Energy Utility Basics 2018

October 8, 2018 @ 8:30 am – October 12, 2018 @ 11:45 am
Pyle Center, Rm 235
University of Wisconsin: Pyle Center
702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
Lori Sakk


3.2 CEUs are 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 receive an overview of the history of the electric and natural gas industries, insights into regulatory decision-making, and analysis of the current issues facing the energy industry

Benefits: Attendees will obtain practical knowledge of the operations and technology of the natural gas and electricity 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.

What 2017 participants said:

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

“Exposed me to areas that I was not familiar with.”

“Covered an immense amount of material that covered a wide array of sector topics.”

“This was an excellent course — 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!”

“Learned valuable basic concepts and terms.”

“Tons of information presented in an efficient manner.”

“Above and beyond expectations.”

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

“High quality, diverse speakers; comprehensive content.”

“Complex content presented in an understandable way.”

“Most speakers were objective about pros and cons of their topics.”

“Lots of perspective and expertise about the energy industry.”

“Good explanation about the fundamentals of the industry.”

“The engineering/science/geology behind the industry was very informative for me.”

“Great at fostering learning through a welcoming atmosphere, encouraging questions, etc.”

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



Draft Agenda

Monday, October 8: 

History  Industry Structure

Why a regulated monopoly? Who’s regulated, why and how:  The federal and state perspective from 1600s forward.

  • Federal Roles, Rules, Spheres of Influence:  FERC and EPA
  • 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.
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: Co-Generation Plant


Wednesday, October 10: 

Ratemaking and other financial aspects

Basics of Rate Setting

  • Cost of Service
  • Rate Design
  • Renewables

Strategies for Fixed-Cost Recovery Issues
Performance-based Regulation


Thursday, October 11:

Low to No Carbon Options

Work Done with a Small Carbon Footprint

  • Nuclear — The Base Load of the Future?
  • Renewables Panel
  • Gas Market Overview

Legal Issues

Friday, October 12: 

The New/Old Kid on the Block: Gas

What Everyone Ought to Know About Gas

  • Where does it come from? How is it created?
  • What is unconventional gas?
  • What does the supply future look like?

A Day in the Life of a Gas Company


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

Accommodations:       Lowell Center Reservation Link    610 Langdon St., Madison, 608-256-2621
                                         Graduate Madison Reservation Link    601 Langdon St., Madison, 608-257-4391


Your registration fee includes printed materials, meals/breaks 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.

Photos may be taken during this program. All attendees agree that WPUI may use all photos taken for promotional and marketing purposes.

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