Monday, June 26, 2017

Would-be scammer snared by social media post

We’re always on the lookout for criminals trying to scam our customers. When we were alerted about this post on Facebook, we notified Milwaukee Police:

The police suspect this was a scam to illegally re-connect customers and shared it with the person’s parole officer. Now, state authorities tell us the ex-con has been arrested for violation of parole due to the alleged illegal activity implied in his post.

Disconnected customers should avoid such scams. Remember:
  • Hiring an unauthorized party to illegally reconnect electric service could cause damage and lead to safety hazards such as electrocution or fire. 
  • Paying money for illegal reconnection does not erase past-due balances; that money is better spent making payment arrangements with us for positive reporting to credit agencies.
Energy theft is dangerous, illegal and expensive. Ultimately, we all end up paying for energy theft because the company recovers those costs in every customer’s bill.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Answers to common questions about power outages - Part 1

Reliable service is a hallmark of We Energies, but sometimes power outages happen. Here Dave Megna, vice president – Wisconsin system operations, and Duane Miller, manager – gas and electric distribution operations, answer five common questions about what you should do if one occurs.

Dave Megna, vice president -
Wisconsin system operations
What should I do if I have a power outage?

Dave: The first thing you want to do is call We Energies on the power outage hotline (800-662-4797) or report your outage online. Then give specifics about what you’re experiencing. Any information that you can provide – including anything you saw or heard – will help us better respond.

Do you know when my power is out, or do I need to call?

Dave: We do need you to contact us because the more reports we get, the better our system can pinpoint the damaged area or the outage that occurred. Making the phone call helps us restore power faster.

Should I assume that my neighbor is calling and I don’t need to contact you, or is it important for everybody in the neighborhood to call?

Dave: The more people that contact us, the better. Even if you think your neighbor will call, you should still report it. In fact, many people end up being out of power much longer because they figure somebody else took care of it.

Duane Miller, manager -
gas and electric distribution operations
What if my power isn’t out but I see something unusual, such as a flash or a downed wire, or I hear a boom?

Duane: It is very helpful for you to contact us because we can use that information. Quite often what you saw or heard may lead us to the cause of the incident and help us to restore other customers much more quickly, even if your power isn’t affected.

When should I call an electrician instead of We Energies?

Duane: You should call an electrician rather than We Energies if you have power in most of your home except one room or a very small section, or if there is a problem with the internal wiring in your home.

Dave: There are other cases when you might need both We Energies and the electrician. For instance, if a tree comes down and takes down your service mast – the pipe that runs up the side of your house that our wires connect to – you’ll need an electrician to put the mast back up and you’ll need We Energies to reinstall service.

Sometimes that can be a situation where you don’t know until We Energies comes out, but we may not be able to get there right away if it was a big storm. So if that wire is on the ground, report it so that we can get there, but then you’ll still need an electrician.

Even if you think your neighbor will call, you should still report outages 
or damage. What you saw or heard may help restore power more quickly.

Ready for s’more summer!

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.

Summer is officially here! What better way to celebrate than with a classic summertime treat, s’mores? The original recipe for this all-American dessert was first published in 1927 as “Some Mores” by master campers, the Girl Scouts. 

But if you don’t find yourself sitting around a campfire as summer rolls in, try this kitchen-friendly twist on the fireside favorite. The 1991 We Energies Cookie Book featured the following recipe that includes graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, but uses some easy baking, an 8-inch-square pan and your oven’s broiler to bring the s’mores indoors.   


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

18 marshmallows cut into halves

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons melted butter in 8-inch square baking pan; press evenly in bottom of pan. Melt chocolate and  1/2 cup butter in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and the eggs; mix in flour and salt. Spread batter over crust. Bake at 325 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Turn oven to broil. Place marshmallows, cut sides down, on cookies. Broil 6 inches from heat source until marshmallows are puffed and golden (watch carefully!). Cool on wire rack. Cut into 18 squares (2 marshmallows per square), cutting through marshmallows with scissors dipped in water. Makes 1 ½ dozen.

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Martin recognized as Woman of Influence by Milwaukee Business Journal

Many in the Milwaukee business community are familiar with Susan Martin’s legal background and her current roles as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of WEC Energy Group. But Martin had a very different career previously – as an English professor.

Martin shared that history with the Milwaukee Business Journal as the publication interviewed her for its Women of Influence awards. She was recognized in the Corporate Executive category.

“I considered law school when I finished undergrad. But I chose to follow my first passion and pursue a Ph.D. in literature and language,” Martin said. “In many ways, the core work remains the same – reading and deciphering written texts, using language effectively to communicate and persuade.”
Susan Martin with Mark Kass of the Milwaukee Business Journal.
During her interview, Martin also discussed her role in the company’s acquisition of Integrys Energy Group and her key involvement in the Power the Future plan.

Martin and other Women of Influence award winners were recognized at a luncheon at the Wisconsin Center June 16. It was not her first honor from the Business Journal. In 2015, she was recognized as one of the publication’s Top Corporate Counsel award winners.

Martin is an active community member in Milwaukee, serving on the boards of the Milwaukee Public Museum, the United Community Center and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has been with the company since 2000.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Crews restored power to more than 100,000 customers this week

It has been a very busy week for We Energies crews after several rounds of severe weather. All told, our crews restored power to more than 100,000 customers in different parts of our service territory. 

It started Sunday, June 11, with severe weather in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. That led to outages for more than 10,000 customers.

On Monday, June 12, severe storms hit Southeastern Wisconsin, impacting tens of thousands of additional customers. Hardest hit areas included Washington, Dodge and Fond du Lac counties.

Even more severe weather arrived Wednesday night, causing severe damage in our Fox Valley service territory. In nearby Green Bay, our sister company, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), also saw immense damage in one of the worst storm events in the company’s history. WPS crews restored power to nearly 175,000 customers since last weekend.

We thank our crews for their tireless efforts, many of them working double shifts multiple days in a row in hot and humid weather. And we especially thank our customers for their patience throughout these events. Many of you have commented on our social media pages to thank our crews, and we really appreciate it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

We Energies peregrine falcon total tops 240

Eleven peregrine falcon chicks hatched at our power plants this spring, bringing the total number of peregrines produced at We Energies facilities to 244 since 1997. That accounts for nearly 20 percent of Wisconsin’s endangered peregrine falcon population. 

On June 11, we held our final falcon banding of the season at our Presque Isle Power Plant (PIPP) in Marquette, Michigan. Three chicks - Acadia, Bolt and Labo - were named by employees and their family members who attended the banding.

Greg Septon and employee Amanda Studinger hold Acadia, Labo and Bolt
Labo is named after longtime PIPP employee Greg LaBonte, whose nickname is Labo. LaBonte built and maintains the nest box at PIPP. 

Employee Greg LaBonte helped Septon band Labo, the bird named after him
Phoenix, an adult peregrine born at PIPP in 2011, also made a cameo at the banding. Phoenix was found badly injured in 2012. He lost an eye and would not be able to survive in the wild, so now he lives at the Chocolay Raptor Center where he serves as an educational ambassador.

Phoenix was born at PIPP in 2011

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Crisscross your way to Peanut Butter Cookie Day

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.

Dating back to the book’s beginning when the recipe for Peanut Butter Balls (which were still flattened before baking) was printed – and reprinted – in the early 1930s, peanut butter cookie ideas seem to be a staple of the holidays. That includes the no-flour, the no-bake, the no-peanut-butter-in-the-name and the extra-peanut-butter-in-the-recipe varieties.

It was the 2016 Cookie Book, though, that featured the Best Peanut Butter Cookies recipe, as submitted by Nheena Weyer Ittner from the U.P. Children’s Museum. Try it and see if you agree. Make a batch to share on June 12 – Peanut Butter Cookie Day – and don’t forget to add the crisscross pattern. It’s tradition!

Best Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In mixing bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture; mix well.

Shape into 1-inch balls; place on greased cookie sheets. Flatten with fork in crisscross pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire cooling racks. Makes about 4 dozen.

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

We Energies recipes