Friday, May 26, 2017

We Energies husband-wife team rescues driver after dangerous crash

The vehicle went through the fence into the water.
It’s not often that married couple Joe and Kim Young drive into work together. Although they are both employees of We Energies, they work at different locations. Commuting together Friday morning turned into a heroic event that they will never forget.

As they made their way on I-43 northbound in New Berlin, a car swerved in front of them, rolled over, broke through a chain link fence and landed in a small pond.

Joe immediately jumped into action and told Kim to dial 911. He ran down to the car and found the fence on top of the vehicle. He and another passerby pulled the fence from the vehicle. They noticed the airbags were deployed and water was entering the car.

“I can’t imagine how the woman was feeling,” said Kim.

Joe and a passerby were able to navigate through blown air bags to pull the woman to safety. The woman was shaken, but not seriously hurt.

“He knew exactly what to do. He just jumped into action and brought her to safety,” said Kim. “He was pretty amazing.”

Joe said that all of the safety training from We Energies he has received over the years just fell into play.

“Safety is at the core of our business. We train not just to keep our employees safe, but also to keep the public safe. Joe and Kim’s actions showed that commitment by saving this woman in her hour of need,” said Kevin Fletcher, president of We Energies.

Joe humbly added, “I just hope someone would stop for my wife if something like this would ever happen to her.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Honor Flight ‘very meaningful for all involved’

We Energies employee volunteers helped World War II, Korean War and other veterans as they embarked on a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight that departed early Sunday morning from Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport.
Bob Hunter and Randy Jerome at Arlington Cemetery.

Among these volunteers were two guardians who traveled to Washington, D.C., with the 90 veterans: Randy Jerome and Renee Rabiego-Tiller, two employees with military ties. Their connections to the Honor Flight through their families were highlighted in an earlier post.

“I am very proud the company supports the Honor Flights, and it was my privilege to represent the company,” said Jerome of his experience as a guardian. “The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight organization did a tremendous job in shepherding the group and making it very meaningful for all involved.”

Jerome and Rabiego-Tiller were joined by 13 other We Energies employees who volunteered to help with the morning send-off at the airport.

Employee Amy Cowdery was reunited
with a high school friend.
“Throughout the day, I was incredibly proud and pleased when a multitude of strangers young and old, from the USA and from foreign countries, stopped our veterans to thank them for their service,” Rabiego-Tiller said. “It was especially touching while visiting the Korean memorial when citizens from South Korea stopped our veterans to take pictures with them and to thank them for fighting for their country.”  

“The morning was incredibly emotional and rewarding,” said Amy Cowdery, a We Energies IT specialist, whose parents were active in veterans’ organizations when she was growing up. “I greeted the veterans and their guardians as they arrived while assisting with their check-in process. I was able to meet and talk with many of the veterans and especially enjoyed talking to the sole female veteran on this flight. A highlight of the morning was running into a friend from high school who was able to volunteer one last time as active military before her upcoming retirement from the military after 21 years of service.”  

“I loved, loved, loved it!” said Celia Chramega, a gas operations employee, whose father was a veteran and past Honor Flight participant. “I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of the morning with these great guys and walked away feeling warm and fuzzy inside because it was my dad’s birthday and I wanted to do this in memory of him. I even wore his Honor Flight jacket.”

“It was a really early morning, but well worth it. All of the veterans that I talked to were animated as they talked about the day ahead of them,” said Judy Runt, another employee, whose uncle was recently on an Honor Flight. “The guardians I talked to felt grateful to be able to experience and enjoy this with the veterans. The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight staff was very well organized, and you could tell that they had worked hard to make this a success for all involved.” 

“I really enjoyed the experience and would love to have the opportunity to do it again,” said Christy Schultz (right), computer system specialist, who was joined by Judy Runt, team leader, and 11 other We Energies colleagues who helped during the morning send off on May 21.

Friday, May 19, 2017

We Energies honors veterans through Stars and Stripes Honor Flight

On Sunday, May 21, 90 U.S. military veterans of foreign wars will travel on a   
We Energies-sponsored flight to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials that honor their service.

We Energies has been involved with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight since its inception in 2008. The company is sending two guardians to Washington with the veterans: Randy Jerome, manager customer solutions south – wholesale energy and fuels, and Renee Rabiego-Tiller, manager meter to bill process – customer service.

Both employees have family members who are veterans. In fact, Jerome comes from a military family. Both of his grandfathers served in World War II, three of his older siblings served in different branches of the military, and Jerome himself served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

Roland Jerome (left) and Roland Tritz (right) both served in WWII and are the grandfathers of Randy Jerome (center), pictured while serving in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Randy will honor his grandfathers and fellow servicemen and women by acting as a guardian on Sunday’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. 

“In my heart, I will be traveling for my grandfathers and will be thinking of them, and the bravery of all who have served and died for the great country we live in,” Jerome said. “I also will be focused on the care of the Korean War era veteran I will be traveling with, as it is his day and I want it to be a safe, memorable and an honorable day for him. I will look forward to learning from him, should he be willing to share what his experiences were like.”

Like Jerome’s grandfathers, Rabiego-Tiller’s father served in WWII. He was a member of the 801st/492nd Air Corps, which was part of the Office of Strategic Services (a predecessor to the CIA), U.S. Special Operations Command and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. As a top gunner, he and his crew flew supplies to the resistance in occupied Europe, which meant flying at low altitudes, only at night and by moonlight, without any lights on their plane.

“All of the members were sworn to secrecy for 40 years after the war. My dad never spoke about his service until he was contacted in the mid-1990s to attend a reunion,” she said. “After he attended his first reunion, he started to slowly share stories about his experiences in the war.”

Renee Rabiego-Tiller will serve as one of two guardians from We Energies on the May 21 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Her father, shown on right in the back row, served in World War II, flying supplies to the resistance in occupied Europe.

So Rabiego-Tiller understood when the veteran she will be escorting on the flight told her he canceled his first Honor Flight because he was not ready to go. She said he has since “done some soul searching and said he is ready now. He also will be honoring his two brothers-in-law, who are deceased, who were in WWII and never had a chance to visit their memorial.”

The guardians, as well as multiple We Energies volunteers who will assist the veterans at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport on Sunday morning, are honored to take part in the flight. Three hundred and forty-nine letters from We Energies employees will be part of mail call, a special time on the return flight when veterans read messages from friends, families and individuals they have never met expressing their gratitude. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

K’s for a Cause supports veterans through the We Energies Foundation

It’s baseball season! This year, We Energies and the Milwaukee Brewers are working together to support local veterans through a program called K’s for a Cause. For every strikeout, or “K,” thrown by Brewers pitchers at Miller Park, the We Energies Foundation contributes $25 to Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI).

“We’re so glad to have two great organizations supporting us in We Energies and the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Kirsten Sobieski, executive director of MHVI. “They are pillars of the community, and it’s great to see them help us and help the veterans.”

Sobieski is a veteran herself, having spent 10 years with the Army and Army Reserves, including two on active duty. She also orchestrates a program within MHVI, the Women Veterans Initiative (WOVIN), which helps female veterans learn more about opportunities available to them through veterans’ organizations.

“The We Energies Foundation is pleased to support Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative as they work to help homeless and at-risk veterans in our community reach and maintain their highest levels of independence,” said Beth Straka, senior vice president – corporate communications and investor relations, WEC Energy Group, and vice president, We Energies Foundation. “We look forward to a winning Brewers season and a successful K’s for a Cause promotion.”

Individual game and season-long strikeouts will be tracked on Miller Park’s new K meter – an 80-foot digital sign, located in right field.

Both K’s for a Cause and the Brewers are off to a great start; in the first month of the season, Brewer pitchers recorded 130 strikeouts at Miller Park, bringing the contribution total to $3,250 through April 30.

The donations made through K’s for a Cause will go to the MHVI emergency fund. Sobieski indicated that the donations support everything from keeping veterans in financial crisis from becoming homeless to putting gas in the MHVI delivery trucks. “Without government money, we rely heavily on these types of donations to make sure we can do all the things that we do without anything falling through the cracks,” said Sobieski.

Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Contest winners announced as falcon cam goes live

Congratulations to the winners of our peregrine falcon poster contest. Mike Patneaude’s fourth-grade class at Meadowview Elementary School in Oak Creek, and John Ganey’s sixth-grade class at Trinity Lutheran School in Waukesha developed creative, educational displays that really caught our attention.

Here’s their handy work:

Entry from Trinity Lutheran School in Waukesha
Entry from Meadowview Elementary School in Oak Creek

Both classes win a field trip to a peregrine falcon banding at one of our power plants this spring. They will get to name the chicks, and their schools will be reimbursed up to $250 from the We Energies Foundation for transportation expenses. Winning classes also get a visit from our peregrine falcon manager, Greg Septon, prior to their field trip to learn more about our program.

We want to thank everyone who entered our contest. We received more than a dozen entries. Students incorporated facts about the We Energies peregrine falcon recovery program into their posters, displays and artwork.

Everyone can follow the activity at our power plant nest boxes this spring through our webcams at

For now, the live feed is focused on our Valley Power Plant in downtown Milwaukee where eggs are expected to hatch any day. The live feed will be rotated to our other sites as hatching occurs elsewhere.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bald eagle and osprey recovery continues in Wisconsin

For decades, We Energies has supported the recovery of bald eagle and osprey populations. These raptor species once thrived in the Midwest, but DDT use and habitat loss led to dramatic population declines between the 1950s and 1970s. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has watched their development over the last four decades. In 2016, the DNR recorded the highest number of nesting sites since monitoring began in 1973.

We Energies employees assist with
an eagle banding in May 2016. 
The DNR’s aerial survey results were released in December. The results show 1,504 occupied bald eagle nests, 39 more than in 2015, and 558 occupied osprey nests, 16 more than in 2015. To put this further in perspective, the 1973 survey recorded only 108 eagle and 92 osprey nests.

“The comeback of our great raptors since their near-demise just over 50 years ago is truly remarkable,” said Mike Grisar, principal environmental consultant at We Energies. “Without the hard work of the resource managers and the aid of utility companies, the recovery of these species would certainly not have been so successful.”

Utilities have a major role to play in raptor conservation due to the species’ nesting habits. Bald eagles and ospreys both tend to build their large nests in the tallest trees available – or, on occasion, the tallest utility poles, which can result in power outages and harm to the birds.

We have worked with the DNR and environmental nonprofits since the early 1980s to help raptor populations recover. Our Bald Eagle Protection Plan prevents disturbances to nesting eagles, preserves canopy trees for future nesting sites and offers public financial incentive to report raptor nests on company lands. When we discover an occupied nest near a project site, we evaluate each situation and develop a strategy to avoid impacting active nests.

Our field crews also erect nesting platforms for raptors, primarily osprey. As these raptor diets rely heavily on fish, the platforms are typically raised near water. They stand taller than any manmade structures in the area, encouraging raptors to choose them in favor of utility poles, and they expand nesting opportunities in wetlands, along lakeshores and in other areas with limited mature tree growth. We collaborate with environmental and wildlife agencies to monitor raptor activity and attach leg bands for conservation research.

Grisar has helped coordinate company efforts for raptor recovery since the mid-2000s, and he has seen their numbers rise almost every year. He is optimistic about their future in Wisconsin and Michigan.

“It is an honor to work for a utility company that has such commitment to environmental stewardship, and it is humbling to know we have made such a difference,” Grisar said.

We are dedicated to keeping our customers and local wildlife safe. With nests weighing up to 200 pounds, eagles and ospreys can damage power lines and cause arcing, power outages and nest fires. If you see a raptor building a nest on a live power line, please contact our 24-hour customer service at 800-242-9317.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Saying thank you on Lineman Appreciation Day

April 18 is National Lineman Appreciation Day, a time to recognize the contributions of the men and women who respond to electric outages and emergencies for our customers.

We caught up with apprentice line mechanics at one of our training centers Tuesday. They were practicing their skills on a warm, sunny day, but frequently, they’re restoring power in less-than-ideal conditions.

“Rain, sleet, snow, the worst of it, lightning, tornadoes. You name it, we’re in it,” said Joel Frappier veteran line mechanic and instructor.

He shared his thoughts about the profession, something he refers to as “a calling.” He is following in his father’s footsteps.

“My dad was a lineman for 38 years at another utility, so for me, it was kind of in my blood.”

Appreciating the work of our line mechanics is appropriate today – and every day.

Falcon eggs present at 5 power plants

Peregrine falcons that nest at our power plants are getting ready to welcome young. Eggs now are present at all five of our power plant nest boxes. Here’s how things are shaping up at each site:

Pleasant Prairie Power Plant
PBR is back for his sixth year and is joined by an unbanded female. Their four eggs are expected to hatch May 6-8.
Unbanded female at Pleasant Prairie
Oak Creek Power Plant
Eclipse is back for her seventh year and is joined by a new male, Michael, who was born in 2015 at the Racine County Courthouse. Their four eggs are expected to hatch May 6-9.

Michael at Oak Creek 

Valley Power Plant – Milwaukee
Hercules is back for a fourth year at this site. He’s the offspring of another Valley Power Plant falcon, Herbert, who was injured and now resides at the Wisconsin Humane Society as an educational ambassador. Hercules’ mate is an unbanded female. Their three eggs are expected to hatch April 30-May 2. 

Unbanded female at Valley
Port Washington Generating Station
Brinn is back for her fourth year and is accompanied by a new mate, Beasley, who was born at the Milwaukee County Power Plant in 2014. Their three eggs are expected to hatch May 12-15.

Brinn at Port Washington
Presque Isle Power Plant – Marquette, Michigan
Maya Angelou is back for her seventh year. Her mate is an unbanded male. So far, one egg is at the site, which was laid over Easter weekend.

One egg at Presque Isle

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Two tornado drills will occur on April 20 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The first drill is to help schools and businesses prepare for storm season. The second drill is an opportunity for families to create and review their emergency plans. Governor Scott Walker has declared April 17-21, 2017 as Wisconsin's Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week.

We work to maintain a reliable power delivery system, but severe weather and other events sometimes cause power outages that require many hours and even days to resolve.

Be prepared and know what to do should a power outage occur. Assemble an emergency kit and keep it where it’s easy to find in the dark.

Suggested items:
· Flashlights and extra batteries
· Blankets
· Water-half gallon/day per person
· Canned or dried food
· Hand-operated can opener
· First-aid kit
· Prescription medications
· Specialty items for infants, seniors or disabled family members

If you have advance notice of severe storms or other conditions that may lead to extended power outages, consider taking additional precautions:
· Set freezer and refrigerator colder to help food stay safe longer
· Fill vehicle gas tank (gas station pumps do not operate without power)
· Get cash (credit or debit cards may not work if power is out)
· Charge devices, especially cell phones; consider spare power
· Know emergency shelter locations
· Get bottled water, other supplies

Other considerations:
· Battery back-up for sump pump
· Solar power cell phone charger
· Generator to power important appliances
· Surge suppression devices for protection when power returns
· Card or board games to pass time
· Dry ice for refrigerator/freezer
· Frozen jugs of water
· Well-being of friends, neighbors and relatives

Any changes to the mock tornado drill will be posted on the ReadyWisconsin website.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Teachers: Win a falcon-naming field trip for your class!

Attention teachers: Your class could win a field trip to a peregrine falcon banding and name the chicks! We’re looking for classes in grades 3-6 to enter a poster contest.

This spring, peregrine falcon chicks are expected to hatch at four of our power plants (fingers crossed). When the chicks are about three weeks old, they’ll be given wildlife bands. Your class could win a unique opportunity to see this endangered species up close, and our foundation will help fund your trip! 

Winning classes also will get:
  • A classroom visit from our peregrine manager prior to the banding field trip
  • $250 reimbursement from the We Energies Foundation for field trip transportation expenses 
How to enter: Create a poster about peregrine falcons and send us a picture of the finished product. Classes will find plenty of falcon facts at: Points will be given for creativity, and to those who highlight We Energies falcon recovery efforts! We may share your creations on our social media channels. And the best of the best will win a falcon field trip. 

Students from Carollton Elementary School went to the
falcon banding at our Oak Creek Power Plant last May.
  • Email a picture of your students’ poster to:
  • No larger than 10 MB
  • Deadline: April 27 
  • Include:
    • Teacher’s name
    • Teacher’s phone number
    • Teacher’s email address
    • School mailing address
    • Grade level
    • Class size
  • Open to grades 3-6
  • Class size no more than 30 students
  • One entry per classroom
  • Banding dates aren't set until eggs hatch
  • There’s no guarantee eggs will hatch
  • Banding dates are not flexible
  • Bandings typically take one hour 
  • Bandings generally are scheduled between 9-11 a.m.
  • Committee will evaluate entries and choose winners
  • Winning classes will be featured on social media 
  • Winning classes also may appear on local media
    • Teachers are responsible for media waivers
  • Winners will be announced May 1
  • School visits will be scheduled the week of May 15 
  • Banding field trips will be scheduled at the end of May/early June 
  • Schools must be willing to travel to one of these power plants: 
    • Valley Power Plant, Milwaukee
    • Oak Creek Power Plant, Oak Creek
    • Pleasant Prairie Power Plant, Pleasant Prairie
    • Port Washington Generating Station, Port Washington

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Proposal to freeze rates for two more years

Good news! We want to freeze your base rates through the end of 2019. You would pay the same base rate you’ve been paying since 2016. That means four years without an increase!

We’re asking the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to approve our plan, which would benefit our more than 1 million customers.

We also are asking the PSCW to let us extend a pricing program that has helped businesses expand their operations. The program has already helped create more than 2,000 Wisconsin jobs. Now, we want to make that program permanent.

Companies across our service area are in favor of a rate freeze and the expansion of pricing programs that have helped them grow. We’ve also received positive feedback from legislative leaders and organizations such as the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and Waukesha County Business Alliance.

We’re hopeful that the PSCW will approve this settlement – including a base rate freeze – which is in everyone’s best interest.

Employee helps save driver pinned under utility pole

Tom Dudek believes it was fate that brought him to an accident scene in Racine County last weekend. The We Energies employee doesn’t normally work on Sundays, but a special switching job had him headed down Highway 83 shortly after 5 a.m.

As Dudek approached Waterford, he saw flashing lights and hit a roadblock. Police assumed he was there to help.

“They told me a woman was trapped in her car and there were wires down,” said Dudek. 

Police had called We Energies for help. Another employee was on the way but hadn’t arrived yet. Dudek jumped into action when he saw the car pinned underneath a utility pole and wires.

“It was pretty dramatic. I could hear the driver crying. She was half in the car and half out,” said Dudek.

First responders couldn’t rescue the woman without risking electrocution. Dudek worked quickly to ensure the wires were de-energized and made the scene safe.

Fellow employee Bob Koenecke got to the scene about 30 minutes later due to the distance he had to travel. He assisted Dudek with repairs while the driver was taken to the hospital by helicopter.

“The driver would’ve been stuck there longer had I not been driving by when I did,” said Dudek. “It was sheer luck that it happened the way it did.”

The driver, Elizabeth Floyd, escaped the accident with a few bruises and some fractured ribs. She says she’s “lucky to be alive.”

“I want to thank him,” Floyd said about Dudek. “It was very scary and traumatizing.”

Floyd’s first instinct was to try and crawl out of her car, but first responders cautioned her to stay inside because of the potentially energized power line.

If you’re ever in a similar situation, stay inside your vehicle and call 911. Don’t exit your vehicle until rescue workers say it’s safe to leave.

If you MUST leave your vehicle because of fire or other danger, JUMP away from the vehicle so that you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then, land with your feet together and shuffle away.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Hit it out of the park with Roberto’s Chocolate Chip 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.

The chocolate chip cookie was invented in Massachusetts in the 1930s, making it truly an American classic – and a great dessert to pair with our national pastime. The Milwaukee Brewers opening day is coming up on April 3, after all, and your game day party or tailgate will be all the sweeter with a platter of Roberto’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. This particular recipe has a unique claim to fame: It was submitted to us by Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and his wife, Debbie.

The Attanasios contributed to our 2016 Cookie Book, the Wisconsin Heritage edition, which featured recipes from many notable names in Wisconsin entertainment, culture, business and industry. Among them are recipes from Admirals owner Harris Turer and Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, so you can celebrate Milwaukee teams with crowd-pleasing cookies year-round.

Roberto’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars; beat in eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on wire cooling racks. Makes about four dozen.

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

Gov. Walker proclaims April 2-8 Dam Safety Awareness Week

In recognition of Dam Safety Awareness Week (April 2-8, 2017) as proclaimed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, We Energies strongly urges recreational and fishing enthusiasts to be safe around dams and hydroelectric facilities.

The week's purpose is to emphasize the importance of safety near dams and on waterways to help prevent accidents. Most accidents at dams can be prevented by simply staying away from restricted areas and learning about the dangers associated with dams.

Safety precautions include:
  • Obey all warning signs.
  • Heed horns or sirens.
  • Be aware of rapidly changing water conditions.
  • Practice safe boating and swimming.
  • Bring a cell phone and contact 911 in an emergency. 
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD), a life jacket. 
  • Always stay outside buoy lines and away from restricted areas near dams. 
  • Always have a safe escape route planned when near a dam. Be prepared to evacuate at the first sign of danger. 
We Energies operates 13 hydroelectric facilities in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

We Energies hydroelectric system

Thursday, March 30, 2017

MSOE students use We Energies fly ash in concrete canoes

Hearing the words “concrete canoe” you worry it might not float. But these boats are expertly crafted by engineering students to be buoyant. The students put a lot of trust – and hard work – in their craftsmanship. And with a little help from fly ash from We Energies power plants, they are making innovations in concrete use that have implications beyond the canoe competition.

All dry materials are pre-mixed so the team can just add water and liquid admixtures to create concrete. The orange bucket [bottom right] contains We Energies fly ash. 

Holly Denfeld is one of these students. She’s a senior at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in architectural engineering and construction management. And she’s the co-captain of MSOE’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe team.

“I got involved right away my freshman year of college,” she said. The next year, the MSOE team placed 14th out of 18 teams. In 2016, they placed fourth. This year, they have their sights set on nationals, which would require being one of the top two teams in the region.

Canoes are judged at the regional and national levels. The Great Lakes Region has 19 teams with 18 participating in this Friday’s competition at Veterans Park in Milwaukee. The judging is split into four equally weighted quarters: canoe workmanship and aesthetics, overall racing scores, an academic paper submission that includes technical documentation, and a formal oral presentation overviewing the entire process.

“Since I’ve been involved, we have always gotten materials from We Energies, which is really helpful and really great,” Denfeld said. She praised fly ash for its use in this project, as well as others. “We have reached out to We Energies specifically for fly ash. Fly ash in concrete mixes – not just in the concrete canoe process but in the industry in general – as a substitute for some of the portland cement, reduces the density of the mix.” She added, “Finding the ideal balance between fly ash and portland cement was something we did a lot of experimentation on this year.”

This year, MSOE’s team named their canoe “Hathi,” which means elephant in Hindi. Elephants represent power, strength, longevity, knowledge and happiness, and are considered lucky, especially when depicted with their trunks up, Denfeld explained. “Our team values these things,” she said, “and we wanted to be backed by happiness and a little bit of luck.”

Spectators are welcome at this weekend’s ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference. Denfeld and the MSOE team will present Hathi for the workmanship and aesthetics portion of their score starting at 8 a.m. on March 31, with races to follow at 10 a.m. and other ASCE events at Veterans Park until 3 p.m. The formal presentation will take place at MSOE’s Grohmann Towers on Saturday, April 1.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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 17. 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 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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let We Energies be part of your outdoor excursions

One of We Energies’ guiding principles is to practice responsible environmental stewardship of all properties and natural resources entrusted to our management. When possible, we provide access to outdoor recreation in these areas so that others in the community may enjoy them.

Wilderness Shores recreation area

Enjoy a variety of summertime activities including hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, canoeing and kayaking at Wilderness Shores recreation area, 23,000 acres surrounding our 12 hydroelectric plants in northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was developed by Wisconsin Electric Power Co. (part of We Energies) in conjunction with state and federal natural resource agencies to preserve the high biodiversity and geographical treasures along the Brule, Menominee, Michigamme, Paint and Pine rivers, where hydroelectric dams provide reliable, renewable energy.

The area includes more than 30 recreation spots and over two dozen boat launches, as well as numerous points for fishing access. More than 90 wilderness camping sites, open from late spring to early fall, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunting, ice fishing and cross‑country skiing are options in the off-season. And because half the area is land and half is water – both essential habitat requirements for eagles and their young – Wilderness Shores currently is home to about two dozen bald eagle pairs.

For more information, including camping rules, call 906-779-2519 or visit our website:

Wilderness Shores recreation area

Oak Creek Power Plant pier

In the southeastern part of the state, the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier is available for anglers looking to cast their lines. It’s a good spot to catch coho and chinook salmon, and brown, rainbow and lake trout, among other types of fish. It’s believed they are attracted to the change in water current and slight increase in water temperature there.

While on private We Energies property, the pier extends into Lake Michigan and is open to the public during daylight hours March 15 to Nov. 15, weather permitting. Picnic tables, trash bins and access to a nearby public beach also are available. Swimming, boat launching and fires are not allowed, but walkers and their dogs may enjoy the beach.

Because the pier is subject to closure at any time due to poor weather conditions, Lake-Link is a good resource to check before taking up your tackle. The plant’s maintenance planner uses Lake-Link’s Oak Creek Power Plant pier forum to update fishing enthusiasts on the pier’s status and closures.

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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Employee takes spin on WH_ _L OF FORT_ N _

Lisa Hutchins on Wheel of Fortune.
Lisa Hutchins, an executive assistant at We Energies, has a bucket list, which included an item for guessing vowels and consonants. She recently checked that one off her list as she participated as a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune.”

Since she was a young girl, watching daily with her grandma, Hutchins always wanted to be on the show. She began pursuing that dream of spinning the wheel by auditioning as often as she could, spending much of her time following the “Wheelmobile,” a recreational vehicle that travels across the country, holding auditions at various public venues. Hutchins would get on the road whenever the Wheelmobile was in the Midwest.

Nearly 20 years ago, the Wheelmobile came to Wisconsin State Fair Park, where Hutchins made the final group of 20 out of nearly 2,000 who auditioned, but didn’t make the cut for the show. Last summer, she auditioned in Chicago and finally received the break she had pursued for so long: She was invited to Los Angeles for a show taping in February. She isn’t allowed to share details before the show airs, so she will be joined by family and friends to watch the episode Tuesday night. She says that her grandma is “super pumped” to watch this particular episode together.

Feeling vindicated by accomplishing this long-standing goal, Hutchins said, “If you hold on to your dream long enough, it will come true.”

Wheel of Fortune ranks as the longest-running syndicated game show in the United States. To see if Hutchins “Fortune” comes in, watch any local CBS affiliate at 6:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 21.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Employees climb 47 floors in Fight for Air Climb

A team of nearly 20 We Energies employees climbed 1,034 stairs to the top of Milwaukee’s U.S. Bank Center Saturday in the Fight for Air Climb. The Fight for Air Climb is an annual fundraising event for the American Lung Association in its fight against lung disease.

This was the second year that We Energies participated in the event. Together, team members raised more than $3,300 for the American Lung Association. The We Energies Foundation also contributed $1,500 to the cause. 

“This is the second year I’ve done the climb,” said Kevin Fletcher, president – We Energies. “It’s challenging, but it’s also a rewarding way to help a very worthy cause.”

The Lung Association provides support and education for those living with asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“I was really out of breath after climbing 47 floors,” said Cathy Schulze, We Energies team captain. “But it helped me appreciate the challenges of those living with lung diseases like asthma.”

Three team members participated in the “Ultimate Climb,” scaling the stairs as many times as possible in one hour.

Some employees’ friends and family members also joined the We Energies team.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Go green and get nutty for St. Patrick’s 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.

Like the 90 million or so American revelers who aren’t Irish but plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day anyway, there’s nothing Irish about these cookies except they bear the color of the Emerald Isle – and that’s OK! On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone – and everything – can be a wee bit Irish, and these Pistachio Thumbprints add the right amount of nuttiness and indulgence to the celebration.

Originally submitted by John Bergstrom, chairman and CEO of Bergstrom Automotive and a member of the WEC Energy Group board of directors, for the 2016 Cookie Book, this recipe has three parts (just like a shamrock!).

Pistachio Thumbprints

1 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 (3.4-ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

½ cup miniature chocolate chips

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and extracts; beat until combined. In separate bowl, combine flour and pudding mix; add to butter mixture; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in pecans. Place on greased cookie sheets; press down center of ball with finger or end of wooden spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on wire cooling racks. Spoon Filling into middle of cooled cookies. Drizzle with Glaze. Makes about 4 dozen.


2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons milk

In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter and vanilla; gradually add milk until of desired consistency.


½ cup miniature chocolate chips

2 teaspoons shortening

In microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening; microwave for 1 minute at 20-second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Weather delayed fishing pier opening

The winter storm that passed through southeastern Wisconsin this week delayed the opening of the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier. The pier, which extends into Lake Michigan, usually opens March 15.

Safety is the No. 1 priority of We Energies, we consistently monitor the pier to determine its safeness for the public. Weather permitting, it will remain open during daylight hours through Nov. 15.

Al Kunda, maintenance planner at the We Energies 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 notes 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.

While 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.

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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Love is in the air at our falcon nest boxes

Hercules and his mate
Falcon activity is picking up with several familiar names spotted at our power plant nest boxes.

Hercules is back at our Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee. This is his fourth year at Valley. An unbanded female has been seen in the nest box as well, likely the same female as last year according to our peregrine manager, Greg Septon. Septon says the pair was present at the plant most of the winter. 

Eclipse has been spotted at our Oak Creek Power Plant, returning for her seventh year. She has nested with Scott since 2006, but Scott (who would be 17 years old now) hasn’t been seen this season. A new male, Michael, has been frequenting the nest box at Oak Creek. He was born in 2015 at the Racine County Courthouse. 
Michael at Oak Creek
Brinn is back at our Port Washington Generating Station. This is her fourth year at our Port Washington nest box. So far, Septon hasn’t seen a male falcon enter the picture. 

Brinn at Port Washington
PBR again is hanging out at our Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. His mate is an unbanded female, likely the same female as last year. 
PBR at Pleasant Prairie
And Maya Angelou, is back at our Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan.

Septon suspects that we may see a new record early date for egg laying. If so, he expects to see the first activity at our Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. Stay tuned. You’ll again be able to follow all the action through our live webcams. We’ll be launching them later this spring.

Learn more about our peregrine falcons

Employees encourage a love of reading

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child,” according to the National Education Association, the organization behind Read Across America Day – a national holiday celebrated in schools all over the country.

Twelve We Energies employees took this to heart and spent the morning of March 2 – Dr. Seuss’s birthday – reading to students at West Ridge Elementary in Racine.

West Ridge has been celebrating Seuss’s birthday all week with special activities, dress-up days and even a birthday cake in his honor. Bringing in We Energies volunteers was a big part of this celebration, explained Julianna Mielcarek, a reading teacher at the school.

“It’s important to get books in our students’ hands. And if they can’t get books at home, they can definitely get books at school through events like this,” she explained, wearing a large “Cat in the Hat”-style hat as she coordinated the morning’s activities.

Dave Megna helped first-grade students re-create 
the animal they'd read about.
West Ridge Elementary was grateful to have a We Energies connection. Candy Zicarelli, senior training consultant – gas operations, has both a sister and a granddaughter who are teachers at West Ridge. Zicarelli volunteered in order to share her love of reading with kids. “It’s good when kids can read and have someone read to them. This has been a really good opportunity, and I’m glad I was able to do it,” she said.

Dawn Dresen’s first-grade class listened as Dave Megna, vice president – Wisconsin system operations and customer operations, read “Put Me in the Zoo.” The students complimented his “storyteller voice,” something they are learning to develop in Dresen’s class. After some clever guesses as to the kind of animal featured in the story – ranging from leopard to dog to bear to fox – the students cut out yellow animal faces and covered them with spots. With their masterpieces completed, they started on a math skills worksheet that involved counting up those colorful spots. Megna and Joan Gilson, specialist – electric operations, encouraged the students and helped them with these tasks. “It’s a fun activity to be able to give back to the community and be part of Dr. Seuss’s 113th birthday,” Megna said.
Joan Gilson and a class of third-graders played with Oobleck.
The volunteers also assisted with coloring, drawing zoo animals, critical thinking and writing, math and mapmaking. Each activity paired with a Dr. Seuss book the classes read. For example, the class that read “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” played with some Oobleck – a slime-like substance – of their own. Third-grade students who read “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” wrote about the places they hope to go in the future.

Volunteers represented We Energies in their orange shirts.
Teachers and volunteers alike noted that reading is fundamental to the students’ futures and were excited to celebrate its importance. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Let the good times roll with Mardi Gras 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.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler” (or, “let the good times roll”) with these New Orleans Mardi Gras Cookies. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, marks the start of Lent and the time to reduce your indulgences, so we suggest making these fun and festive cookies now.

These cookies were featured in the 2015 We Energies Cookie Book. Called the Holidays Across America edition, the 2015 book featured recipes from friends and family throughout the United States who had special connections to Wisconsin.

New Orleans Mardi Gras Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Gold, green and purple sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In mixing bowl, cream butter, 1 cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Add egg yolks, honey and extracts; mix well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well. In shallow bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Shape rounded tablespoons of dough into logs; roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Loosely coil into spiral shapes. Place 1-inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire cooling racks. Drizzle cooled cookies with Icing; decorate with sprinkles, if desired. (Note: cookies may be decorated with sprinkles before baking, if desired.) Makes about 3 dozen.


2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup warm water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

In medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, water, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth.

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Bars to the Stars

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.

2017 marks the 89th anniversary of both the Academy Awards and the We Energies Cookie Book. To celebrate, we are featuring a recipe from our Cookie Book archives: Bars to the Stars. In 1998, when these bars made their Cookie Book debut, “Titanic” won eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture. “Titanic” was nominated for 14 awards – the most received by a single film, tying it with “All About Eve” in 1950 and “La La Land” this year.

Bars to the Stars will reprise their role as a favorite among stars and starstruck fans alike. The bars are rumored to have been enjoyed by celebrities from singer-songwriter Rod Stewart to children’s entertainer Captain Kangaroo, and always receive rave reviews. These tasty, no-bake treats are sure to be the highlight of any Oscar-viewing party or movie night!

Bars to the Stars

2 cups butterscotch morsels

1 cup chunky peanut butter

8 cups puffed rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup butter

2 tablespoons water

Combine butterscotch morsels and peanut butter in large bowl. Microwave until melted and smooth. Add rice cereal. Stir until well-coated. Press half the cereal mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan. A good way to press mixture evenly is to lay a sheet of waxed paper over mixture and press down with another 9" x 13" pan. Chill while preparing fudge mixture. Combine and heat chocolate morsels, powdered sugar, butter and water. Melt, stirring often until mixture is smooth. Spread over chilled mixture.

Spread remaining half of cereal mixture over top of fudge layer. Press mixture down firmly, again with waxed paper and another pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares. Makes 24 bars.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Employee recognized with national award

Cows milk themselves at some Wisconsin dairy farms, thanks to robotic milkers. Some farms also use electric feed pushers that distribute food to cattle automatically. These are the types of technology being studied by Joann Henry and her team as they investigate “electrification,” the application of novel, energy-efficient electric technologies as alternatives to fossil-fueled or non-energized processes.

Henry, a market strategist in our wholesale energy and fuels department, has been recognized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for her leadership in customer efficiency efforts. She received a Technology Transfer Award for developing internal electrification teams, establishing electrification programs and working with customers to advance targeted electrification technologies.

“This has been a company-wide effort,” said Henry. “From account managers, to our agriculture services team, to our environmental and regulatory departments, dozens of employees have been helping our customers be more efficient.”

Henry also was involved in an EPRI case study working with an industrial customer to develop a business case for switching from fossil fuels to electricity using induction melting. Henry was recognized in the electrification category along with a dozen peers from other utility companies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

High-flying training drill at Milwaukee’s Valley Power Plant

How does rappelling 200 feet down the stack of a power plant sound to you? It’s just another day on the job for members of the Milwaukee Fire Department’s Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT). 

Recently, the HURT team visited our Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee to practice some high-flying maneuvers. They practiced rappelling from two different elevations at the plant, including one of the power plant stacks. They also performed a mock rescue, lowering one of their team members to the ground on a stretcher from the power plant’s roof.

The training is part of a continued partnership between We Energies and MFD as both agencies work together to enhance preparedness of first responders in an emergency. Our electric and gas crews often work alongside firefighters at fire scenes. We also help educate firefighters about the hazards associated with natural gas and electric emergencies.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Candidates graduate from natural gas training program

A partnership between We Energies and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) has produced another class of future utility workers. In a joint effort between the two, We Energies hosted a six-week training class for seasonal natural gas inspectors. Candidates were provided through WRTP, also known as Big Step.

Graduates and We Energies employees
“I felt that the program was a wonderful opportunity, a wonderful learning experience,” said graduate James Swain. “I’m definitely thankful to We Energies. I’m definitely thankful to WRTP, Big Step, for giving us the opportunity, for giving us a chance that otherwise might not have been.”


WRTP hosted a graduation ceremony on Feb. 17 for a class of ten graduates. This is the second year We Energies and WRTP teamed up to offer the program.

Congratulations, graduates.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cookie Crumbs: Show your love by baking a sweet treat for your valentine

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.

Show your love by baking a sweet treat for your valentine. For a twist on the traditional cut-out cookie, try John McGivern’s Jelly Sandwich Cookies, which were featured in the 2016 book.

Jelly Sandwich Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds

1/4 cup coarse sugar

1/4 cup red currant jelly

In mixing bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar. Add egg; mix well. In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Roll the other portion of dough to 1/8-inch thickness; cut with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut a hole in middle; place on ungreased cookie sheets. Brush egg whites over cookies with holes; sprinkle with almonds and coarse sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool on wire cooling racks. Place about 1/2 teaspoon jelly in center of cookies without holes, then top with cookies with holes. Makes about 3 dozen.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Love is in the air, but party balloons shouldn't be

Dimming the lights on Valentine's Day can set a romantic mood. A total power blackout caused by a party balloon – not so much.

We would like to provide these balloon safety tips:

Helium-filled metallic or Mylar balloons caused more than a dozen power outages affecting more than 18,000 of our customers in 2016. The metallic surface of the balloon can act as a conductor, creating a short circuit in a power line.

Balloons typically are found on power lines in residential areas. That’s cause for great concern because lines damaged by a short circuit from a balloon could fall across fences or in front of homes.

No matter the cause, downed power lines can be energized and dangerous. Always stay at least 25 feet away and tell others to do the same. Call us at 800-662-4797 to report a downed line.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Service with a smile

We Energies employees, including members of its Women’s Development Network, provided, prepared and served dinner Thursday for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Wauwatosa.

Together the volunteers prepared fresh garden salad, watermelon and blueberry fruit salad, more than 20 pounds of meat for sloppy Joes, and nearly 1,000 tater tots, along with various relishes and desserts. Other employees who were unable to attend helped purchase food ahead of time.

The evening marked We Energies employees’ latest support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, which provides a home away from home for families with children who are hospitalized. In 2016, in addition to volunteering for other Family Meal Program opportunities, they selected the organization to receive a $10,000 gift from the We Energies Foundation through the company’s Safety Charity Challenge. A similar $10,000 gift was made in 2015.

“It’s always good to give back to the community and see a smile on the kids’ and parents’ faces. They’ve been through so much,” said Cindy Gaffney, ITS Service Desk representative.

“As citizens, it’s our duty to serve those who are dealing with these major life issues. It’s important to let them know people care,” said Leonard Brown, operations supervisor – gas operations and third-time company volunteer for the Family Meal Program. “Everyone goes through things where they need to feel that others will say ‘I care about you and I support you.’”

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin’s Family Meal Program regularly provides meals for guest families who have spent the day with their seriously ill children receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Since 1984, the facility has provided more than 38,000 family stays for families from 569 Wisconsin communities, all 50 states and dozens of countries around the world. Contact Ronald McDonald House Charities at 414-475-5333 for more information.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Score energy savings at your Big Game party

Huddle up and consider these energy-saving plays before your Big Game party:

  • Tackle your old TV: Energy Star televisions are typically 25 percent more efficient than conventional models. 
  • Score an extra point with a power strip: By plugging your TV and other electronics into an advanced power strip, you can turn everything off at once. You won’t have to worry about idle electronics using phantom energy.
  • Sack your stove: Using a microwave or slow cooker to make your party food uses less energy than firing up the oven. 
  • Run a reverse on your thermostat: Setting it a few degrees lower may not be noticeable with a house full of guests warming your home naturally.