University of Wisconsin–Madison

Energy Utility Basics 2019

Pyle Center
702 Langdon St., Rm 325/326
Madison WI

map showing Pyle Center location


Comments from past attendees:

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

“Thank you! Enjoyed the week and learned a lot.”

“Excellent speakers – very knowledgeable and able to convey info.”

“Great variety but all related in some way to my work.”

“Above and beyond expectations.”

Energy Utility Basics header

October 7-11, 2019

CEUs will be available

Registration button

Registration forthcoming

Registration fees:
Government (non-utility) — $800
wpui member — $1450
non-profit & non-member — $1850
non-member — $2250


Pyle Center
The Pyle Center

Pyle Center Room 325/326


Comments from past attendees:

“Good balance on the key issues utilities face.”

“Broad overview at a basic level – exactly what was described.”

“I will encourage my colleagues to attend.”

“I really appreciate this training – one of the best I have attended in years. Thank you!”


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: Participants will receive an overview of the history of the electric and natural gas industries, insights into regulatory decision-making, analysis of the current issues facing the energy industry, and more.

Benefits: Attendees will obtain practical knowledge of the operations and technology of the electricity and natural gas industries from extraction, whether from the ground or from renewables, to the customer’s bill. Course registration covers daily lunches and breaks, printed course materials, optional field trips, 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, staff often 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.

draft agenda


Monday, October 7: 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 8: Industry Operations — Stock Prices

From Heat to Electricity – How we make Electricity in the U.S.

  • 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 9: Ratemaking

    • 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 10: Smaller Carbon Footprint; Enabling Technologies; Gas Markets

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 11: Nuclear Power; Environmental Considerations; Legal Issues

  • Is nuclear the baseload of the future?
  • Environmental and legal issues facing the utility industry
  • Field Trip: UW-Madison nuclear reactor (tentative — optional)
  • Field Trip: Dane County Landfill (optional)

Accommodations:      Lowell Center, 610 Langdon St., Madison, 608-256-2621 —  Click here to reserve a guest room at the Lowell Center.
                                           Graduate Madison Hotel, 601 Langdon St., Madison, 608-257-4391 —  Click here to reserve a guest room at the Graduate Madison Hotel.

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.