewide coloring contest that is open to all children ages 4-12 in households served by MEUW member utilities wishing to participate. Please also review this helpful information if your utility is interested in offering this to your customers.

Full details and the coloring page are available here. Entries must be postmarked or received no later than Friday, Oct. 6. We have made this information available on the front page of our website. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Wolf, MEUW Manager of Communications and Events.

MEUW’s Board of Directors held a special meeting on Monday, Sept. 18, to discuss plans for the association’s 95th anniversary celebration next month. The draft minutes of the discussion are here (member log-in required).

Revised EV charging legislation up for review: A bill to clarify who can own and operate an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Wisconsin is likely to be considered by Wisconsin lawmakers in the coming weeks. Under current statute, entities that sell electricity by the kilowatt-hour are considered a public utility subject to regulation by the Public Service Commission. The proposed legislation, which is similar to a bill that nearly passed in early 2022, would exempt EV charging stations from the public utility definition as long as all power for the charger unit is purchased from the incumbent utility. MEUW has been actively working to ensure municipal utilities maintain their right to serve and are not harmed as a result of language in the bill. From conversations with the bill author, we expect that public power communities will be permitted to own and operate any EV charger, just like the investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives can. We will continue to monitor the legislation and provide updates as needed.

Register today for new management training class: A new class offered as part of MEUW’s “Fundamentals of Utility Management” training program will explore the wide array of regulations, compliance, and safety rules every municipal utility leader must follow. As a highly regulated business, utilities must comply with dozens of operating rules to retain the “right to serve” electric customers. Offered Wednesday, Oct. 11 in Mauston, the course will explore the reasons behind the rules and provide insights to make compliance easier. An outline of the training topics, the instructors, and registration details are here.

Let us know how we’re doing! Later this week, MEUW will launch its regular member survey to gather feedback about the services and future direction of the association. Responses will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 13. The survey link will be sent directly to key contacts at each of our member utilities. Look for a link to provide your feedback in next week’s e-newsletter. The survey, which was last conducted in Q1 2022, is an important part of our planning efforts, and the input provided is used to shift priorities and assess progress toward achievement of MEUW’s strategic goals.

Fall is budget season: To help member utilities with 2024 planning and budgeting, here’s a look at what MEUW training is planned for the first half of 2024. Contact Sharon Wolf with any questions.

Learn effective coaching skills: As part of MEUW’s professional development programming, we’re offering a one-day leadership development course that focuses on the importance of effective coaching as an essential leadership skill for utility leaders. Held in Mauston on Wednesday, Dec. 6, “Leading Through Coaching” participants will take away practical ideas they can apply to setting a good example and becoming a leader who gets the most from others. Click here for more information and to register.

What’s new? We would love to share your news with other MEUW Members. Let us know any new additions or retirements so we can update others. Send details to the MEUW office