Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mequon Nature Preserve recognizes Klappa, company with Stewardship Award

The Mequon Nature Preserve on June 17 recognized Chairman, President and CEO Gale Klappa and We Energies with its first-ever Stewardship Award. Klappa was honored for his leadership in meeting the region’s energy demands, while protecting natural resources and making the Milwaukee area a healthier place to live.

The company received the honor for reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate matter by 80 percent, while increasing power generation by 50 percent; using renewable energy sources (wind, water and biomass) in its fuel portfolio; and supporting environmental organizations throughout the service area.

“We Energies’ grants fund capital projects and operations that enable local organizations to carry out their missions to preserve our natural environment and educate children,” said Steve Tews, a Mequon Nature Preserve board member. “Because of We Energies’ successful efforts to demonstrate how it can link the company’s economic success, its service to its customers with stewardship of our natural resources, Mequon Nature Preserve awards its 2014 Stewardship Award to We Energies.”

“People don’t often think of utilities as being friends of the environment,” said Klappa. “But we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our natural resources. And we’re having an impact — just a few weeks ago, the EPA stated that the air in Wisconsin is the cleanest it’s been in 30 years.”

The We Energies Foundation has supported Mequon Nature Preserve since 2002, contributing $128,000 to help fund start-up costs and renewable projects. In addition, we helped fund a wind turbine and solar panels for the preserve through a Power the Future program.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crews work to restore power following overnight storms

Many power outages are caused by tree damage, which 
needs to be cleared before power lines can be repaired.
As of 3 p.m., our crews have restored service to more than 35,000 customers since storms ripped through our service area overnight.

While a number of customers remain without power throughout southeast Wisconsin, the majority are in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Crews are out in force to restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible. All service areas in southeast Wisconsin have been mobilized. We have 66 troubleshooters and 205 line personnel working. We also moved our contractors to the affected areas to help with restoration.

If you see a downed power line, stay at least 25 feet away and call us at 800-662-4797.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Herman, Aurora and Bullet join We Energies peregrine falcon family

Herman, Aurora and Bullet are the latest falcons to be named and banded at one of our power plants.

Employees from the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan, brought their families to Saturday’s banding event and submitted names for the birds. They even named the chicks’ mom -- Maya Angelou. She had previously been referred to as *P/*S, her banding identification tag from her birth site in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Banding visitors also had the opportunity to see an adult peregrine up close. Phoenix, one of the first falcons produced at the Presque Isle Power Plant in 2012, came back for a cameo. Phoenix now lives at the Chocolay Raptor Center because she would not be able to survive in the wild; she lost an eye and was found near death before being saved by the center.

Our power plant falcon bandings are drawing to a close with the chicks at our Port Washington Power Plant the final hatchlings yet to be named and banded.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Flashback Friday: Promoting electric appliances for weddings in 1940s

The "Electric Company" produced this ad in 1941 to persuade consumers to buy electric appliances as gifts, especially for special occasions such as weddings.

Energy conservation became a major theme during World War II, with the company’s appliance repairmen reporting “exceedingly heavy demand” for their services as customers sought to save energy by keeping their appliances in good working order. Such actions were part of our commitment to the war effort.

Wind – an important part of our energy mix

As part of our commitment to increasing renewable energy generation and our requirement to meet the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, we’ve invested about $1 billion in renewable energy projects over the past 10 years. An important component of our renewable energy mix is wind power – in fact, wind energy makes up about 72 percent of our renewable energy portfolio.

We currently operate four wind energy centers that are capable of generating a combined 338 megawatts of renewable electricity. Glacier Hills Wind Park, located in the towns of Randolph and Scott in Columbia County, is Wisconsin’s largest wind development with 90 turbines. Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac County is a close second with 88 turbines. Combined with our Montfort and Byron wind energy centers, these renewable energy generating systems can power more than 81,000 homes annually.

More information about our wind energy projects and renewable energy efforts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Keep your cool and save this summer

Wisconsin customers Focus in Energy
Reduce energy costs this summer by making simple home improvements with help from Focus on Energy. Visit Focus on Energy for:

  • Energy-saving tips.
  • Cash-back rewards on energy-efficient equipment.
  • In-store discounts on select Energy Star® products.
  • Partnered contractors in your area to help with your home improvements.

Michigan customers
Efficiency United offers cost-effective solutions and rebates for reducing energy use.

Visit Efficiency United or call 877-367-3191 for current program offers.

Scammer update

Scammers continue their attempts to impersonate We Energies employees on the phone, threaten disconnection and extract payment through prepaid Green Dot® MoneyPak cards purchased at stores such as Walgreen’s, CVS, Wal-Mart and others.

Recently, Elm Grove police tracked down and arrested an alleged scammer in Florida, as reported by WTMJ in Milwaukee:

Our customers also have been helping us get the word out to warn others about the scammers. Many have posted warnings on social media. Here’s an example of a customer who recorded a scammer phone call:

Remember, we do not solicit payment from customers over the phone asking for prepaid card numbers. If you get a call that sounds suspicious, hang up immediately and call us at 800-242-9137 to check on your account status and/or payment history.

For more information, visit our webpage or read our earlier news post on scams.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Be smart, stay safe in summer storms

Our crews and emergency response teams do everything they can to keep your lights on. But sometimes, severe storms stop the power from flowing to our customers.

Call us
We rely on you to tell us when your power is out; you are an important part of our ability to identify and respond to storm damage. Keep our power outage hotline number in your cell phone or in another convenient place so you can let us know about power outages or emergencies.

We Energies Power Outage Hotline: 800-662-4797

Plan ahead
Be sure to have a safety plan in place in case you lose power. Keep emergency items handy, including food, water, flashlights, batteries and a cell phone. If someone in your home has a critical medical condition, let us know. We offer tips for developing a backup plan so you can be prepared if your service is interrupted.

Stay away
Storms can damage power lines. Downed power lines still may have electricity running through them. There’s no way to tell if they don’t. Many people think a power line will jump, spark or hum on the ground if it’s energized. That’s not true. Downed power lines may appear motionless and harmless, but often are silent and deadly. If you see a downed power line, consider it energized and dangerous. Leave the area immediately and call us at 800-662-4797.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Falcon chicks banded at Oak Creek site

Four peregrine falcons were named and banded today at our Oak Creek power plant site.

These are the first falcons to be banded this season. Their names are Franklin, Cliff, Hunter and Flash. The names were chosen by students from Country Dale Elementary School in Franklin who were on hand to see the banding.

We also will band chicks at our power plants in Pleasant Prairie, Wauwatosa, Port Washington and Marquette, Michigan.

You can view the falcons on our live streaming webcam.

Local media covered Monday’s banding in Oak Creek. Here are some links:

Oak Creek Now