Power substation

Rice Lake Utilities substation. 

Rice Lake Utilities is celebrating Public Power Week, Oct. 6-12, along with 80 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities across Wisconsin.   

“We are proud to be community-powered,” said Leo Diehl, General Manager / CEO. “Public power puts the people of Rice Lake first, and Public Power Week gives us the chance to emphasize the advantages of locally grown, locally owned power to our citizens,” said Leo. 

“Our service is reliable and safe, and we take pride in serving our friends and neighbors,” said Leo Diehl. “Rice Lake Utilities is proud to have served the Rice Lake community since 1926 (93 years).  

Rice Lake Utility and the Utility Commission invites community members to participate in Public Power Week events. Activities include:

•       Monday, October 7 Lunch is on us! Poor Schmucks BBQ will be here from 11:00 to 2:00.

•       Mon-Fri 7-11, we will have refreshments in the lobby from 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and a chance to win door prizes. 

Rice Lake Utilities employs 22 professionals, 6 being are Journeyman-Lineworker and a five-member Utility Commission board.  The Electric Utility serves nearly 7,000 customers of which 4,700 are residential.   The Electric system consisting of over 2,000 poles, hundreds of miles of overhead and underground conductors.  We own and operate one (1) Substation which houses two 20 MW step-down transformers with a distribution voltage of 7,200-12,470. In the past 10 years Rice Lake Electric Utility has received 2 - RP3 Gold designations (Recognizing Safety, Reliability, Workforce Development, and System Improvement Excellence), 3 years in a row  “Excellence in Reliability” awards and 9 First Place Safety Awards from the American Public Power Association.

Collectively, Wisconsin’s 81 public power utilities provide service to nearly 300,000 customers and distribute 11% of the state’s electricity.

Most public power utilities were formed in the late 1800s when investor-owned utilities focused on earning profits from building infrastructure to serve large cities. Recognizing their own need for electricity, leaders in smaller and more remote areas took initiative to develop community-owned power utilities – with local control and with service provided by workers in the community. 

Today more than 2,000 towns, cities and villages across the country (including large cities like Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle) own and operate their own electric utility, delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible service to some 49 million Americans. 

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