Monday, January 19, 2015

Fleet adds hybrid bucket trucks

We recently added two hybrid bucket trucks to our fleet. The new trucks were purchased from Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Dueco Inc. and are equipped with Odyne plug-in hybrid systems that feature lithium-ion battery packs, manufactured by Glendale, Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls Inc.

The hybrid systems are operating on a Terex TC55 line construction truck mounted on a Lakeside International Trucks chassis that will be used in everyday line work and on a Terex SC45 trouble truck that will perform driving and service work. The hybrid systems offer several advantages over traditional diesel or gasoline engines, including:
  • Up to 50 percent lower fuel consumption
  • Reduced emissions
  • Quieter operation at work sites
Both trucks are equipped with diagnostics to measure the performance of the hybrid trucks relative to others in our fleet.

Related coverage:
WDJT 58

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration includes winners of our annual speech contest

Finalists presented speeches Dec. 6 at our Public Service Building.
Milwaukee hosts its 31st Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Jan. 18 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. We’re been part of the event since its inception.

Part of the celebration features winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest that we sponsor in December each year. Through this program, we strive to help strengthen the reading, writing and public speaking skills of Milwaukee students while encouraging them to learn about and support the hopes and dreams of Dr. King.

In the contest, Milwaukee schools first host competitions within their own schools, choosing the best to participate in a preliminary competition to determine five finalists in each of six grade categories – K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. Those finalists are part of the event we sponsor at our headquarters to select first-, second- and third-place winners in each grade category.

Marissa Robertson, first-place winner
in grade 11-12 competition.
Winners receive a medallion, plaque, gift cards and an appearance at this weekend’s celebration. As an added bonus, the Milwaukee Bucks are honoring the three winners in each division with a center-court appearance at the Jan. 19 game. Media opportunities also are extended to winners. Marissa Robertson, first-place winner in the grade 11-12 category recently was featured on Milwaukee Public Television’s Black Nouveau program: MPTV Black Nouveau (Robertson segments begins at 13:02)

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contest is open to all students who live in Milwaukee as well as any students who attend Milwaukee public, private, charter or home schools. Visit our website for details: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest

AGA produces video to help consumers understand natural gas bills

The American Gas Association recently released a short video that explains the main components of natural gas bills.



Learn more about AGA

Friday, January 2, 2015

Be ready for severe cold weather

Our energy distribution systems are built to withstand severe cold, but equipment problems, wildlife damage, high winds, accidents and other causes can knock out power at any time of the year. As always, be prepared to stay safe -- especially during severe cold.

Preparing for power outages
Add our numbers to your cell phone:
  • Power outage or electrical emergency: 800-662-4797
  • Natural gas leak, odor or emergency: 800-261-5325
Assemble an emergency kit and put it where it’s easy to find in the dark. Suggested items:
  • Flashlights, extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water — half gallon a day per person
  • Battery-operated radio, extra batteries
  • Canned/dried food, hand-operated can opener
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Special items for infants, seniors or disabled family members
Other considerations:
  • Check on others, especially seniors or anyone with medical conditions
  • Keep pets safe
  • Keep electronic devices, especially cell phones, charged
  • Find out where area emergency shelters are located if you need to leave your home

Coping with power outages
  • Report and get updates on your outage by calling 800-662-4797
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
  • Use manual operation of garage door
  • Dress in layers to stay warm.
  • Use battery-operated lights rather than candles
  • Unplug or turn off appliances to avoid overloading when power is restored
  • Leave a single light on to alert you when power is restored
  • If you are the only home without power, check your breakers or fuses
  • Close blinds or drapes and avoid opening doors to retain heat
  • Use a generator safely to power your furnace
  • Use a properly vented fireplace or wood-burning stove, if you have one
  • Do not use outdoor grills, kerosene heaters or camping heaters
  • Go to safe shelter if your home becomes extremely cold

Ensuring meter safety
Keeping meters clear of snow and ice allows for safer operation for you and access for us to service meters in case of emergency. If snow piles up, remember these tips:
  • Keep meters clear of snow and ice 
  • Use a brush to gently remove snow from meters
  • Be careful not to bury a meter when using a snow thrower or shovel
  • Remove icicles that may drip water on a natural gas meter and interfere with flow 

Avoiding downed power lines
Winter storms, extremely cold temperatures and snow can damage power lines. Downed power lines may still have electricity running through them. There’s no way to tell if they don’t. Many people think a power line will jump, spark or hum on the ground if it is energized. Downed power lines may appear motionless and harmless, but often are silent and deadly.

Responding to natural gas leaks and outages
Natural gas outages are rare; however, equipment failures, digging damage, natural disasters and other causes can disrupt service at any time. Damaged meters and corroded appliance connectors can cause leaks, so we add a foul odor to help detection. If you smell the odor:
  • Leave immediately – do not turn on light switches or use phone
  • Call us at 800-261-5325 from another location

Additional winter weather safety resources
American Red Cross
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention