The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute’s mission is to advance understanding and discussion of relevant utility industry topics and emerging trends in the electric, natural gas, and water industries. WPUI provides informational and educational programs in addition to other services that aid in the examination and development of public policies for those industries. WPUI works to communicate the diversity of views that exist on current policy issues, particularly on leading-edge issues that will affect the future of those industries and the customers they serve.
WPUI was founded in 1982 in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business. In 2006, WPUI moved to UW-Madison’s College of Engineering where it is currently housed in the Department of Engineering Physics. Receiving no direct financial support from UW-Madison, WPUI is a member-supported and member-driven organization which relies solely on membership fees and program registration fees to fund its work.
The activities of WPUI follow the Wisconsin Idea of applying the resources of the University to meet the need for information outside of the University’s boundaries. WPUI achieves this mission through the exchange, creation, integration, transfer, and application of knowledge. WPUI provides forums for discussion, dialogue, and debate on public policy issues, often at the request of its members. Programs are often open to the public. Membership is not required to register for most WPUI programs.
Balancing the demands of consumers, regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders is a formidable task for utilities. By bringing together the resources of the University and the knowledge and experience of many other stakeholders, WPUI strives to provide bias-free opportunities in which issues can be discussed, knowledge enhanced, and alternatives and possible solutions identified.