Thursday, June 4, 2020

Introducing Cream Puff, Bubbler and Tundra: Peregrine falcon chicks officially named and banded

The We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) peregrine falcon chicks are moving on to the next stage of their lives. Thousands of people voted to name the baby birds after their favorite things about Wisconsin. Now, the eight chicks born at our power plants have been given their names and their identification bands. 

Oak Creek Power Plant 

From left to right: 

Scoop (male)

Cream Puff (female)

Bubbler (female)


Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee

From left to right

Brandy (female)
Blaze (male)
Hoppy (likely a male, but too young to band)


Weston Power Plant in Rothschild

From left to right: 

Kringle (male)
Tundra (female)

About the bandings:

During the banding, our peregrine falcon manager gently places a towel over the chick’s head to calm it down. He then carefully attaches a small metal band to each leg. The bands allow people to contact us and let us know if they’ve spotted one of our peregrines in the wild.




There are just a few weeks left to watch the chicks in their nest boxes. They'll fly the nest later this month. Make sure to tune into our live nest box cameras before they say goodbye!

Peregrine falcon program

We Energies and WPS are honored to be a part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. The Department of Natural Resources added peregrine falcons to Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1970s.

Since our first successful nest box in the mid-’90s, 410 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities. The falcons are drawn to tall structures along Lake Michigan or major rivers, which make many of the We Energies and WPS facilities ideal nesting sites.

This program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Friday, May 29, 2020

#FridayGiving: Employee volunteers support communities during health crisis ‘We just felt the need to help’

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the resources of local communities and social services organizations. Despite the challenges involved, many We Energies employees have found ways to help out and volunteer safely from their own homes.

Some employees and their family members have assembled face masks to address local shortages. In the Milwaukee area, Donna Olson, senior IT infrastructure consultant, and Ellen Dizard, attorney, participated in #MaskUpMKE, a United Way-supported project that drew over 1,300 community volunteers and produced over 1 million masks for local agencies. Others have donated masks directly to healthcare workers.

“I've made dozens of masks for Children’s Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and for nurses and CNA friends that requested them,” said Mary Wolter, director — gas regulatory planning policy. “I had some fun with the fabric choices. Most popular were the patriotic ones!” 

Ear savers crocheted by Melodie Falek.
















































To help people wear masks more comfortably, employees also have donated ear savers to hook on to the elastic straps. Jacob Spencer, designer, has 3D-printed them, while Melodie Falek, office assistant, has been crocheting them for medical professionals and other first responders. 

Employees are addressing other community needs, as well. Mary Brooks, office assistant, has volunteered at the St. Catherine Food Pantry in Milwaukee, and Matthew Gertsch, contractor, has made an extra effort to donate blood at a time when the American Red Cross is facing shortages.

Carol O’Leary, specialist III, worked to establish an urban farm to benefit MacCanon Brown Sanctuary, a food pantry and homeless shelter in Milwaukee. 

Volunteers planting peppers and tomatoes at the urban farm Carol O'Leary supported.

In addition to volunteering, many employees have contributed to local organizations and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

“Since my husband and I are both still working, we decided to put our stimulus checks to work helping others,” said Cindy Gaffney, IT Service Desk representative, who has donated to restaurants and hair stylists, as well as faith organizations and the Hunger Task Force. “Sure, we could use it on bills or projects around the house, but others are not working, and we just felt the need to help.”

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) — part of the WEC Energy Group family of companies — are contributing $1 million through their charitable foundations to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include donations to local United Ways, hospitals, domestic violence shelters, food pantries, youth programs and other organizations on the front lines. For more information about current volunteer needs in your community, visit your local United Way website or search for opportunities.

Friday, May 22, 2020

#FridayGiving: Employees support UPAF during a critical time of need

The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) ensures that everyone has access to the arts, and now more than ever, they need our help. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on performing arts groups across the community — forcing them to cancel performances and in-person arts education.

This month, hundreds of We Energies employees pledged part of their paychecks to support this incredible organization, totaling more than $160,000. The We Energies Foundation will match those donations.





















We Energies has a long history with UPAF. Over the past 20 years, our employees have donated almost $2 million through annual workplace giving campaigns.

We’re proud to play our part, but the need is still great. Fourteen UPAF member groups are projecting an $8.3 million loss due to canceled performances and fundraisers. Thirty-five percent of employees at UPAF organizations are furloughed, laid off or taking a cut in pay and more than 60,000 kids will not receive in-person arts education programming.

If you’d like to help, please visit https://events.upaf.org/give/211357/#!/donation/checkout/


#FridayGiving
Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

‘Cream Puff,’ ‘Bubbler’ and ‘Kringle’ top voting in peregrine falcon naming contest


We asked you to name our peregrine falcon chicks after your favorite things about Wisconsin, and now that the results are in, we’re sensing a pattern. Six of the top eight names are food and drink related! But it’s no surprise that Wisconsin is known for some tasty treats.

With almost 12,000 votes cast, the winners of this year’s contest are:

  •         Cream Puff, in honor of a State Fair tradition.
  •         Bubbler, in honor of Wisconsin’s fresh water.
  •         Kringle, in honor of Wisconsin’s favorite pastry.
  •         Scoop, in honor of delicious Wisconsin custard.
  •         Brandy, in honor of the official state cocktail.
  •         Tundra, in honor of the state’s longest season.
  •         Blaze, in honor of blaze orange and pink worn by Wisconsin hunters.
  •         Hoppy, in honor of the state’s many breweries.



We’ll be using these names for the eight peregrine falcon chicks born at We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) power plants this spring.

Even though voting is done, you can still watch the chicks on our live cameras as they continue to grow. They won’t leave the nest for a few more weeks.

Peregrine falcon program
We Energies and WPS are honored to be a part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. The Department of Natural Resources added peregrine falcons to Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1970s.

Since our first successful nest box in the mid-’90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities. The falcons are drawn to tall structures along Lake Michigan or major rivers, which make many of the We Energies and WPS facilities ideal nesting sites.

This program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.


Friday, May 15, 2020

#FridayGiving: Ronald McDonald House makes sure children have a place to stay

In the 36 years since it opened, the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee has provided more than 45,000 families with a place to stay when children seek medical care at nearby hospitals. Its incredible mission continues despite the COVID-19 outbreak, and We Energies is proud to support the Ronald McDonald House as it navigates these difficult times.


The Ronald McDonald House offers young patients and their families a place to call home at little or no cost. The organization will never turn a family away because they are unable to pay, but it costs almost $130 to house a family for just one night. The average stay is one week.

Normally, a team of over 550 volunteers help a dedicated staff do whatever they can to make a family’s stay a little easier. But because of the pandemic, volunteer services have been suspended, and the full-time staff is taking turns working in the house or remotely each week.

Recently, the We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service foundations pledged $1 million to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ronald McDonald House is one of the many nonprofit organizations receiving some of that emergency funding.

If you’d like to help the Ronald McDonald House, please visit https://rmhc-easternwi.org/how-to-help/donate/.

#FridayGiving
Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

We Energies fills unique role in supporting raptor’s population recovery

This year’s peregrine falcon families aren’t the only feathered friends that will benefit from We Energies-provided nesting areas. Employees from We Energies joined representatives from the Harrison Athletic Association (HAA) to install an osprey nest platform near Menasha, Wisconsin, Feb. 24. American Transmission Co. (ATC) donated the platform, MJ Electric provided the used power pole (from an ATC project), and We Energies provided the labor and equipment to install the pole and platform.

We Energies crew digs the hole where the used light pole and nest platform will be located


























We Energies employee Steve Nissen, approached HAA about partnering with We Energies to install a platform after the pair of ospreys that had been nesting at the Harrison Athletic Field lost their nest last year.

“There is a pair of ospreys that have been nesting on top of one of the softball diamond light poles for about six years,” explained Nissen, who has been an umpire for the HAA for the past 10 years. “Last summer, the high winds blew the nest down, and one of the chicks was lost. The ospreys tried rebuilding on that same light pole and another light pole with little success.”

The new platform is approximately 200 feet behind the softball field, providing a safer and less threatening environment for the birds, which would often protect their chicks by dive-bombing players on the field. The osprey pair was expected to return to the area separately between late March and early April, and Nissen spotted one osprey in the nest April 7. “Ninety-five percent of the time, ospreys will use a nesting platform that is provided,” he said. 



Since 1980, We Energies field crews have constructed and erected alternative nest structures for osprey breeding pairs in key habitat throughout Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, significantly contributing to the recovery of the osprey population. Today there are more than 550 nesting pairs in 58 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, up from fewer than 100 nesting pairs in the northernmost counties in the 1970s.

More information on WEC Energy Group’s osprey recovery efforts

Friday, May 1, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies supports Make-A-Wish Wisconsin during unprecedented times

Seven-year-old Shelby wished to meet a unicorn. Seven-year-old Isaac wished to see the northern lights. These are just two of the thousands of wishes that Make-A-Wish Wisconsin has granted to kids in our community battling critical illnesses.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the organization to postpone 100 wishes so far this year, with more to come. But Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is still hard at work granting the wishes they can, and We Energies is proud to support their efforts. 



This past Wednesday, April 29, was World Wish Day, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the very first wish being granted. Currently, there are more than 430 wishes in progress. Now, more than ever, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin needs help to deliver hope to kids in our community. To donate, please visit www.wisconsin.wish.org/give.

#FridayGiving
Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

#SquawktheVote: Vote to name our falcon chicks after your favorite things about Wisconsin

♫♩ Brandy old-fashioneds and scoops of fresh custard. Kringles, you betcha! And brats served with mustard. A nice hoppy brew and tailgating for teams … these are a few of our favorite things! ♫♩

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Julie Andrews. Now more than ever, it’s important to remember the things that make us happiest about our home state. That’s why we want you to name our peregrine falcon chicks after your favorite things about Wisconsin.


Starting today and running through Sunday, May 17, you can vote on your favorite names. The top vote-getters will be used to name the falcon chicks born this spring at We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) power plants across the state.

Choose from:


·        Cheesy in honor of dairy farmers
·        Hoppy in honor of our many breweries
·        Gem├╝tlichkeit in honor of Wisconsin’s welcoming spirit
·        Kringle in honor of our favorite pastry
·        Scoop in honor of delicious custard
·        YouBetcha in honor of our unique expressions
·        Cream Puff in honor of a State Fair tradition
·        Blaze in honor of blaze orange and pink worn by hunters
·        Tundra in honor of the longest season
·        Brandy in honor of the state cocktail
·        Bubbler in honor of our clean, fresh water
·        Polka in honor of the state dance
·        Brat in honor of our favorite sausages
·        Tailgate in honor of one of our favorite pastimes
·        Forward in honor of the state motto

Peregrine falcon program

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) are honored to be a part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. The Department of Natural Resources added peregrine falcons to Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1970s.

Since our first successful nest box in the mid-90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities. The falcons are drawn to tall structures along Lake Michigan or major rivers, which make many of the We Energies and WPS facilities ideal nesting sites.

This program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Friday, April 24, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies supports The Women’s Center during a critical time of need

While social isolation is a necessary step to control COVID-19, experts are concerned it may cause a spike in cases of domestic violence. That’s where The Women’s Center comes in. Located in Waukesha County, the organization provides survivors a safe home every day, including during this critical time of need. The We Energies Foundation is proud to support its efforts.



The Women’s Center serves women, children and men impacted by domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual violence and trafficking. It is the only agency of its kind in Waukesha County, and its confidential services are provided free of charge to thousands of survivors each year. The center’s goal is to heal and empower adults and children as they work toward a future free from violence.

Even now, The Women’s Center emergency shelter and 24-Hour Hotline are available, and it continues to provide tele-advocacy to survivors. If you are able to help, you can donate directly on the center’s website.


#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The foundations of We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service commit $1 million to COVID-19 relief effort

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) — part of the WEC Energy Group family of companies — announced on April 14, that they are contributing $1 million through their charitable foundations to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundations will provide grants to nonprofit organizations supporting front-line efforts — primarily hospitals, first responders and food pantries.

“At a time like this, our commitment to the safety and welfare of our employees and the communities we serve has never been more critical,” said Kevin Fletcher, president and CEO — WEC Energy Group. “Our foundations have supported organizations serving our communities for decades. It is in that tradition that we are driven to support these vital services as they face unprecedented challenges.”








To increase the impact of the relief effort, the foundations are earmarking $300,000 of the $1 million to match, dollar for dollar, the personal donations made by employees to organizations fighting the effects of the pandemic.

The foundations have already taken actions to address the urgent needs of this crisis through donations to numerous groups including the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Brown County United Way and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for COVID-19 grants should follow the normal grant process outlined on the We Energies Foundation website and the WPS Foundation website.

About We Energies Foundation and WPS Foundation
Since they were established, the We Energies and WPS foundations have provided more than $200 million in contributions to programs that support nonprofit organizations that promote education, community development, arts and culture, and the environment in the communities served by We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Michigan Gas Utilities and Minnesota Energy Resources.

The We Energies Foundation and WPS Foundation are funded by stockholders of WEC Energy Group, not by the customers of its utility subsidiaries.

Friday, April 3, 2020

#FridayGiving: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is solving hunger during this time of need

Now, more than ever, people are relying on organizations like Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin to get the food they need for their families.

We Energies has been a proud supporter of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin for nearly 15 years. Through volunteering and financial support, we are working to help the food bank achieve its mission to solve hunger in eastern Wisconsin.

Warren Dugan, credit manager — We Energies, exemplifies the commitment of our company and employees. He has been volunteering at the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Milwaukee food bank for five years and was honored as its Volunteer of the Year in 2019.

“Over my 18 years at We Energies, I have worked with customers that sometimes have to make very difficult choices with their money,” said Dugan in a blog post by the food bank. “Knowing that organizations such as Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin exist can make the difference in not having to make those difficult choices.”

Organizers with Feeding America say that they need funding, food and friends right now to continue to fulfill their mission. To volunteer or make a donation, please reach out to feedingamericawi.org.

#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Friday, March 27, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies is proud to support the caregivers at Kathy’s House

As we thank the incredible doctors and nurses working around the clock to save lives, it’s also important to thank caregivers working behind the scenes. 

Kathy’s House helps people when they need it the most — by providing lodging and a supportive environment to families dealing with the illness of a loved one. The We Energies Foundation is proud to support their mission. 


Kathy’s House is a non-profit hospital guest house — the only one in the area that serves patients of all ages who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care. Without the organization, many families could not afford to be with their loved ones during medical treatment. 



To learn more about Kathy’s House or to make a donation, visit their website.

#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our yearlong effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

They’re back! Peregrine falcons return to nest boxes at We Energies power plants

Looking for something to do with your kids while they’re out of school? Starting today parents and children can learn about an endangered species live via webcam. Peregrine falcons are back at We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) power plants. Tune into our high-definition cameras 24/7 and watch as the raptors find love, lay eggs and raise their young. 


This year there are nest box cameras at five We Energies and WPS facilities:

  • Valley Power Plant in Milwaukee
  • Port Washington Generating Station
  • Oak Creek Power Plant
  • Weston Power Plant in Rothschild
  • WPS building in Green Bay

All five cameras are hosted on the WEC Energy Group website, the parent company of We Energies and WPS.

Last year, the first eggs were laid around the end of March. Check in early and often to make sure you don’t miss any activity. You can also follow the We Energies’ Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates.

Peregrine falcon program
We Energies and WPS are honored to be a part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. The Department of Natural Resources added peregrine falcons to Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1970s.

Since our first successful nest box in the mid-90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities. The falcons are drawn to tall structures along Lake Michigan or major rivers, which make many of the We Energies and WPS facilities ideal nesting sites.

The program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Friday, March 13, 2020

#FridayGiving: Competition and camaraderie elevate We Energies team at Fight for Air Climb

Employees and family members made every step count at the 2020 Fight for Air Climb to support the American Lung Association on March 7. Each participant climbed 47 floors and took over 1,000 steps to the top of the US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.



We Energies has supported the event over the years though sponsorships and team participation.

In what has now become a tradition, several company teams compete against each other for dollars raised and best climb times. The “pole climber challenge” makes the event even more interesting. Two of the teams wear over 20 pounds of gear commonly worn by utility line mechanics.

Donning hard hats, safety glasses, utility belts filled with tools and steel-toed boots, Team “Weapons of Mass Development” and Team “Power Up Pole Climbers” had a friendly competition while racing to the top. Team Weapons of Mass Development were the champions with the fastest overall time.

We Energies employee Dave Harris says that the camaraderie is one of the things that stands out every year. “The encouragement is amazing. You hear everyone saying keep going, we can do this.”

Harris says it’s important to remember and talk about why they climb year after year. “We all talk about who we are climbing for. For me, I climb for my aunt who has COPD. We do this event because it’s a great cause and mission.”



#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.




Thursday, March 12, 2020

Where are they now?: Jeffery

It’s always exciting when we get an update on the peregrine falcons hatched at our power plants. That’s why we attach tracking bands to their feet before they leave the nest — so they can be identified wherever they end up.

“Jeffery,” banded (b/blu) 52/E, was born at the now-retired Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in 2016. He was the only surviving chick of his clutch and named by third-graders at Jeffery Elementary School in Kenosha.


Four years later, he’s a Hoosier! Jeffery was photographed on Christmas Day last year near Irvington, Indiana. But he’s been nesting at a site in downtown Indianapolis since 2018. Thank you to Bret Furgason for sharing this picture with us.


Peregrine falcon program

We Energies and our sister utility, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), are proud to be part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in the late 90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities.

The program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Where are they now?: CJ

We never know if we’ll get an update on our peregrine falcons after they’ve flown the nest. Peregrines can fly hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Their name, appropriately, means wanderer. That’s why we love to hear from people who spot our peregrines in the wild.

“CJ,” a female with band number (b/blu) 54/W, was one of four chicks hatched at the now-retired Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in 2018, the last nesting season at the plant. We have since found a replacement site where CJ’s parents have happily relocated. 

CJ (second from left) with her siblings, Windsor, Lisa and Rimfire.

 CJ was spotted in Castleton, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. Jeff Timmins sent us this picture from Christmas Eve that showed CJ’s bands.














Peregrine falcon program

We Energies and our sister utility, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), are proud to be part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in the late 90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities.

The program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My mom is a superhero - special video spotlights We Energies’ talented female employees


In honor of International Women’s Day, We Energies talked to the people who know some of our female employees best, their daughters. In the heartwarming video, the girls talk about how their moms inspire them and what they have learned from their moms.


More than 1,500 women work at We Energies and its parent corporation, WEC Energy Group. From engineers to line mechanics to service area managers to customer care representatives, these talented women keep the lights on and energy flowing.

Friday, February 28, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies support will help Kids From Wisconsin showcase their talent across the state

Not only will Kids From Wisconsin travel 7,000 miles and perform for more than 120,000 people this summer, they’ll also lead performance workshops for more than 1,000 kids — many in underserved areas. That’s why we’re proud to support this wonderful organization as they strive to make our community a better place.

A donation from the We Energies Foundation will help make this year’s tour, “Live! In Living Color,” possible. Talented students aged 15-20 have a shot to become one of the show’s singer/dancers or a part of the 14-piece show band.
  

This is Kids From Wisconsin’s 52nd year of performances. Students will perform a live, two-hour Broadway-style revue in over 42 Wisconsin communities this summer. They’ll also lead workshops to help kids aged 7-14 develop an appreciation for the arts.

To learn more about auditions and this summer’s performances visit the Kids from Wisconsin website.

#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Where are they now?: Knox

It’s always rewarding to see our young peregrine falcons finding their way in the world. The tracking bands we attach to each chick’s foot allow people to contact us and let us know if they’ve spotted one of our peregrines in the wild.

“Knox,” banded (b/blu) 09/W, was born at the Weston Power Plant south of Wausau. He was one of four chicks who hatched there in 2019. First-grade students at Marathon Area Elementary School had the opportunity to name Knox and the other chicks.

Knox and his siblings, Frosty, Talon and Stark

After flying the coop, Knox was captured at the Linwood Springs Research Station near Stevens Point in October. The researchers there collect data about the raptor population in the area and then release each bird safely back into the wild.



Hopefully the next time someone is able to ID Knox, it will be at a nest site of his own.

Peregrine falcon program

We Energies and our sister utility, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), are proud to be part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in the late ‘90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities.

The program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.

Friday, February 21, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies supports Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center

A cancer diagnosis can be a life-altering reality for families across Wisconsin. The doctors and staff at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital are working hard every day to reduce the cancer burden for patients, and we are proud to support that mission. 

The We Energies Foundation’s recent financial gift will support the center’s ability to test new treatments with patients through clinical trials and provide continuing education for its staff and faculty. 



“The We Energies Foundation is committed to enhancing the well-being of the communities we serve,” says Beth Straka, vice president of the We Energies Foundation and senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations at WEC Energy Group. “It’s truly an honor to contribute to the Froedtert & MCW Clinical Cancer Center. The physical and emotional well-being of everyone in our communities is a measure of the health of those communities, and we hope this gift will make a difference.” 



The We Energies Foundation has supported programs at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin since the early 1980s. It’s part of our commitment to create healthier and stronger communities.

#FridayGiving
Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don't miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Where are they now?: Gunner

When our peregrine falcons fly the nest each spring, we never know if we’ll see them again. Peregrine means “wanderer,” and as you’d expect from the name, some fledglings fly hundreds of miles away.

So when we do get an update on one of our power plant peregrines, it’s pretty exciting.

Take, for example, Gunner. Gunner was born in 2018 at the Oak Creek Power Plant.

Gunner (right) with his brother, Kluski.
This fall, he was photographed in Montrose Harbor in Chicago. Spotters were able to identify him using the letter and number on the band on his foot. (This is why we attach the bands to our chicks each spring.)

Gunner was spotted with an unnamed female and an unbanded juvenile peregrine, but we’re not sure if it is one of their young. Regardless, it’s exciting to see Gunner thriving just south of the border a year and a half later.

Peregrine falcon program
We Energies and our sister utility, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), are proud to be part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in the late ‘90s, 402 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities.

The program is another way We Energies and WPS demonstrate environmental stewardship. From helping endangered animals and restoring natural habitats, to building new solar facilities and reducing carbon emissions, we are committed to a cleaner future.




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

We Energies’ Solar Now program hits shining milestone


The innovative We Energies renewable energy program Solar Now has hit a new milestone. Solar Now projects are now feeding 5 megawatts into the energy grid, enough to power more than 1,000 homes with clean, renewable energy.

Working with partners across the state, We Energies has completed projects with the School District of New Berlin, Washington County, Northland Pines School, University Lake School and the School District of Random Lake.

Under the Solar Now program, We Energies partners with large business, nonprofit and government customers to host solar panels. The company leases the space for the panels on roofs and unused land. The clean energy that is produced serves all customers.





“We are excited to be part of this innovative program,” said Mike Trimberger, district administrator —School District of Random Lake. “Even though we are a relatively small school district, we know that working with We Energies allows us to make a big impact to benefit our students and the environment.”

Solar Now is a pilot program approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. We Energies has hired SunVest, a Wisconsin-based company, to be the general contractor for these projects.

Solar Now is part of the company’s plan to create a cleaner energy future that is safe, reliable and affordable. Working with industry partners, environmental groups and state leaders, We Energies and its parent company WEC Energy Group are working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.




Friday, February 14, 2020

#FridayGiving: Be our valentine, Boys & Girls Clubs

Roses are red, violets are blue, we ❤ Boys & Girls Clubs … and you should too! We Energies is proud to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee — the largest youth-serving agency in the city.

Funding from the We Energies Foundation gives Milwaukee kids a safe place, a warm meal and help with homework after school. More than that, we are helping Club members become leaders who inspire their peers and the community.



Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee have more than 40 sites and serve 5,000 kids every day. In addition to academic support, kids get guidance from role models and programming tailored to meet their needs.

To learn more about the tremendous impact Boys & Girls Clubs are having on our community, visit their website.

#FridayGiving
Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Control your energy costs in the bitter cold

The wind chills may be scary, but your energy bill doesn’t have to be. Here are some simple steps you can take to save money while keeping your family warm.
  •  Dial it down: Lower your thermostat when you’re asleep or away. Even a few degrees can make a big difference.
  • Seal cracks and gaps: Don’t let cold air creep in through poorly sealed windows or doors. Use caulk or weatherstripping to stay comfortable.
  •  Replace your furnace filter: Dirty filters reduce airflow and make your furnace use more energy. Replace it monthly during the heating season, or buy a high-efficiency filter than can last several months.
  • Let the sunshine in: Open your shades, blinds and drapes during the day to let in the warmth of the sun.

You don’t have to sacrifice your comfort to lower your energy bill. For more energy-saving tips, visit our website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Don’t celebrate your Valentine’s Day in the dark

Balloons make for a great Valentine’s Day gift, but if you’re not careful, they can leave you and thousands of others in the dark.

Helium-filled metallic or Mylar balloons can act as a conductor, creating a short circuit in a power line. Over 7,000 of our customers lost power in 2019 due to balloons coming into contact with our power lines and other equipment.

Not only can balloons knock out the power, the short circuit from the balloon can also cause power lines to fall to the ground, creating a dangerous situation. 



Celebrate safely this Valentine’s Day with these simple do’s and don’ts 


Do: Dim the lights to set a romantic mood.

Don’t: Cause a power blackout with a Mylar balloon. 


Do: Make sure balloons are tied securely to a weight.

Don’t: Release balloons outdoors. 


Do: Keep balloons away from power lines.

Don’t: Attempt to retrieve a balloon that has become entangled in a power line. 


Do: Stay at least 25 feet away from any downed power line.

Don’t: Assume a downed line is safe or de-energized. 


If you come across a downed wire or spot a Mylar balloon stuck in our equipment, give us a call at 800-662-4797.

We’re not so good on the romance tips, but for more energy safety tips visit we-energies.com.

Friday, February 7, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies supports Junior Achievement’s mission to prepare students to be future leaders

It’s never too early for kids to start thinking about their future. Junior Achievement of Wisconsin prepares students to be future leaders by introducing them to possible careers and teaching them about financial literacy. We are supporting this important mission through board leadership, financial contributions and volunteer work with students to help them dream big.



We Energies Foundation and Wisconsin Public Service Foundation are proud financial supporters of the new Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Education Center, a partnership of Junior Achievement (JA) and Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC). The new interactive facility will teach financial literacy and offer career awareness opportunities to thousands of middle and high school students throughout northeast Wisconsin.


The new space housed at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton features 12 storefronts that align with FVTC Career Exploration programs such as construction; culinary and hospitality; and business, management and finance. We Energies and WPS are the sponsor of the utility storefront.


Students are offered day-long opportunities to become business leaders, consumers, workers and citizens in a simulated learning environment called JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. They learn about personal finance and budgeting, and work to create a balanced monthly budget while making decisions regarding housing, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, savings, entertainment expenses and much more. Through these programs, students build a foundation for solid financial decisions throughout their lives.

We Energies Foundation also partnered with the Junior Achievement Kohl’s Education Center in Milwaukee, which provides similar business, financial and entrepreneurship education to students in the metro Milwaukee area.



#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Friday, January 31, 2020

#FridayGiving: We Energies support helps Community Advocates reach the chronically homeless

It’s hard to imagine sleeping on the streets during Wisconsin winters. Unfortunately that’s the reality for Milwaukee’s chronically homeless population. That’s why we support Community Advocates, an organization dedicated to helping those in need. 

For the past four years, the We Energies Foundation has provided funding for Community Advocates’ Autumn West Safe Haven and Homeless Outreach Nursing Center. It’s the only program of its kind in Milwaukee devoted to helping chronically homeless men and women who are living with severe mental health conditions.



The Autumn West Safe Haven offers 20 private apartments and 24/7 support staff. Members of the Community Advocates outreach team are trained to offer options and support to homeless men and women without any pressure. The goal is to transition residents into permanent housing with the support they need. Of the 43 people served at Autumn West in 2018, 93% were off the streets and had a permanent residence by the end of the year.
 
#FridayGiving

Since the early 1980s, We Energies has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in communities across the state.

Read more about our year-long effort to highlight some of the incredible organizations we support here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any #FridayGiving posts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Don’t go viral: We Energies warns parents on the dangers of the #OutletChallenge

You’ve probably seen the viral videos online. Kids are risking their safety to complete the dangerous #OutletChallenge on social media. Safety is our number one priority at We Energies, and we are encouraging all parents to talk to their kids before it’s too late.



The outlet challenge could result in damage to the electrical system in your house, a fire, or serious injury.

We asked our highly-trained staff to show us just how dangerous it is.

Don’t— we repeat— don’t take this challenge. Please talk to your kids today to make sure they don’t put internet fame over their own safety.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MPS students announce they are ‘taking their talents’ to We Energies

We Energies is proud to announce the recruiting class of 2021. This year, 21 Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students committed to our innovative line mechanic and gas distribution internship programs.

In a special ceremony, the teenagers signed their paperwork, tried on their new We Energies gear and committed to the program in front of their biggest fans — family, friends and teachers.



As part of the program, the students will spend two years getting hands-on experience working with the tools and equipment that our line mechanics and gas distribution workers use on a daily basis. In addition to earning a paycheck, the students are paired with a We Energies employee who serves as a life mentor. Students who successfully finish the program may have the opportunity to join We Energies full time.



Both internships are offered through a unique partnership between We Energies and MPS. Each is designed to help students explore careers in energy, and help We Energies attract and retain skilled and diverse employees.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Students carry on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through We Energies speech contest

“Though we are just learners today, we will be leaders tomorrow.” Powerful words from Abigail Cashman, one of the winners of We Energies’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest.

Abigail and five other students wowed the crowd at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday. Today the first, second and third place winners were honored at halftime at the Milwaukee Bucks game.



We Energies has been hosting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Speech Contest for 36 years. We’re proud to encourage students across Milwaukee to carry on Dr. King’s legacy.



This year, students from kindergarten to 12th grade were asked to write a speech using the theme “Your life has significance.” The theme is inspired by a speech Dr. King delivered in Philadelphia in 1967. Dr. King told junior high school students, “Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.”

Abigail captured the theme perfectly: “No matter what, I want each of you to believe in yourself. Feel like you are made for something bigger than you can even dream.”