Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Catch up on your bill and 'Stay Connected'

We urge customers behind on their energy bills to catch up before the end of the winter moratorium on utility shut-offs. Customers in significant arrears are at risk of disconnection starting April 16. We are using phone calls and bill inserts to alert customers who are behind on their payments.

Payment options

Customers having problems paying their bills are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible at 800-842-4565. A minimum payment option and flexible payment plans may be available.

Some customers also may qualify for energy assistance through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). There is no charge to determine eligibility or to apply for assistance. Customers can learn more about energy assistance at homeenergyplus.wi.gov or by calling 866-HEAT-WIS (866-432-8947).

Unfortunately, scammers have been known to prey on customers during this time of the year. A common ploy demands immediate payment via prepaid debit card. We do not solicit payments in this manner. Customers who receive suspicious phone calls or emails should contact us directly to verify the status of their account.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Peregrines populate power plant nest boxes

All five of our peregrine falcon nest boxes on our power plants have residents.

Pleasant Prairie Power Plant
PBR, (b/r) 07/B, is back for his seventh year. He was produced in 2009 at Milwaukee’s
Miller Brewery site. The adult female at the site is not banded.

Oak Creek Power Plant
Michael, (b/r) P/58, is back for a second year. He was produced in 2015 at the Racine
County Courthouse site. The female is Eurus, (b/blu) 48/M, produced in 2016 at the
Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Green Bay. This is her first year at Oak Creek.

Valley Power Plant
Hercules, (b/r) 60/R, is back in Milwaukee for his fifth year. He was produced in 2011 at Milwaukee’s St. Joseph’s Hospital site. The adult female is not banded.

Port Washington Generating Station
Beasley, (b/r) P/07, is here for a second year. He was produced in 2014 at the
Milwaukee County Power Plant. The adult female is Brinn, (b/r) 84/X, produced in 2012 at Gold Hoist cliff, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Lake County, Minnesota. She is back for a fifth year.

Presque Isle Power Plant
An unbanded adult male was spotted in the nest box on March 11. 

You can watch the peregrines on our live nest box webcams, which were upgraded this year to provide higher definition images as well as sound. Access the webcams on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/WeEnergiesVideos/featured

A peregrine falcon at Port Washington Generating Station's nest box.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Oak Creek Power Plant's fishing pier: a great place to drop a line

Oak Creek Power Plant's fishing pier extends into Lake Michigan to provide anglers a place to cast their lines. The pier is open daylight hours March 15 through Nov. 15 – weather permitting.

Although located on private We Energies property, the pier is open to the public for fishing and provides picnic tables, trash bins and access to a nearby public beach. Swimming, boat launching and fires are not allowed, but the beach welcomes walkers and dogs.

Al Kunda, maintenance planner – We Energies at the Oak Creek plant, uses Lake-Link’s Oak Creek Power Plant pier forum to update fishing enthusiasts on the pier’s status and closures. He noted the pier is subject to closures “at any time due to poor weather conditions, early snowfalls in fall, late snowfalls in spring and extreme high surf due to strong easterly winds,” making Lake-Link a good resource to check before taking up your tackle.

The Oak Creek Power Plant pier is a good spot to catch coho and chinook salmon, and brown, rainbow and lake trout, among other types of fish. The fish are attracted to the change in water current and the slightly elevated temperature of the water discharging from the power plant. On a clear day, fish can be seen swimming in the plant’s discharge channel.

Although we can’t promise a good catch, we can provide a scenic space to try your luck.

To access the pier, take East Oakwood Road from South Howell Avenue, turn onto Fishing Pier Road and then take North Bowl Road to park.

The Oak Creek fishing pier, located near our power plant, is open 
through Nov. 15.
Map to the fishing pier.

Fishing reports
DNR (check Milwaukee South)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Crews receive key to city in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico

Our crews in Puerto Rico are nearing the end of their stay. They’ll land at the Milwaukee airport this Friday after eight weeks away from home. They’ve been restoring power on the island since mid-January, and the people of Puerto Rico continue to show their gratitude in grand fashion.

This past weekend, the mayor of Vega Alta, a mountainous area west of San Juan, presented our crews with a key to the city. The presentation followed a large pig roast organized by dozens of thankful residents. They prepared enough food for all 50-plus We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service employees as well as neighborhood residents. They organized the event days in advance so our crews could plan their work schedules accordingly. 

Restoration remains their top priority and although all are looking forward to coming home, one supervisor tells us employees are struggling with the thought of leaving before all customers have had their service restored. However, New York’s ConEd crews have committed to finishing the remaining work when our employees leave. Our crews have been working with the ConEd crews in the area throughout their stay.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

We Energies employees help students engineer cities of future

On the heels of National Engineers Week, kudos to those who are inspiring the next generation of engineers. Several We Energies employees, including Sue Clausing, Tony Militello and Greg Schroeder, volunteer their time with Future Cities, an organization that encourages students to be motivated in science, technology, engineering and math and other 21st-century skills.

Clausing’s Future Cities team participated in a national competition in Washington, D.C., Feb. 17 to 20. The team prepared for their time in D.C. by presenting their project at the National Engineers Banquet in Milwaukee at the Italian Community Center Feb. 15.

The St. Alphonsus team at the regional competition in January.

Clausing and her husband, Kevin Walsh, mentor a Future Cities team from St. Alphonsus School in Greendale, Wisconsin. Their group of six eighth-graders was the only Wisconsin team invited to nationals. They earned their spot by winning a regional competition at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in January.  

The St. Alphonsus team designed a city called “Sedai” which means “generations” in Japanese. That was consistent with the competition theme, which encouraged teams to design a senior-friendly city 100 years in the future.

The team working on their model.

Clausing’s team earned special honors for “Best Project Plan.” The students used SimCity to create a virtual city, did research, conducted interviews, wrote an essay, created a physical model and presented at regional and national competitions to panels of judges.

“The program is really great because it exposes students to different STEM fields, project planning, and presentation and research skills,” said Clausing.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Be like an Olympian; share your holiday traditions in We Energies Cookie Book

If you didn’t make it to 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, don’t worry; there’s still a chance to be like an Olympian.

Five-time gold medal-winning retired Olympic speed skater Bonnie Blair shared her recipe for “Killer Brownies” in the 2016 Wisconsin Heritage Edition of the We Energies Cookie Book. Now it’s your turn to submit your favorite recipes from a past Cookie Book along with a favorite holiday tradition or memory. Blair’s favorite memory of her brownies is how they got their name – her sister tried them and called them “absolutely killer brownies,” and the name stuck.

So, whether your favorite holiday recipe comes from a vintage Cookie Book, came out just last year or is Bonnie Blair’s Killer Brownies, submit it along with your favorite holiday baking memory on our online form

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dr. King Speech Contest winners featured at Bucks game

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, the Milwaukee Bucks turned to the youth of our community at the Feb. 2 game with the New York Knicks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. At halftime, first-, second- and third-place winners of each of the six grade divisions of the We Energies Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest were honored on the court.
Students were escorted onto the court by the Milwaukee Bucks Dancers.
Eleventh-grader Ariana Cawthorn of Eastbrook Academy, and first-place winner of the grade 11-12 division, addressed the crowd.
First-place winner of the 11-12 division Ariana Cawthorn.
“Some believe silence keeps problems at bay, and that if no one speaks them, maybe they’ll the problem will go away. But no, I stand here to testify that that is not the way,” she said. Her remarks elaborated on this year’s contest theme, “Take a stand for truth and justice.”

Fans congratulated Cawthorn on her encouraging words as she made her way back to her seat in the arena.

We Energies has sponsored the speech contest for more than 30 years. This is the fourth season that the winning students have been honored at a Bucks game. 
Students from the K-2 and 3-4 divisions.