Energy Utility Basics 2018

October 8, 2018 @ 8:30 am – October 12, 2018 @ 12:30 pm
The Pyle Center, Rooms 325/326
University of Wisconsin: Pyle Center
702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
Lori Sakk



3.2 CEUs available

Energy Utility Basics  is an intensive course on the fundamental concepts critical to being conversant in today’s energy industry. Course content is updated yearly as technology, regulation and markets evolve.  WPUI has proudly presented this exceptional course each fall since 1983.

Course Summary: Over the course of a week, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the history of the electric and natural gas industries, attain insights into the regulatory decision-making process, as well as analyze and discuss current issues facing the energy industry

Benefits: Attendees will obtain practical knowledge of the operations and technology of the natural gas and electric industries from extraction, whether from the ground or renewables, to the customer’s bill. Course registration covers a field trip to a power plant, daily lunches and breaks, printed course materials and continuing education units (CEUs).

Who Should Attend: The energy industry has undergone substantial changes – including changes in hiring practices. Twenty years ago, utility industry staff would learn about the industry by working their way up through the ranks. In today’s fast-moving business environment, often staff are hired from other industries, bringing along important skill sets but lacking a working knowledge of the energy industry. Energy Utility Basics is intended for anyone working in the energy industry, including public interest groups, utility employees, legislative staff, regulatory staff, state and local government personnel. This course is for energy professionals, those new to the industry as well as those assuming new responsibilities, who want a better grasp of how all the technological, financial and administrative pieces of the energy puzzle fit together. Registration is open to the public.

Pyle Center

Pyle Center


Sunday, October 7: 3:00-4:00pm    UW-Madison campus walking tour (optional) 4:15-5:15pm    Welcome reception at the Pyle Center (optional)   Monday, October 8: History — Industry Structure Why a regulated monopoly? Who’s regulated, why and how: The federal and state perspective

  • Federal Roles, Rules, Spheres of Influence
  • The Public Service Commission – Roles and Rules, Balance of Power
  • Transmission – The Overlooked Connection Until 1970
  • Utility Company Models – Presentations and Panel Discussion
  • Independent System Operator/Regional State Committee

Tuesday, October 9: Industry Operations — Stock Prices From Heat to Electricity – How we make Electricity in the U.S.img_0810-web

  • Field Identification Guide to the Electric Industry
  • A Day in the Life of a Distribution Company
  • A Day in the Life of a Transmission Operator
  • What Drives Stock Prices?
  • Field Trip: Campus heating/cooling plant (optional)

Wednesday, October 10: Ratemaking img_0895-web

  • Cost of Service
  • Rate Design
  • Renewables
  • Strategies for Fixed-Cost Recovery Issues
  • Performance-based Regulation
  • One utility’s response to changing customer expectations

Thursday, October 11: Smaller Carbon Footprint; Enabling Technologies; Gas Markets

When you attend WPUI programming, you can spend your evenings on UW-Madison's famous Memorial Union Terrace on shore of Lake Mendota.

When you attend WPUI programming, you can spend your evenings on UW-Madison’s famous Memorial Union Terrace on shore of Lake Mendota.

Getting Work Done with a Small Carbon Footprint

  • Renewables Panel
    • Biogas
    • Wind
    • Electrification
    • Efficiency
    • Storage
    • Solar
  • Gas Market Overview
    • Where does it come from? How is it created?
    • What is unconventional gas?
    • Gas markets – future supply/demand
    • A day in the life of a gas company

Friday, October 12: Nuclear Power; Environmental Considerations; Legal Issues



WPUI Member — $1450
Non-Member — $2250
Government (non-utility) — $800
Non-profit — $1450


What 2017 participants said:

“Great variety; all related in some way to my work; material covered a wide array of sector topics.”

“Exposed me to areas that I was not familiar with. The engineering/science/geology behind the industry was very informative for me.”

“This was an excellent course with high quality, diverse speakers – well worth my time! I will be sending staff in the future.”

“I’m new to the industry, and it was so helpful to me.”

“Clear schedule and topics, communicated well in advance, and followed consistently — very good!”

“Tons of information presented in an efficient manner.”

“Above and beyond expectations; a welcoming atmosphere; learned valuable basic concepts and terms.”

“It was a very good class and well run. I will recommend the course and encourage my colleagues to attend in the future. Thanks!”

“One of the best trainings I have attended in years!”



Lowell Center,  610 Langdon St., Madison, 608-256-2621 — call for availability                                      

Graduate Madison Hotel,  601 Langdon St., Madison, 608-257-4391 — call for availability

Your registration fee includes printed materials, lunches, breaks, reception and access to materials on our website post-program.

CEU certificates will be emailed to you upon completion of the course.

Parking may be available in UW-Madison Lot 46 and in the City of Madison State Street Campus Garage at 415 N. Lake St.

Cancellation and refund policy:

  • WPUI reserves the right to cancel courses, substitute speakers, and make other changes to program agendas at any time. We recommended that you periodically check this website to learn whether any changes have been made.
  • Energy Utility Basics course registrations cancelled by/on Sept. 28, 2018, will be refunded the full cost of the program less a service fee.  No refunds will be given after Sept. 28, 2018.  Cancellations must be made by emailing WPUI.
  • Substitutions may be made at any time with no penalty. Substitutions must be made by emailing WPUI.
  • WPUI is not responsible for travel arrangements made for or related expenses incurred by WPUI course participants.
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