Two Utilities Becoming One
2:26 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

WPS Plans to Merge With WE Energies

Wisconsin Public Service says customers won’t see rate changes as a result of two utility companies merging. 

Two of Wisconsin's largest utilities plan to merge, if a deal announced Monday is approved.
Credit Arnoldius via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coal_power_plant_Knepper_1.jpg

The parent company of WE Energies plans to buy Integrys Energy Group, the parent company of WPS, in a deal totaling $9 billion. 

  The new company will be called Wisconsin Electric Corporation or W-E-C Energy, and will serve over 4.3 million gas and electric customers.

WPS Spokesperson Lisa Prunty says the merger will make for a stronger company. 

“The positive is that we will have more service people that if we do have large outages, our forces are already combined so we can move crews faster.  But really, we will remain in the community – we are strong in the community, and so is Wisconsin Electric.” 

It will be business as usual until next summer…when the deal is expected to go through.  The boards of both companies have approved it, but other authorities including the Public Service Commission must also give the green light. 

Prunty says it’s too early to know if any jobs will be affected.   But she points out that right now the companies serve different areas of the state. 

“The company was not purchased for synergies, the company was purchased due to our investments.  We are strong in Minnesota and Michigan and Chicago and Wisconsin with our investment into our infrastructure, and that is what is really attractive to Wisconsin Electric.” 

Prunty says no rate changes are tied to the announcement, as rates are regulated by the Public Service Commission.