Game Changers Power Breakfast Presentations

Thanks to all who attended the 2019 Game Changers Power Breakfast! Below you will find links to download presentations from the event.

2019 Power Breakfast Presentations

Wisconsin Eye will be posting coverage of the 2019 Power Breakfast. Search the Wisconsin Eye web site for “Customers First” to see the Game Changers Power Breakfast and all of our past events.

2019 Power Breakfast – Game Changers

The energy industry is changing rapidly. Attend the 2019 Power Breakfast and learn more about industry game changers from experts in the areas of energy storage, renewable energy, electric vehicles and electrification.

Customers First! Coalition
2019 Power Breakfast
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Madison Concourse Hotel

Register here!


Go Electric! Power Lunch Recap

Electric vehicles and electrification were the hot topics at the September 5, 2018, Go Electric! Power Lunch at the Madison Concourse Hotel. Over one hundred and twenty attendees were on hand to hear from a variety of distinguished speakers.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Chairman Lon Roberts kicked off the luncheon with introductory remarks focusing on the rapidly changing auto industry and the impacts of increasing electrification on the power grid; as well as drawing attention to some of the benefits of electric vehicles, such as emissions reductions and the potential to keep rates down for all customers.

The “Going Electric in Wisconsin” panel was moderated by former Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel, who reminded the audience of the history and naming of the Customers First! Coalition over twenty years ago.

Maria Redmond of the Office of Energy Innovation gave an overview of the status of EVs, including several initiatives happening in other states and regions, such as EV corridors.

Debbie Branson of Madison Gas & Electric gave an overview of the utility’s offerings to customers such as the Charge @ Home program.

Lorrie Lisek of Wisconsin Clean Cities highlighted the groups work with Midwest Evolve to help educate auto dealers about electric vehicles and encouraged attendees to participate in Ride and Drive events.

Jeff Springer of Dairyland Power Cooperative spoke about a new fast charging station grand opening in Tomah, WI and the great benefits of EVs for rural drivers as well as new opportunities for farmers to turn to beneficial electrification to improve operations.

Jake Oelke of WPPI energy highlighted time of use rates and their potential to help EV drivers charge at off-peak hours.

One audience question inquired about the taxation of electricity as a fuel source. Electricity sales, including the electricity used to fuel vehicles, have always been taxed via the utility gross receipts tax, which is deposited into the state’s general fund. There is a new, additional $100 annual fee, passed as part of the 2017-2019 state budget, on all EV registrations, which is deposited into the state’s transportation fund. Other questions included whether gas stations and convenience stores will continue to be viable in an all-electric transportation sector. Panelists agreed these stations will continue to play a role despite the changing fuel mix, which will include CNG and other fuel types as well as electricity.

The policy-makers panel featured two legislators, Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) and Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit), who spoke about game-changers in the energy and transportation sector; including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, battery storage, and renewable energy.

Folders for attendees contained materials about utility EV offerings and upcoming events, as well as a resolution passed by the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates regarding suggestions for appropriate consumer protections as EV adoption increases.

A full rebroadcast of the program is available on Wisconsin Eye here. Go to and search for “Customers First” to see all recent events.

Go Electric! Power Lunch – Sept 5, 2018

Go Electric! at the Customers First! Coalition Power Lunch on September 5, 2018 at the Madison Concourse Hotel. Find out more about the benefits of “efficient electrification” – replacing direct fossil fuel use with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs. Efficient Electrification holds significant potential benefits for Wisconsin customers, utilities, and environmental advocates alike.

Registration begins at 11:30 am, with a program running from noon – 2 pm.

Following the program, we are partnering with Wisconsin Clean Cities to host an electric vehicle Ride & Drive outside the Concourse.

Register using the link below!

2018 Power Breakfast Recap

Nearly 100 Power Breakfast attendees were on hand to hear more about changing customer expectations in the energy industry on February 8, 2018.

We were proud to kick off the event by showing an introductory video about the Customers First! Coalition, our members, and our mission. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it online and share it via Facebook or Twitter. You can also view more feedback about the video and event via the Twitter Moment, “2018 Power Breakfast.”

Keynote speaker Katrina McMurrian presented about the process used at the Critical Consumer Issues Forum to reach consensus between regulators, consumer advocates, and utilities on timely energy issues. For example, CCIF has published guiding principles on grid modernization (download report), meeting customer needs (download report), and connecting “smart” communities (download report). See Ms. McMurrian’s Power Breakfast power point presentation here.

Two panel presentations focused on customer feedback and changing policies. The Customer Feedback Panel included Kathy Kuntz of Cool Choices, Max Christman from Sustainability at UW-Health,  and Don Peterson from Madison Gas and Electric. The panel was moderated by Kristy Nieto of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. provided a summary of the panel presentation from the energy provider’s prospective, which you can read here: “MGE stepping up efforts to understand what customers want.”

The policy-makers panel featured Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Commissioner Mike Hubesch (@PSCWisconsin) and State Representative Katrina Shankland (@RepShankland), moderated by Brian Rude of Dairyland Power Cooperative, one of the Customers First! Founding members. Huebsch and Shankland discussed their views on affordable energy, renewables and energy efficiency, and regulation. Both shared their belief that effective utility regulation in the state helps protect Wisconsin customers.

Attendees also enjoyed plenty of networking opportunities with those interested in the energy industry. In our post-event survey, eighty-seven percent of respondents thought they were extremely or very likely to attend a similar event in the future.

We hope you’ll join us at a future event! Stay in the loop about future programming by joining our mailing list.

Power Breakfast Agenda

Our annual Power Breakfast is on Thursday, February 8, 2018. See the agenda below!

Power Breakfast Agenda

Thursday, February 8, 2018; 8 am – 11 am
Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI

8:00 am – 8:30 am     Registration and buffet breakfast seating

8:30 am – 8:40 am     Welcome and CFC Video    

                                    Kristin Gilkes, Executive Director, Customers First! Coalition

8:40 am – 8:50 am     Opening Remarks and Speaker Introduction

                                    Ellen Nowak, Chairperson, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

 8:50 am – 9:30 am     Keynote: “Changing Customer Expectations”

Katrina McMurrian, Executive Director, Critical Consumer Issues Forum

9:30 am – 9:45 am     Break 

9:45 am – 10:30 am   Customer Feedback Panel  

Moderator: Kristy Nieto, Assistant Division Administrator, Division of Water, Telecommunications, and Consumer Affairs, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin


Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director, Cool Choices

Max Christman, Sustainability at UW-Health

Don Peterson, Assistant Vice President – Strategic Products and Services, Madison Gas and Electric

10:30 am – 11 am      Policy-Makers Panel

Moderator: Brian Rude, Vice President, External and Member Relations, Dairyland Power Cooperative


Mike Huebsch, Commissioner, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Rep. Katrina Shankland, Member, Joint Committee on Finance

2018 Power Breakfast Registration

2018 Customers First! Coalition Power Breakfast

Thursday, February 8, 2018

8 am – 11 am

Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI

Register today! 

Registration Link:

Printable Invite and Agenda

M-WERC Smart Grid Event

Join the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) for its Grid Modernization and Smart Grid event on January 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST.

The Grid Modernization and Smart Grid event will focus on transmission technologies and advanced distribution systems as they relate to the energy industry. The event will be held at the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus at the Union South facility in the Varsity Ballroom. M-WERC Chair Ellen Nowak will kick off the event with opening remarks and an accompanying presentation.

The day will continue with the following confirmed speakers and presenters through 2:00 p.m., and lunch will be served to registered attendees:

  • Keynote Presenter – Ellen Nowak, Chair of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
  • Argonne National Laboratory – Guenter Conzelmann
  • Electric Power Research Institute – Mark MacGranaghan
  • Eaton Corporation – John Heath
  • Madison Gas & Electric – David Blankenheim
  • Alliant Energy – Megan Dyer
  • Xcel Energy – Deb Erwin
  • We Energies – Paul Gogan
  • American Transmission Company – David Wojtczak
  • Midwest Energy Research Consortium – Alan Perlstein
  • Wisconsin Energy Institute – Gary Radloff.

To register for this M-WERC event, visit this link..

2017 Power Dialogue

Power Dialogue: What is grid modernization…and are there benefits?
November 1, 2017 3:00 PM
Madison Club
5 E Wilson St, Madison, WI


3:00 pm – Registration

3:30 pm – Opening remarks from PSCW Chairperson Ellen Nowak

Link: Nowak Ellen Customers First Power Dialogue 11.01.17

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm – Panel: What is grid modernization…and are there benefits?

Link: Kihm-Grid Modernization Moderation

4:45 pm – 6:00 pm – Networking

Link: CFC Photo Album_ Nov 1 2017 Power Dialogue