Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Words of gratitude for 10th anniversary Stars and Stripes Honor Flight

We again partnered with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to fly 145 veterans to Washington, D.C., Saturday, Nov. 3. The event welcomed three World War II veterans, seven Korean War veterans and 135 Vietnam War veterans. The day marked the 10th anniversary of the organization’s first flight. Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown over 6,000 WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to tour Washington’s WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and more.

We Energies employees served as volunteers on flight day.
Over the years, our participation in these flights has offered our employees the opportunities to serve as guardians for the veterans, be part of the volunteer crews on flight day, and write letters of thanks given to veterans on the return flight.

Two employee guardians on the Nov. 3 flight, Jessica Banike (U.S. Air Force and Wisconsin Air National Guard) and Elton Rushlau (U.S. Navy), are both veterans themselves.

Banike accompanied Willie Seales, a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Rushlau accompanied two veterans, Mike Beres and Gregory Osborne. Both served in Vietnam for the U.S. Air Force.
Employee Jessica Banike and Vietnam veteran Willie Seales
at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
Seales, Beres and Osborne thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were very appreciative of everything that it took for their special day to happen. Seales pointed out that he received more words of gratitude for his service that day than he had received since he returned from Vietnam. 

Employee Elton Rushlau with Vietnam veterans Mike Beres and Gregory Osborne.
Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004, and many veterans are unable to visit Washington, D.C., without assistance. The average age of a WWII veteran is 93 years old, and only five years separate the average WWII veteran from the average Korean War veteran. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 200,000 veterans to see their memorials.

Friday, November 9, 2018

We Energies named Veteran Friendly Workplace of the Year

We proudly support those who have served our country by fostering employment opportunities for military veterans, knowing that many possess the specialized skills and leadership abilities critical in providing safe and reliable energy. These efforts recently were recognized by USO Wisconsin when it named We Energies as the 2018 Veteran Friendly Workplace of the Year at their annual Heroes of Wisconsin Gala on Oct. 20.

USO Wisconsin award was presented to We Energies on Oct. 20.
“We were up against some very stiff competition, and our selection as the Veteran Friendly Workplace of the Year is a testament not only to the efforts the company has made to actively recruit veterans but also the support they receive once they are hired,” said Joe Griffin, manager – power generation support, who accepted the award on behalf of the company.

A veteran himself (he spent eight years as an MP in the Marines), Griffin also helps lead the company’s business resource groups that launched earlier this year. Called the Military Service Members Association (MSMA), the group supports employees who are veterans or currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves, and their family members.

MSMA’s mission is to:
  • Increase engagement and retention of employees who are either: 
    • Veterans 
    • Currently serving in the National Guard/Reserves 
    • Family members of the two previous categories 
  • Assist with the transition of veterans into civilian life and the company. 
  • Provide awareness for nonveteran employees regarding the numbers and diversity of our veterans and the valuable leadership skills gained as part of their military experience. 
“With Veterans Day approaching, we would like to thank our military service members and their families for the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, in order to protect the freedoms we hold dear,” Griffin added.

Veterans and active military personnel interested in a career with a future are always encouraged to apply with We Energies.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Get ready for winter

Winter is a challenging time for energy usage and safety. Review these winter tips to stay comfortable without spending a lot of money and to stay safe throughout the winter months.

Energy-saving tips
Here are some ideas to save money on heating:
  • Open shades, blinds and drapes to gain the sun’s heat during the day and close them at night to help retain heat. 
  • Adjust your thermostat downward when asleep or away. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating by turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from its normal setting (about 68 F in winter) for 8 hours a day. 
  • Leave the thermostat’s fan switch on “auto” so the fan only runs when the furnace runs. Setting the fan to “on” causes it to run all the time (and use energy), whether or not heating is needed.
  • Turn your thermostat down to 55 F if using a fireplace. Older, wood-burning fireplaces tend to be inefficient and can be costly, drawing more heated air out of your home through the chimney than a fire can produce. So, turn the thermostat down when you cozy up in front of the fire. After the fire is out, close the flue damper to keep warm air in the house.
Energy safety
Staying safe around electricity and natural gas is important year round, but winter requires some special considerations:
  • Keep electric and natural gas meters as well as air vents clear of snow and ice. Use a broom or hands (not a shovel, salt or ice-melting chemical). 
  • If you smell natural gas, move away and call us at 800-261-5325 or call 911.
Energy assistance
If you have questions about payment options, call our payment assistance line at 800-842-4565. Many customers in Wisconsin qualify for help in paying energy bills. If you qualify, apply now for energy assistance for the winter heating season. Learn more:
Energy assistance

Power outage preparation
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 address. Be prepared and know what to do should a power outage occur:
Outage safety tips

Scammers claiming to be from an energy company may call or show up on your doorstep demanding money. Don't let a scammer ruin your holidays. Learn about these scammers and what to do: