Wisconsin Public Service

A long weekend without electricity is coming to an end for many Northwoods communities hit hard by a vicious Friday afternoon storm. At one point Friday, tens of thousands of customers were without power, but crews worked through the night to bring back the power.

Sunday morning, more than 8,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers mainly in Oneida and Vilas counties were still in the dark.


We're into the early part of the summer construction season, but a word of caution has been sent out from officials: careful where you dig or it could cost you big bucks.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Leah Van Zile says before you dig, call 8-1-1 to make sure you're not going to accidentally cut utility service...

"....there are many utilities buried underground, from electric and gas to water cable and fiber optics. It's really important(to call) as there are some dangerous cables under the ground...."


Wisconsin Public Service  is proposing a 8 percent increase in electric rates and a slight decrease in natural gas rates. In addition, WPS proposes an increase in the customer fixed charge.
Kerry Spees from WPS says the average electrical customer would see a $6.00 a month increase. But the customer fixed charge would go from $10 to 25. He says the cost of the electric grid system remains fixed at about $60 per customer,  but customers using less electricity aren't supporting their portion of the grid cost...


A large fiberglass tank will cause some power outages Tuesday and Thursday in the Northwoods.

Wisconsin Public Service reports the tank is being shipped from Wisconsin Rapids to Saskatchewan, Canada. The shipping route winds north and will enter the WPS service area near Antigo with an arrival time at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Eagle River.

Leah Van Zile from WPS says electric crews will be going along with the very slow moving transport. They need to move power lines...

Major Wisconsin Energy Merger

Jun 29, 2015

The merger of two Wisconsin Energy companies today has formed a Fortune 400, with hopes to enter that top 300 list soon. As of today, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation of Green Bay has partnered with Milwaukee-based We Energies. They’ve acquired four natural gas utilities in Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. The result is W-E-C Energy, but spokesperson Brian Manthey says your bill won’t look any different. "There won’t be any change on the utility bill, won’t be any changes in terms of who they deal with for their utility," says Manthey.


Year two of a project to put more than 1,000 miles of power lines underground has begun by Wisconsin Public Service.

WE, Integrys Closer To Merger

Apr 30, 2015

Wisconsin has become the second of four states to sign off on the proposed mega-merger between Wisconsin Energy and Chicago's Integrys Energy Group. However, the state Public Service Commission added several conditions today.


Wisconsin has a law that doesn't allow utilities to end electricity and fuel service during the winter. But the law allows utilities to end service after April 15.

Wisconsin Public Service reports nearly 28,000 customers are behind at least four months or more, an increase of 2000 from last year. The average amount owed is also five percent higher.

Leah Van Zile from WPS says it's time to contact WPS to make payment arrangements...

Creative Commons

There's still money available for eligible persons to get help paying their heating bills.

Kerry Spees from Wisconsin Public Service says money is still available....

"....it's important for customers who think they might be eligible to contact their local agency and get in early just to make sure before the funds are gone. Every year they get used up. If you wait until the last minute, they could be gone...."

The income guidelines to be eligible and other details are available at your county Department of Social Services office.


Many homes have carbon monoxide detectors, but a Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson says you should also be careful as you head to your deer hunting shelter. The camps often have debris collect in vents and other places and could lead to problems.

WPS spokesperson Leah Van Zile...

".....it's importatnt that heating equipment is inspected annually. Make sure all of the venting is properly clear of any debris, any nests that have been built up by birds or mice, really all of those furnaces and heating sources need to be vented properly...."

Wesley Fryer-Flickr

Grants up to $1,000 are being offered by the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation  for the Innovative Educator Program. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Wisconsin Public Service.

The grant is an opportunity for middle, junior high or high school educators to get money for new projects in specific areas says Todd Steffen from WPS...

"...we're trying to focus student achievements in the area of science, technology, engineering or math. Those are the areas that we are trying to further education in those areas..."


As if the massive storm on September 4 wasn't enough, the Northwoods was hit again Wednesday evening as a change in weather brought stiff winds from the north and another round of power outages.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Leah Van Zile says as the winds picked up they started getting calls....

"....mainly with tree branches coming across power lines. And with the heavy saturation of the rain (recently) we saw trees coming uprooted and going across power lines...."


An environmental group is applauding a DNR decision this week to deny an exception to pollution standards at the coal-fired WPS power plant at Weston.

But WPS officials are saying  all they want is what other industries are being held to by federal law.


Wisconsin Public Service officials are using today's date to remind property owners to check out where utility lines are located before digging.

Numerically, today's date is 8 -11 on the calendar, and WPS is using the date to remind people about Digger's Hotline. The hotline provides a way to find out if utility lines cross your property.

Todd Steffen from Wisconsin Public Service says Diggers Hotline should be the first thing you do before starting the project...

Integrys Energy Group, the holding company which owns Wisconsin Public Service, has decided to sell about 200 acres of its Awassa Lodge property along Lake Content  in St. Germain. The land is divided into 23 primarily lakefront lots. Integrys also owns 235 acres not adjacent to the lake. They are negotiating with a single buyer for that land. An auction will be conducted on September 18 at the St. Germain Community Center.

Kerry Spees from Wisconsin Public Service says the land no longer was part of their mission...