Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Stay cool with these money-saving tips

To help you stay on the sunny side of life, we have some tips to help you save money on your summer energy bill.



No cost

Keep the sun out. Close blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of your home during the day to keep the house cooler.

Adjust your thermostat. When at home, set it a few degrees higher to save energy. When you are away, adjust your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher than your normal setting for at least 8 hours a day. This can help you save 10% on your energy bill.

Leave 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.

Low cost

Seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors and siding with caulk and weather stripping. This keeps cool air in and hot air out.

Use standing fans, even if you have air conditioning. Circulating cool air makes it feel cooler.

Install a programmable thermostat for your comfort and convenience. It can adjust the air conditioning for times you typically are away and times you typically are home. You also can program it to reduce cooling when you go to sleep and turn it back up before you wake up in the morning.

Schedule regular tune-ups for your air conditioner. Seasonal maintenance keeps equipment running safely and efficiently, and saves money in the long run.


Monday, July 15, 2019

We Energies and RENEW Wisconsin reach settlement on solar energy issue


We Energies and RENEW Wisconsin are pleased to announce a settlement agreement with two important provisions regarding solar energy and customer-owned generation.

With the agreement, We Energies will no longer pursue a solar fixed-cost recovery charge as part of its rate review with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and RENEW Wisconsin agrees to support an upcoming We Energies utility-scale solar project.

The two parties also agree to collaborate in a series of good-faith discussions for at least the next two years with the goal of finding potential areas of agreement on renewable energy and distributed generation as We Energies continues the transition to a clean energy future.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Doggone It! Does your dog have what it takes to be our new safety ambassador?

We’re looking for an adorable ambassaDOG to star in this year’s safe digging campaign. Your dog can help us spread an important safety message: Doggone it! Call 811 three days before you dig.

Here’s what you need to do: 
1. Take a picture of your dog digging.
2. Click here to submit one photo before July 19.


Note: 
You must be a We Energies customer to participate.
No blurry pictures, please. Send us a high-quality image of your pooch!

Once we narrow it down to the finalists, you’ll be able to vote for your favorite dog July 19 through 25. The winning dog will be featured in an ad unveiled at We Energies’ Energy Park at the Wisconsin State Fair; the proud owners will win tickets to see it.

About 811
Whether you’re planting a tree or installing a fence post, you could be putting yourself in danger if you strike an underground natural gas line or electrical cable. Call 811 at least three days before you dig to have the location of buried utility lines marked – and to keep you and your family safe.

If you have questions about the contest, email us at contest@we-energies.com. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hawk released back to its home after tangle with power line

It’s safe to say this was not the usual call for help We Energies troubleshooter Rick Guetzke gets.

“It was flopping around a little bit, and I asked the wildlife rehabilitation person what I should do,” Guetzke said.

Guetzke was called to a county road in the town of Jackson in Washington County to help a red-tailed hawk that was stuck in a power line 35 feet off the ground. Guetzke de-energized the line and, with advice from Wanakia Wildlife’s rehabilitation expert Marty Thompson, freed the bird’s stuck talon.



“He was able to throw a blanket over the bird and get her down, and once he got her down I pretty much whisked her away,” Thompson said.

After its rescue, Dr. Molly Lien of Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital worked with Thompson to assess the bird’s condition.

“In the case of this red-tailed hawk, she had pretty significant wounds on one of her legs, so we had to do a few surgeries to close those wounds and get them to heal properly,” Lien said.



The hawk spent her time at Wanakia Wildlife as her injuries healed.

After eight weeks of recovery, the hawk was ready to leave. Those who were involved in the rescue and rehabilitation process gathered June 27 at the spot where the bird was found and watched her fly away.

Guetzke, Thompson and Lien 
“It felt really like I did something special, that the hawk was able to go back and enjoy the life it should,” Guetzke said.

“They’re heroes,” said Thompson of Guetzke, Lien and the sheriff who responded to the call and stayed there until the hawk was brought down from the power line. “It took everybody to all work together for the cause of one bird to get her back out. It is just amazing.” 


More information:
Video
News coverage


Friday, July 5, 2019

New program proposed for electric vehicle charging

We are looking to make it easier and less expensive for electric vehicle (EV) owners to power up by offering rebates of up to $1,000 to residential customers who install EV chargers at their homes.


The proposed EV pilot program is part of our rate filing with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. On top of the rebate, the program will also let EV owners take advantage of time-of-use rates for charging their vehicles at home. Time-of-use rates mean customers can charge their vehicles overnight at a lower rate, when there is less demand. The remainder of customer electric usage will still be billed at the traditional residential rate.

EVs are a small but rapidly growing transportation option. A recent report finds that the number of EVs on U.S. roads is projected to reach more than 18 million in 2030.

“This pilot program lets us study the impact electric vehicles will have on our power system,” said Tom Metcalfe – president of We Energies. “As more EVs are bought and charged, this will help us better understand the impact on power generation and distribution.”


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

Monday, June 24, 2019

Family celebrates exactly 100 years working at We Energies

A lot has changed at our company since the day in 1960 when Glen Lokken started his job as a cadet engineer. Technology has improved, clothing and hairstyles have come in and out of style; even the company’s name changed from Wisconsin Electric to We Energies. But over that time, one thing has remained constant at the company the presence of Glen or one of his children.

On June 18, 2019, the Lokken family celebrated exactly 100 years of total service at We Energies. Not approximately 100 years, not close to 100 years, but exactly 100 years. How do they know it’s exactly 100 years? They can thank Glen’s son David for that. David, a current We Energies employee, has been tracking his family’s work time; he even took into account the extra day in leap years.



Glen worked for 33 years before retiring in 1993. David started in 1982, and his sister Maura Royston started in 1989. They are both still working.

 “I call it the Lokken centennial. 100 years working at We Energies,” David said.

“It’s certainly not something you find much anymore,” Maura said. “We Energies has been good to us. I think we’ve been good to them, and it just was a fit, and for me personally, I got to do so many different things all at the same place. I didn’t have to go somewhere else.”

Glen still lives in the area and came out of retirement for one day. He joined his daughter and son for a special lunch to mark the 100-year milestone.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Glen said. “I didn’t expect it to ever happen.”

“All my success in life has stemmed from my dad having a great job and getting me a good start,” said David.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Innovative solar energy program unveiled


We are turning sunshine into solar power on numerous School District of New Berlin (SDNB) buildings and vacant land. This partnership with SDNB is the first project as part of our innovative Solar Now program. Construction kicked off this week in New Berlin, with other solar projects set to begin in the coming months.

The Solar Now program will create 35 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy that will benefit all of our customers.

“The Solar Now program is an important part of our generation reshaping for a clean energy future,” said Kevin Fletcher — president and CEO of WEC Energy Group, our parent corporation. “We are committed to cutting greenhouse gases and investing in cost-effective, zero-carbon, renewable generation.”



Fletcher formally unveiled the program at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School. He  was joined by Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R – New Berlin), Senator David Craig (R – Big Bend), Superintendent Joe Garza of the School District of New Berlin and Matt Neumann Founder/CEO of SunVest, the Wisconsin-based company we contracted to construct Solar Now.

Nearly 8,000 solar panels are going up this summer at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School, New Berlin West Middle/High School and Ronald Reagan Elementary. The panels will generate more than 2 MW of clean, renewable energy and provide a unique educational opportunity for students.


“We are proud to be the first participant in this innovative renewable energy program,” said Superintendent Garza. “Along with playing a role in the advancement of renewable energy, our students will have the unique opportunity to gain ‘real life’ knowledge about the production of solar energy for years to come.”

Through the Solar Now program, we will pay commercial, industrial, government and nonprofit customers like the School District of New Berlin to host solar panels on their roofs and property.

While the program is aimed at large commercial and government host customers, all of our customers will benefit. The solar energy that is produced will help reduce fuel costs to all customers while also maintaining fuel diversity and reducing carbon emissions.

“I applaud We Energies for this innovative program and community partnership. I’m proud my district will be home to the first panels and look forward to seeing Solar Now shine in other communities across the state,” said Rep. Kuglitsch.

Solar Now is a pilot program approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Despite only being a few months old, the program is already extremely popular. We have received interest from customers from across the state.

Outside of the benefits for customers, the Solar Now pilot will provide us with valuable insight into operating distributed solar generation; experience that can be used in the future on other projects.

Solar Now is part of a We Energies and WEC Energy Group plan to create a clean energy future. Working with industry partners, environmental groups and state leaders, WEC Energy Group has set a goal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 80% by 2050.



Thursday, June 6, 2019

Peregrine falcon class of 2019

They grow up so fast! This year’s falcon chicks have ventured off into the world. But wherever they end up, they’ll take some Wisconsin pride along with them. Here’s a look at the newly-named class of 2019.

Oak Creek Power Plant
We Energies customers had the difficult task of choosing their favorite nicknames in honor of 10 past and current Bucks players. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ray Allen came out on top for this high-flying honor — making the chicks The Beak Freak, Sky Hook and Ray Ray.



Valley Power Plant
At the power plant closest to Miller Park, our customers helped narrow down a field of 10 Brewers legends to the top two: Christian Yelich and Robin Yount. The two male chicks are named Yeli and Rockin' Robin.



Port Washington Generating Station
At Port Washington, we called in some help for the names. Steve Jagow, a longtime employee and friend of the peregrine restoration program, is retiring this year. He named one of the chicks Smokey in honor of his 94-year-old father, a World War II veteran. Lyno is named after Dan Lyons’ brother, who died of cancer. Lyons won the opportunity to name a falcon chick at a fundraiser for the Riveredge Nature Center. Portview Peep was named by a group of kids who attend Portview Church.



Weston Power Plant
The falcon chicks at Weston Power Plant were named by first-grade students from Marathon Area Elementary School. Each student who submitted a winning entry got a special certificate and a picture with the chick they helped to name. Weston is owned by our partner utility, Wisconsin Public Service.


This year’s class brings the total number of peregrines hatched, named and banded at We Energies power plants to 281.

Friday, May 31, 2019

‘Somber, emotional and humbling’ - We Energies employees volunteer for Honor Flight

The May 11 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight took 170 veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials honoring their military service. Portions of their day were touched by our employees who wrote letters and volunteered to help ensure a smooth trip for all involved.


“It was one of the most humbling and meaningful experiences of my life. I feel we are here to serve, encourage and care for the needs of others around us, and was so grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside the other We Energies employees who cared for and honored these veterans,” said Joel Burow, manager – CSO economic development, who volunteered as a guardian.

Guardians typically are family members or other members of the public who accompany a veteran for the entire day. As sponsor of the May 11 flight, we were able to provide guardian opportunities for three employees.

‘It was all heartfelt’
Burow’s father served in the Army Air Force during WWII. He contracted polio after the war and was not able to be an Honor Flight participant before his passing. As a guardian on the May 11 flight, Burow was able to honor his dad while helping another veteran with limited mobility whose family couldn’t travel with him. That veteran, named John, was in the Army during the Vietnam War, serving in the communication squad room in Germany and as a motor pool driver.


Neither he nor Burow had been to Washington before, so the two were able to visit the memorials for the first time together, with Burow pushing John’s wheelchair and getting him on and off the bus safely throughout the day.

“He was greeted very affectionately throughout the day, hundreds and hundreds of times, with ‘Thank you for your service,’” Burow described. “You watched the faces of the people conveying that feeling to him, from young children to the elderly, from veteran to veteran. Each and every time it was heartfelt, and it was heartwarming for John to hear. He was very touched and said it was the best day of his life.”

‘Pay it back a little bit’
For Christy Walker, laboratory technician – environmental, May 11 was the first time she served as a guardian after volunteering in other capacities for previous Honor Flights. Many members of her family have served in the military.

“It’s a lot to put on the uniform for the U.S. It’s a lot of responsibility. I wanted to do this to honor that, especially for Vietnam vets,” Walker said. “They did not get the return home they should have. I really feel like it’s an opportunity to pay it back a little bit.”


The veteran she was paired with, Chris, served as a Marine during the Vietnam War but had a hard time connecting with other veterans because he had been stationed in California and Hawaii as an air traffic controller rather than in Vietnam. “I think it helped him connect with the fact that he is a Vietnam veteran and people are grateful for his service no matter what he did,” Walker said.

Because Chris does not have any family, Walker’s dad and aunt, both veterans, wrote letters for him to read during Mail Call on the flight back to Milwaukee. He, along with the other Honor Flight veterans, also received letters from our employees, including Tom Metcalfe, president of We Energies.

‘Somber, emotional and humbling’
Christy Schultz, computer systems specialist – IT services, was assigned as the guardian for Linda, an Army medic stationed in Texas during the Vietnam War.


“Serving during a time when women were not widely accepted in the military, and working with soldiers returning from Vietnam, Linda saw and experienced a different side of the war,” Schultz, an Army veteran herself, explained. Schultz assured Linda that she “had her back” when she was hesitant to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, one of the last memorial visits of the day. Linda eventually decided she wanted to see it.

“To stand beside these men at the Vietnam wall while they touched the names of soldiers lost, with tears streaming down there cheeks, is something that neither Linda nor I will soon forget. It was a very somber, emotional and humbling moment,” Schultz said, adding that Linda was also moved by the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. “It served as a reminder of the important role she played during the Vietnam conflict, and she was speechless each and every time people would come by and thank her for her sacrifice and service.”

Volunteers
In addition to the three guardians, more than a dozen of our employees helped at the airport in the morning as corporate volunteers, greeting and directing veterans and guardians, or in the morning and evening as side guardians, accompanying veterans through the terminal. Some employees came in the evening for the welcome home parade through the airport.


"It was a very memorable experience to see and to provide whatever help I could as a volunteer,” said Ron Schildt, designer – CSO major projects design and engineering, who was a corporate volunteer. “These men and women are true heroes, and I was proud to be a very small part in making their special day a reality."


“We had a blast hanging out with the veterans and volunteers. I heard a lot of stories, most of them were funny, some sad,” said Travis Lewein, senior power plant mechanic, who served as a corporate volunteer and came back for the homecoming later that night. “It was electric like always. You can tell that a lot of those boys from Vietnam finally ‘came home’ after 50 years.”

WEC Energy Group employees contributed more than 300 letters and notes for veterans on the May 11 flight, including 175 handmade cards from Ann Wendt, services manager – CSO customer programs, and her teenage daughter.



Tuesday, May 21, 2019

‘The Beak Freak’ tops voting for peregrine falcon chick naming contest

As he has done all season against his tall opponents, Giannis Antetokounmpo outshined everyone in a vote to name tiny birds. The Beak Freak, named in honor of Giannis, is the top vote-getter in the our peregrine falcon chick naming contest. Giannis’ baseball all-star counterpart Christian Yelich is the top vote-getter among Brewers players with the nickname, Yeli.

Fans had the difficult job of choosing nicknames from a list of 20 past and current Bucks and Brewers players. While fans chose current players to top the list, they also showed some nostalgia, picking players from years and decades ago in the top three for both teams.

The top vote getters will be used to name the five peregrine falcon chicks hatched this spring at our power plants.

The Brewers players’ nicknames will be used for the two chicks hatched at Valley Power Plant, near Miller Park, while the Bucks names will be used for the three chicks hatched at Oak Creek Power Plant.

The falcon chicks will formally receive their names and have their tracking bands put on during events on Friday, May 24.

Valley Power Plant

· Yeli
– In honor of Christian Yelich
· Rockin' Robin – In honor of Robin Yount

Oak Creek Power Plant

· The Beak Freak
– In honor of Giannis Antetokounmpo
· Sky Hook – In honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
· Ray Ray – In honor of Ray Allen



The final votes had every player receiving support.

Bucks
  1. 53.8%The Beak Freak – In honor of Giannis Antetokounmpo
  2. 20.6%Sky Hook – In honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  3.   7.0%Ray Ray – In honor of Ray Allen
  4.   5.8% – Sir Sid – In honor of Sidney Moncrief
  5.   5.7%The Little O – In honor of Oscar Robertson
  6.   3.8%Jonny Mac – In honor of Jon McGlocklin
  7.   1.2% – Little Dog – In honor of Glenn Robinson
  8.   1.0% – TC – In honor of Terry Cummings
  9.   0.8% – Greyhound – In honor of Bob Dandridge
  10.   0.3% – Point Forward – In honor of Marques Johnson
Brewers
  1. 26.1% Yeli – In honor of Christian Yelich
  2. 16.1% Rockin' Robin – In honor of Robin Yount
  3. 15.3% Hammer – In honor of Hank Aaron
  4. 11.2% Prince – In honor of Prince Fielder
  5.   8.7% Coop – In honor of Cecil Cooper
  6.   7.3% Stormin – In honor of Gorman Thomas
  7.   4.6% Molly – In honor of Paul Molitor
  8.   3.9% Gumby – In honor of Jim Gantner
  9.   3.7% Brauny – In honor of Ryan Braun
  10.   3.1% Rollie – In honor of Rollie Fingers
Even though the voting is done, you can still watch the adorable chicks on livestreaming cameras as they are growing more and more every day.

We are part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in 1997, 273 peregrine falcons have hatched at our facilities.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Path to renewable energy fairness

Supporting a future that benefits all customers

Renewable energy is an important part of the diversified energy mix that we use to provide safe and reliable electricity to you and all of our customers. In fact, we’ve invested about $1 billion in renewable energy over the past 15 years, including the two largest wind farms in Wisconsin. Beyond our investments, we support customer-owned generation, like solar panels on the roofs of individual homes and businesses.


As the cost of solar has come down in recent years, the popularity of these small solar projects has gone up. Customers put solar panels on their roofs and use the energy produced in their homes and businesses. However, when the sun is not shining or their system is not working, we’re still there to provide power. Customers with solar panels rely on our power lines, our poles and the entire infrastructure that goes into our reliable network. But, because of the way those costs are billed, solar customers do not pay their fair share of the costs.

This means that other customers – customers who can’t afford a solar system, don’t have a suitable place to put one, or simply don’t want one – are paying costs people with solar panels are not.



We are simply looking to make the system fairer for everyone. The modest and reasonable changes we are proposing to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin will allow us to maintain a system that provides reliable service in an environmentally responsible way, while keeping our rates fair and affordable for all customers.



We support customer-owned solar and other power generation — and we support fair rates for all customers. One customer group should not subsidize another, which is why we are proposing that customers with their own generation pay their fair share of the costs for their use of the grid.

Friday, May 3, 2019

First falcon chicks have arrived

Two peregrine falcon eggs hatched overnight at the Oak Creek Power Plant. Check out the fluffy white chicks for yourself on our live feed. The cuteness will continue over the next few days, so make sure to watch all of the cameras closely for more signs of hatching.

In the meantime, check out these close-ups of the first chicks, and cast your vote to name them after Milwaukee sports legends.





 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Squawk the Vote: Help us name falcon chicks after Milwaukee sports legends

Milwaukee – Milwaukee’s sports legends have been honored with all-star games, MVPs, even the hall of fame – but this is a first. Some past and present Bucks and Brewers players will have a peregrine falcon chick named after them, and you get to pick the winners.


Starting today and running through Friday, May 17, you can vote on your favorite names. From The Beak Freak and The Little O to Rockin’ Robin and Yeli, the top vote-getters will be used to name the falcon chicks born this spring at the We Energies Oak Creek and Valley power plants.

More than a dozen eggs have been laid at our power plants this year, and if all goes well, the first chicks should start hatching in early May. Right now, the proud parents are taking turns incubating the eggs.

Don’t wait. Vote early and often and help your favorite star player get this high-flying honor.

When you’re done voting, you can check out our high-definition webcams at all of the nest sites, streaming 24/7 on our website.

We Energies is part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in 1997, 273 peregrine falcons have hatched at We Energies facilities.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Falcons find their way to new home

When it comes to our peregrine falcon program, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected. When you’re dealing with wild animals, anything can happen. For almost a year now, we’ve been crossing our fingers a falcon named “PBR” and his mate would find a new nest box we helped to place. There was no guarantee. But now we’re happy to report: The falcons have landed.
  
Peregrine manager Greg Septon and PBR.
PBR and his mate, a female without a tracking band, used to nest at Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. When the nest box was closed last year, Greg Septon, our peregrine manager, was already searching to identify a potential replacement site nearby.

Falcons are naturally drawn to cliffs and tall buildings along the water. After reading an article about our search, Pat Hicks, plant manager at Ardent Mills in Kenosha, knew his flour mill would be the perfect falcon habitat. Septon quickly agreed. It’s not too far from the power plant, and it’s more than 100 feet tall. Hicks and Septon installed a nest box there over the summer, crossed their fingers and started to wait.

After a long winter, their patience was rewarded. PBR and his mate have moved to the new site — exactly as we had hoped. When Septon checked on the new nest box in April, he even found four freshly laid eggs. And if all goes well, the falcons will raise another brood of young this year in their new home.


It’s thrilling for Septon, who founded the state’s peregrine recovery effort. The Pleasant Prairie nest box was one of the first nest box sites statewide, and more falcons were born there than at any other We Energies site. Now we know that legacy will continue – just a few miles away.




Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Batter up! 8,000 kids take a swing at energy safety during Brewers Weather Day

We Energies safety experts were a hit during the CBS 58 Milwaukee Brewers Weather Day at Miller Park April 17. Nearly 8,000 school-aged children from throughout Wisconsin and Illinois received valuable information about staying safe around energy equipment – especially during severe weather.

The triple play combination of Mark Schmidt, trainer in electric operations; John Feider, manager in natural gas operations; and Andrew LaTona, supervisor in damage prevention, touched all the bases when it came to imparting the importance of staying safe above and below ground, no matter the weather conditions. 


And what would a trip to the ballpark be without a hot dog? On this day, however, the favorite ballpark food provided a valuable lesson instead of a tasty treat.

Schmidt picked up a hot dog with insulated tongs and explained the similarities it has to people: “Both have water, salt and meat.” He then touched the hot dog to live wires – cooking it from the inside out within seconds. The visibly astonished students quickly realized the importance of avoiding electric wires and equipment.

Schmidt’s demonstration took place on a small-scale model of a street with homes, businesses, cars and people to show how each might come into contact with power equipment.

Students examined power line cables, connected fuses and learned from our employees what to do if severe weather causes a power outage or downed power lines.

Other electric operation employees talked to the students about how our employees stay safe when they are restoring power after a storm. The kids were then allowed to explore and try on safety equipment that line mechanics use on a daily basis.

Feider made a pitch for natural gas safety during his time with the students, teaching them that natural gas is colorless and odorless until we add an odorant similar to rotten eggs or sulfur, which helps detect leaks. They learned that if they smell that odor, they need to leave the area immediately and then call for help. 


During LaTona’s turn at bat, students were surprised to learn that any digging in their backyards, whether for a garden, a fire pit or a post for a basketball hoop, can damage underground equipment, which can be dangerous or even deadly.

They heard that calling 811 at least three days before digging projects can prevent accidents from happening. 


Students left so much brighter about energy safety, they had to wear shades – which we provided as a reminder about the lessons they learned that will keep them and their families safe at home.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What to expect when you're egg-specting

Peregrine falcon nesting season is an exciting time. Over a dozen eggs have been laid at our power plants this year, and if all goes well, the first chicks should start to hatch in early May. Right now, the parents are taking turn incubating the eggs. Greg Septon, our peregrine manager, gave us a rundown of what to expect at each nest box:


Oak Creek Power Plant


Eurus and Michael are incubating four eggs. Eurus laid her first egg in late March. They’re expected to hatch between May 4 and 6.


Valley Power Plant


Hercules and his mate, an unbanded female, are incubating three eggs at our Milwaukee nest box. They’re expected to hatch between May 7 and 9.


Port Washington Generating Station


Beasley and Brinn are incubating three eggs. Brinn laid four, but unfortunately, one broke. The remaining eggs are expected to hatch between May 4 and 6.


Weston Power Plant


Rosalee and Sheldon are incubating four eggs at the Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) nest box in Rothschild. They’re expected to hatch between May 9 and 12.

WPS Building

This is a new site, and there aren’t any eggs this year. Septon suspects it’s only a matter of time until falcons discover the nest box and decide to call it home. 

You can check out our high-definition webcams at all five nest boxes. We are streaming 24/7 on our website. While you’re there, you also can learn more about our efforts to restore the peregrine falcon population. Since our first successful nest box in 1997, 273 peregrine falcons have hatched at We Energies facilities.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Employees help build Milwaukee home

A group of our employees put their hard hats and tools to a different use. Last week, dozens of employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help frame a house on Milwaukee’s north side. When completed, the home’s keys and mortgage will be handed over to a family in need of safe, affordable housing.
 

“Our employees are using their time and their talents to help Habitat for Humanity build homes to help renew this neighborhood and give back to our community,” said Kevin Fletcher, chief executive officer – WEC Energy Group. “I’m very proud that our guys and gals are doing such a wonderful job.”


We Energies is a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity. In fact, our crews have built a strong reputation with Habitat for Humanity leaders.

“We Energies is one of my favorite groups to come out ever. They always bring a solid crew,” said Rachel Sirriani, Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor. “Whether it’s their first time or a returner, they always work hard and get stuff done.”


That’s because our employees take tremendous pride in their work. Don Bousson, an account manager, jumped at the opportunity to help make a difference. 

“I think it’s going to change a neighborhood that’s sort of been run down in the past, and give families a fresh chance in a safe area. It’s great to be out here with all these other volunteers in this neighborhood,” he said.


The house is part of Habitat for Humanity’s Midtown 100 project. Their goal is to build 65 new homes and repair and rehab 35 more by 2020.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Customers urged to stay connected

We Energies is urging customers who are behind on their energy bills to get caught up before the end of the winter heating moratorium on April 15. Customers who owe a significant amount of money are at risk of disconnection starting the third week of April.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be using phone calls and bill inserts to alert affected customers. Please keep in mind, disconnection is always a last resort. 


We encourage any customers who are behind on their bills to visit our website or call our customer care center as soon as possible at 800-842-4565. Our representatives can explain some of the options available, including a flexible payment plan or minimum payment option. We also offer budget billing, which spreads energy expenses more evenly over 12 months.

In addition, some customers 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.

Scam Alert

Unfortunately, scammers have been known to prey on customers this time of year. Often, they’ll demand immediate payment via prepaid debit card. We will never do that. Customers who receive a suspicious phone call should hang up and contact us directly to verify the status of their account. We’ve posted more information about common scams on our website.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Peregrine falcons lay first eggs of the season

It's a little early for Easter, but we found our first eggs! Eurus laid her first egg overnight at the Oak Creek Power Plant, and an unbanded female laid her first egg this morning at Valley Power Plant.

We’re hoping for a few more eggs over the next week, so make sure to watch our live cameras closely. We’ll also post updates on Twitter and Facebook.

We Energies is part of a statewide effort to restore the peregrine falcon population. The DNR added the bird of prey to Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1970s. Since the company’s first successful nest box in 1997, 273 peregrines have hatched at We Energies facilities.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Familiar falcons return to power plants

It's a sure sign of spring. Love is in bloom at We Energies power plants. Some fan-favorite peregrine falcons have returned to roost, and introductions are in order thanks to our partners at Wisconsin Public Service.


Oak Creek Power Plant



Michael and Eurus are back at the Oak Creek nest box. Michael hatched in 2015 at the Racine County Courthouse nest site. This will be his third year at Oak Creek and second year he’s mated with Eurus. She hatched at a nest site in Green Bay in 2016. 


Valley Power Plant


Hercules and his mysterious mate have returned to Milwaukee. Hercules hatched at St. Joseph’s hospital in Milwaukee in 2011. This will be his sixth year at the Valley nest box. We don’t know much about his lady bird, because she is unbanded. Banding occurs when scientists attach a small, individually numbered tag to a bird’s leg to help track its movements. Our falcon expert, Greg Septon, believes this is the same female who’s been present at Valley since 2015.


Port Washington Generating Station


Beasley and Brinn are back at Port Washington. This is Brinn’s sixth year at the generating station nest box and Beasley’s third. Beasley hatched in 2014 in Wauwatosa. Brinn comes all the way from Split Rock State Park in Minnesota, where she hatched in 2012.


Weston Power Plant


Thanks to our partners at Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), this is our first year tracking the falcons at Weston Power Plant just south of Wausau. Sheldon and Rosalee have both been spotted there. Sheldon has nested at Weston for five years. He hatched in 2013 in Oshkosh. His mate, Rosalee, has been nesting at Weston since 2015. She hatched in Madison in 2014.


Wisconsin Public Service Building

A new nest box has been installed at the WPS building in Green Bay. You may have noticed a pheasant wing is attached to the perch to attract falcons to the nest box. Falcons have recently been observed in the area, and it is likely just a matter of time before they locate their new home.


The first eggs should be laid later this month. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, and catch the action for yourself on our live cameras.

Last spring, 17 falcon chicks were produced, named and banded at We Energies power plants.


More information

2018 We Energies hatchlings

WPS falcon program