May 15, 2023

NorthStar: 25 years and going strong

Technology Suite

Utility billing and customer service software celebrates 25 years of success.

In May of this year, 37 employees from 21 member utilities joined 16 employees from WPPI Energy for a day of learning at the annual NorthStar-EnergyIP Users’ Group Meeting. This gathering was also a celebration of 25 years since the inception of the NorthStar utility billing and customer service program. Since 1998, the program has grown from just a handful of users to 46 utilities throughout Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, and Iowa. Three additional utilities are in the planning stage of implementation, leading to just under 49 users of the instrumental software.

Over the years, the software has received many upgrades and enhancements. One of the most significant changes began about 13 years ago with the shift to automated meter infrastructure and meter data management. In more recent years, as technology continues to advance, members began adopting the use of mCare (NorthStar’s mobile service platform) allowing users to move away from paper service order forms and complete orders electronically. More recent notable enhancements came with the integration of InfoSend to perform bill printing and mailing in 2010 and the MyAccount customer bill pay portal in 2015.

As a part of the May celebration, participants took time to give back to a local charity. Box of Balloons is an organization that believes every child deserves to feel special and celebrated on their birthday no matter the family’s current situation, living conditions, or financial status. With the help of attendees, 20 Pass the Package birthday party games were donated and will be included in various birthday party boxes.

A special “Thank you!” to all municipal utility and WPPI staff for making our NorthStar 25th Anniversary one to remember. Cheers to another 25 years!