Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Crews return home after restoring power in Georgia

Our crews are home safe and sound after helping restore power to hurricane victims in Georgia. More than 30 workers embarked south last week and wound up in a rural area about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta. They spent two 16-hour days restoring power to customers that had been without electric service for several days following Hurricane Irma.
Crews work to restore power to hurricane victims in Georgia
“It was an honor to be part of this major restoration effort,” said Area Manager Mike McNeil, who led the group. “The people we met in Georgia were so appreciative of our efforts. We’re happy we could help them in their time of need.”

One of the more memorable encounters was with members of Liberty Baptist Church in Lula, Georgia. Church members served meals to our crew members and prayed for them. They also thanked them publicly on the church’s Facebook page.


Crews were released to return to Wisconsin after host utility Georgia Power concluded restoration efforts. Crews from our sister company, Wisconsin Public Service, were re-routed to Florida after getting released in Georgia. They continue restoration efforts in a rural area west of St. Augustine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Crews arrive safely in Georgia

After driving about 800 miles, our crews have arrived safely in the metro Atlanta area where they’ll help Georgia Power restore electricity to hurricane victims. Their accommodations are modest, to put it mildly. They’re staying in bunk trailers at Coolray Field, home of the Atlanta Braves’ AAA team, along with hundreds of other utility workers from across the country. 


Crews are expecting to work double shifts several days in a row, restoring power wherever they’re sent. That means 16 hours working with just 8 hours resting. Initially, they’re working in the Gainesville area, about 60 miles outside of Atlanta. The area in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is rural and hilly. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Crews head south to assist in hurricane response

A caravan of nearly 20 We Energies trucks is headed south to assist with power restoration in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Millions of people remain without power in Florida, Georgia and other neighboring states. Full restoration could take weeks.


34 We Energies employees, from as far north as Iron Mountain, MI to southeast Wisconsin, are headed to the Atlanta area where they’ll assist Georgia Power with recovery efforts. Georgia Power still has hundreds of thousands of customers without power. Our crews may be re-routed to other areas after their work in Georgia is complete.

Crews depart from the Racine Service Center on Sept. 13

The electric power industry is mounting an industry-wide response to restore power in the region. Our employees are part of an army of more than 50,000 workers from across the U.S. and Canada. Just as we would expect to receive assistance after a major storm, we have answered the call for help. We’ve also released 100 contract employees to help in the restoration effort.





Friday, September 8, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Celebrate Grandparents Day with Grandma Loni’s Butter Cookies


We Energies Cookie Book recipes are perfect for celebrations of all kinds. No matter the occasion, you’ll find a recipe that’s just right.

Nana, Oma, Gramps, Pappy – no matter what name they’re called, grandparents are the best. This Sunday is National Grandparents Day, so why not celebrate with Grandma Loni's Butter Cookies?

This recipe was featured in the 2011 We Energies Cookie Book, which included 37 recipes from We Energies employees. 

Grandma Loni's Butter Cookies 
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk (optional)
Colored sugar

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla and lemon peel. Sift together flour and baking powder; blend into butter mixture. If mixture is dry or crumbly, add milk. Cover container; chill dough for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Take 1/3 of dough from the refrigerator at a time and place on very lightly floured surface. Roll 1/8-inch thick. Cut with floured cookie cutters of desired shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets; bake at 425 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire cooling racks. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 6 dozen, depending on size of cookie cutters used.

Need some baking inspiration? Our Cookie Book archive has recipes dating back to the 1930s. Go online and find your new favorite today!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Contest winner makes canine cameo in new ad

The winner of our Safe Digging contest, Charlie, got to enjoy the grand unveiling of his winning ad at Energy Park on Aug. 11. The adorable Goldendoodle, along with his owners, Breanne and Jeff Beyer of Kaukauna, helped celebrate 8-11 day -- a day to raise awareness about calling 811, Diggers Hotline.

Charlie sporting a We Energies hard hat.
We asked customers to submit photos of their dogs digging in the yard and received dozens of entries. Charlie received the most votes from the public. Now, he gets to be ambassador for our Safe Digging campaign and spread an important message: Doggone it! Call 811 before you dig.

Charlie and the Beyers of Kaukauna.
Whether you’re planting a tree or installing a mailbox, call 811 at least three days before starting your project to help ensure that you avoid underground utility lines when you dig. You can put yourself in serious danger by striking an underground electric or natural gas line.

You can see Charlie’s winning ad on display at Energy Park throughout the duration of the Wisconsin State Fair. For his effort, Charlie also earned a basket of goodies, including dog treats and a special 811 frisbee.

Safe digging tips


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lamb purchased at Governor’s Blue Ribbon Auction supports youth in agriculture

We have been presenting games and demonstrations on energy generation, distribution and safety at Energy Park, our exhibition center at the Wisconsin State Fair since the start of the fair on Aug. 3. We also have hosted cooking and gardening lessons to help visitors enjoy Wisconsin’s agricultural bounty, as well as birds of prey shows with the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

But we’re not just exhibitors at the fair – we’re also guests, appreciating the effort that goes into the achievements on display. We Energies and its sister company Wisconsin Public Service work directly with many Wisconsin farmers to supply agricultural energy services, including the electricity needed for dairy and livestock farms’ lighting and cooling systems.

“We work with customers for on-farm wiring safety, rewiring, energy efficiency and any needs they may have as they look to build another barn, or change some of their electrical system and upgrade it,” said Jason Kollwelter, manager – agriculture services and customer-owned generation, in a recent interview with Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich.

We also show our support for the agricultural community in other ways. On Aug. 9, we participated in the 49th annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Auction at the fair. The auction celebrates the strength of Wisconsin’s livestock industry and the accomplishments of junior exhibitors planning for a future in agriculture. The We Energies Foundation entered the winning bid for a champion natural colored lamb exhibited by Brady Meudt of Walworth County. We then donated the lamb back to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction Scholarship Fund.

This year’s auction raised a total of $267,000 for the individual exhibitors, the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation and youth scholarship awards. We’re glad to have contributed, and we hope to see many more of our customers before the fair ends on Sunday night.

Exhibitor Brady Meudt (front) with his champion lamb. In back (left to right): Scott Lauber, director – We Energies Foundation board; Bob Juneau, senior agriculture account manager, WPS; Beth Straka, vice president – We Energies Foundation; Brad Brusveen, senior agriculture account manager, We Energies; Corey Kuchta, supervisor – agriculture services and customer-owned generation, WPS; and Jason Kollwelter, manager – agriculture services and customer-owned generation, We Energies.

Monday, July 31, 2017

And the winner is…

It was a “ruff” competition, but the winner of our Safe Digging contest is: Charlie!

Charlie's winning picture.
Charlie’s picture earned the most votes in our online contest where more than 2,000 votes were cast. 

Charlie, a Goldendoodle, captured the majority – 17 percent. Charlie’s owners, Breanne and Jeff Beyer of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, tell us Charlie is about 5 months old and loves to get into mischief and dig in the yard.

“Jeff is a landscape foreman, so we have a lot of landscaping to tempt him,” Breanne said. 

Jeff’s job also means the family is very familiar with calling 811, making Charlie a “qualified” canine safety ambassador. 

“Jeff is obviously familiar with calling Diggers Hotline before working,” Breanne said. 

Our new canine safety ambassador, Charlie.
Stay tuned for Charlie’s Safe Digging ad, which will be unveiled at Energy Park at the Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 11 (8-11) ‒ a day to raise awareness about dialing 811 three days before you dig.

Charlie will help us spread an important safety message: Doggone it! Call Diggers Hotline (811) before you dig. 

Charlie also will get a basket of doggy treats. Congrats to Charlie and the Beyer family and thanks to all the pet owners who submitted photos in our contest. Our first runner up, BW, also "dug up" a lot of votes. 

Runner-up, BW.
Safe digging tips