Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Employee pledges an important part of $2.2 million United Way commitment

At the close of the United Way employee campaign last month, our employees had raised $687,546 for United Ways and their partner agencies and programs across the We Energies service area, but employee contributions are only part of the story. The We Energies Foundation provided a gift of nearly $1.25 million to the various United Ways that serve our service area, including Greater Milwaukee. In addition, campaign events raised $158,533, in-kind donations were estimated at $77,000 and retired employees contributed $33,647, for a grand total contribution of $2,202,791.

“This shows a huge commitment to the community on the part of our employees and our organization,” says Kevin Fletcher, senior vice president – customer operations and executive sponsor of the 2014 employee campaign. “We put a lot of effort into caring for customers with regard to their needs for safe and reliable natural gas and electric service, but this shows a commitment to ensure their other needs are met as well. Whether in our role as a provider of energy service or in our role as a friend and neighbor, through efforts such as the United Way campaign, we continue to show we care.”

More scams reported

We Energies customers continue to be targeted by scammers.

Green Dot
Under the Green Dot scam, customers receive phone calls from scammers posing as We Energies utility employees and are told their service will be disconnected unless they make an immediate payment. They are told to purchase a Green Dot or other type of prepaid debit card, load the card with money, and then provide the card number over the phone. If you receive a call like this, hang up and contact We Energies at 800-242-9137 or your local police department.

Scammers have been impersonating We Energies employees in the field and approaching customers at their homes. Again, using the threat of disconnection or other reasons, the scammers are demanding immediate payments and are using scanning devices to swipe customers’ debit or credit cards. We Energies does NOT collect payments of any kind in the field. Scammers also may ask to enter the home to check electrical or natural gas equipment.

These scammers may use fake We Energies identification cards, making the scammers appear legitimate. To remain safe and avoid falling victim, call us to verify if an employee is at your property. You can confirm an employee’s identity by calling 800-242-9137. When in doubt, do not let a stranger into your home.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cookie Book distribution events for 2014 end

2014 Cookie Book (PDF)
Distribution events for our 2014 Cookie Book ended Nov. 19.

However, you can download a copy of the 2014 Cookie Book as well as previous editions of the book on our website.

Cookie Books and other recipes

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MFD rescues 5 contractors at Valley Power Plant

The Milwaukee Fire Department’s Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT) was called into action at Valley Power Plant (VAPP) Monday night when five contract workers became trapped on a power plant stack after the stack elevator malfunctioned. One worker was trapped inside the elevator, while four others were stranded on a platform about 200 feet above ground.

The HURT team arrived at the plant shortly after 5 p.m. and rescued the contractor trapped inside the elevator first, bringing him to the ground safely. The team then rescued the four remaining, using ropes and harnesses to lower each worker to the ground, one at a time. No one was injured, and the workers stranded on the platform managed to stay out of the elements inside a small shelter atop the platform.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Customer Care Center responds round the clock

Our Customer Care Center helps more than 
10,000 customers a day.
Keeping the lights on requires the work of thousands of employees who generate power at our plants, build and maintain the network of wires, and respond to problems that affect your service.

Our Customer Care Center responds to customers who need help with service requests, billing and payment questions, power outages and more. Each day, we receive about 10,000 to 12,000 calls – and on days when we have a high volume of power outages, maybe 10 times that total. To handle the calls, we have about 700 phone lines and 300 consultants who take the calls. We respond to residential customer service calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to our consultants, we have an interactive voice response system that allows customers to access self-service for some transactions without having to talk to a consultant. We also have online resources to handle certain transactions.

Another way we manage call volume is Callback. When busy phones lines have customers waiting for a consultant, Callback allows customers to end their wait by having us call them back. This feature becomes available to customers who are on hold with a wait time of more than 2 minutes. Customers using the Callback option automatically have their place held in the waiting list and are called back as phone lines and consultants become available. Customers choosing to remain on hold are offered the Callback option two more times during their wait. Callback allows us to better serve our customers by eliminating the need to wait on the phone or to call us back when we are less busy. Callback is just one more way we make it easy to do business with us.

While technologies are useful to manage volume and to offer self-service, the best interactions remain the personal ones with knowledgeable and helpful consultants. Check out this short video to meet one of our consultants and see what’s happening on the other end of the line when you give us a call.

Keeping the Lights On: Her Friends and Neighbors

Friday, November 21, 2014

Our employees raise $687,336 for United Way

Our 2014 United Way pledge drive raised more than $687,336 for United Way, agency partners and an employee emergency fund.

“Together, our pledges will change lives and strengthen our community,” said Kevin Fletcher, senior vice president – customer operations and We Energies United Way campaign chair. “I’d like to thank everyone who pledged for showing how much We Energies cares.”

This year’s campaign again included many events to raise awareness and money for United Way and its partner agencies – and to have a good amount of fun. Here is a sampling:

Presque Isle Power Plant bake sale – Employees 
raised $1,300 in the sale where everything cost $1. 
Trivia night – Management employees from Customer 
Operations and other business areas held their annual 
trivia contest, which raised $2,700.
Pumpkin contest – Customer Services Business 
Effectiveness and Integration, and Meter-to-Bill 
teams held a pumpkin decorating contest that 
raised $160.

Supply Chain event and United Way benefit – 
Supply Chain employees held a supplier appreciation 
event and United Way benefit that raised more 
than $168,000 through sponsorships, raffles, silent 
auction and more

Oak Creek Expansion Plant festivities 
Employees showed their United Way support
by holding a chili cook-off, selling popcorn,
tailgating and hosting a beanbag toss,
pie-in-the-face event and dunk tank, raising $2,200.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We are best in Midwest for keeping lights on

Award recognizes most reliable electric utilities nationwide 

For the fourth year in a row, we received the ReliabilityOne™ Award in the Midwest for the superior reliability of our electric system. 

The award, which is based on our performance for the year 2013, is given annually by PA Consulting Group to utilities that have excelled in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers. 

“ReliabilityOne Award winners have a common thread: customers come first,” said Jeff Lewis, PA Consulting Group’s ReliabilityOne program director. “We Energies has kept its customers’ needs at the forefront, hinging its business success on maintaining the highest level of reliability.” 

“Receiving the ReliabilityOne award for four consecutive years is a testament to our employees who focus everyday on delivering outstanding customer care,” said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive of We Energies. 

All utilities operating electric delivery networks in North America are eligible for the ReliabilityOne Award. There are a total of six regional awards including Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Plains, West and Southeast. The selection is based primarily on system reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of customer outages. After provisional recipients are selected, each company undergoes an extensive on-site certification – an independent review of the processes and systems used to collect, analyze and report a company's reliability results. 

We have made significant investments in recent years to strengthen the reliability of our network by rebuilding hundreds of miles of distribution lines, and building and upgrading substations and other critical infrastructure. Our forestry management also has been recognized for responsible tree trimming practices to keep branches from coming into contact with power lines.