Friday, October 11, 2019

Lower heating bills expected this winter for our customers

As the temperatures drop and furnaces kick on across Wisconsin this weekend, our customers are hearing some good news: Their heating bills are expected to be lower this winter. Our winter heating forecast shows the average customer will pay nearly 11% less this winter than last year.

Our winter heating forecast is based on a 20-year average of winter weather and assumes the price of natural gas remains where it is today on the spot market. If both of those factors hold true, we expect the average customer will save $58 this winter compared to last year.

Energy savings

This first blast of cold air is also a good reminder than you can take steps to save even more on your energy bill.

  • Turn your thermostat back 7-10 degrees when you’re asleep or away.
  • Seal gaps around windows, doors and siding to keep warm air in. 
  • Schedule a furnace tune-up for safety and efficiency, saving money in the long run.

Budget Billing

If you want to manage your energy costs by spreading out charges more evenly over 12 months, you may want to consider our Budget Billing program.

Energy assistance

Also, qualified customers can apply for energy assistance for the upcoming heating season. The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program provides qualified residents with a one-time grant to help pay energy bills. More than 200,000 Wisconsin families receive assistance each year.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Need help paying your energy bill? Energy assistance now available

We want to make sure all customers are able to pay their bills and stay warm this winter. Starting Oct.1, our customers can apply for energy assistance for the upcoming heating season.

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) provides qualified residents with a one-time grant to help pay energy bills. More than 200,000 Wisconsin families receive assistance each year.



To see if you are eligible and to apply for energy assistance, visit the WHEAP website at homeenergyplus.wi.gov or call 866-432-8947. Milwaukee County residents should visit keepwarmmke.org or call 414-270-4653.

The amount of energy assistance you may receive depends on a number of factors, including household size, income and energy costs. You do not have to be behind on your bill to qualify. If you have eligibility questions, call WHEAP at 866-432-8947.

If you have questions about your energy bill or payment options, visit our payment assistance page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Heroes among us — our crews save men trapped by trees after recent storms

We Energies employee Mike Mathu was working in Royalton, a small town in Waupaca County, in late July when he heard a cry for help. A man nearby was partially trapped under a tree.

“The tree seemed to be thousands of pounds and couldn’t be lifted off,” said Mathu.

Mathu and his colleagues, Bob Suttner, Keith Reinert and Jeremy Peterson, were restoring power after tornados and high winds ripped down power poles and knocked trees and branches into homes and power lines. When the men heard someone was in trouble, they grabbed their chainsaws and rushed to help.

“What seemed like forever was probably only five minutes,” Mathu remembered.



Through teamwork, the crew cut the tree and lifted it off the trapped man.

When asked why they jumped into action, the men downplayed their heroics, saying that they did what anyone would do in that situation.

‘I knew he was in trouble’

Brian Hunter, an employee for the company, ran across a similar scene while he was working on a dead-end road in Pearson, a small town in Langlade County. Like the crew in the Fox Valley, Hunter was helping to restore power after the July storm when he switched from utility worker to life saver.

As Hunter worked on damaged equipment, he saw a man get pinned by a tree while using a tractor to remove it.

“I knew he was in trouble,” said Hunter.

He was indeed in trouble; the tree was across the man’s throat. Hunter jumped on the tractor and put it in reverse, hoping to relieve pressure on the man’s neck. He then grabbed his saw and cut the tree off the tractor, eventually freeing the man.

Hunter said the man thanked him for saving his life.

“I’m not sure what would have happened if I wasn’t nearby. I was just glad I could help him,” Hunter said.



Crews help across Wisconsin

Nearly 1,000 workers from We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service and utility crews around the Midwest teamed up to rebuild circuits and remove debris from equipment that was destroyed by hurricane-force winds and intense lightning after the July storms. They replaced or repaired over 700 utility poles, nearly 500 transformers and 80 miles of wire.

This small army worked together throughout Wisconsin’s most devastated areas to restore power to over 270,000 We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service customers.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Huge solar energy project planned

Along with Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), we have announced a new partnership to acquire the remaining 150 megawatts (MW) of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm. We filed a joint application today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. We will own 100 MW, and MGE will own 50 MW.

This is our first single site solar project in company history, it joins the growing list of renewable projects the company is pursuing as it looks to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 80% by 2050.

According to experts, the 100 MW generated on site is enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes.



“This is another significant step in our transition to a clean energy future,” said Kevin Fletcher, president and CEO – WEC Energy Group, the parent corporation of We Energies. “Along with the environmental benefits of solar energy, this purchase will lower costs to customers over the life of the project.”

“This addition of cost-effective solar energy will help MGE reach our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by the year 2050 while also helping us to manage long-term costs to our customers,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE chairman, president and CEO. “This is yet another step in our active transition toward greater use of cleaner energy sources to serve our community.”

If regulators approve this acquisition, this phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm would begin generating electricity in 2021.

Badger Hollow Solar Farm
Badger Hollow is a 300 MW solar project located in southwestern Wisconsin, in Iowa County. The project is being developed by Chicago-based Invenergy, North America's largest privately held renewable energy company.

In May, MGE and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, received regulatory approval to own a combined total of 150 MW at Badger Hollow. MGE will own 50 MW, and WPS will own 100 MW of this first phase of the project. Commercial operation of this phase is expected by the end of 2020.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chubbs named new safe digging ambassadog

Chubbs, a 5-month-old pug from Milwaukee, is our new ambassadog! His owners say he’s always on the move and loves getting into trouble. Now he’ll help keep our customers out of trouble by starring in a new ad to promote safe digging:


Chubbs’ ad will be on display at Energy Park at the Wisconsin State Fair. Stop by to see it and get your picture taken!

He’ll also be featured on digital billboards in the Milwaukee area on 811 day – Sunday, Aug. 11. 811 is the number to call at least three days before you dig. A utility locating service will come out to mark the locations of underground utilities on your property for free.



Whether you’re planting a tree, installing fence posts or digging for other reasons, you could be putting yourself in danger if you strike an underground natural gas or electric line. So listen to Chubbs and doggone it, call 811 before you dig!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Portable electric generator safety tips

Reliable electric service is a priority for everyone. However, power outages may occur for various reasons, such as weather, equipment failures, car-pole accidents, etc. Portable generators provide significant benefits when used properly. 


Here are some safety tips for installing and operating portable electric generators:
  •  The portable electric generator should be the correct size, with a slightly larger output than the power level needed to operate all the equipment that is connected to it. The generator and connected equipment can be damaged if an inappropriately sized generator is used.
  •  Do not connect a portable generator directly to a building’s wiring or plug the generator into an electrical outlet. This will cause a “backfeed” condition where the power from the generator will flow through the building’s wiring and onto the utility distribution system. This is extremely dangerous to utility line mechanics when repairing downed power lines, as they will be unaware of any “live” wires. In addition, when power is restored, it can feed directly into the portable generator, causing severe damage to the generator and any appliances plugged into it. In order to prevent backfeed or equipment damage when power is restored, have a licensed electrician install a transfer switch to isolate the building wiring from the utility distribution system.
  • Use properly sized and rated power cords to connect equipment to the portable generator. Use heavy duty, outdoor-rated, grounded extension cords that are in good operating condition.
  • Never operate a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed area. The generator uses an internal combustion engine and emits potentially deadly carbon monoxide. Make sure the generator is vented properly in a well ventilated outdoor area.
  •  Never refuel an operating or hot generator. Gasoline spilled on a hot engine could ignite. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher near the generator. 
  • Keep children away from portable generators at all times.
  • Portable generators are a great convenience but, like any piece of equipment, present many safety hazards. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely to ensure your generator is maintained and operated in a safe and proper manner.
For more information about generator safety, visit our website

Monday, July 22, 2019

Line crews working around the clock to restore power

We are continuing to recover from some of the most powerful storms to hit central and eastern Wisconsin in the past 20 years. Winds above 80 miles an hour caused extensive damage to our networks in the Fox Valley.

Thanks to the hard work of the field and support personnel, we have restored power to more than 95,000 customers.

We have a small army of field personnel working on restoration. Additional crews are arriving today. We expect to have almost all customers in the Appleton and Waupaca areas back in service by late Tuesday.



We thank our customers for their patience and our crews appreciate the prayers for their safety that have also been conveyed in calls and social media messages.

We remind people who come across downed power lines and damaged utility equipment to call 800‑662‑4797 immediately.