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PSC LIFTS MORATORIUM ON UTILITY DISCONNECTIONS

Customers who fall behind on their utility bills will soon face late fees and the prospect of having their power shut off after three months of government protection during the coronavirus pandemic. The Public Service Commission has voted unanimously to lift a moratorium on disconnections and other penalties that was put in place following executive orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers in March. Utilities will be allowed to send disconnection notices beginning July 15 to customers who are behind on their bills and have not worked out payment plans. Those customers could see power turned off as soon as July 25.

ALLIANT ENERGY OPENS NEW NATURAL GAS GENERATING STATION

The newly built West Riverside Energy Center near Beloit, Wisconsin, has officially put into service its 730-megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas system, generating energy for customers of Alliant Energy. “We are proud to put our West Riverside Energy Center into service to provide reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities,” according to David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Community support, strong partnerships, and hard work by countless employees, contractors, and suppliers made this a successful project. We appreciate the collaboration we have with the neighbors, the town and city of Beloit, Rock County, the state of Wisconsin, and the many other organizations, businesses, and individuals who continue to support this facility.”

WE ENERGIES DOWNTOWN BUILDING SUSTAINS MAJOR RAIN DAMAGE

Heavy rains have caused a major headache for We Energies. The company issued the following statement: “Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of our steam system in Downtown Milwaukee – creating large steam plumes in parts of downtown. We are investigating a steam system outage that is impacting some customers.” We Energies officials say they don’t know what exactly caused the system of underground steam tunnels in downtown Milwaukee to be flooded with an unprecedented “tidal wave” of water during a major rainstorm. Not only did the steam outage leave hundreds of businesses without heat and hot water for several days, it did major damage to We Energies’ historic headquarters at North 2nd and West Michigan streets. “The estimate to repair is more than $10 million and may take as long as two months before we can reopen the building,” We Energies spokesman Brendan Conway said.

XCEL ENERGY HAS RESUMED RESIDENTIAL METER READING

In-person meter reading, which had been temporarily on hold for Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin and Michigan’s residential customers since mid-April due to COVID-19 concerns, has resumed. While many electric and gas meters are read automatically, some require an in-person reading. If customers have one of these meters, they should allow in-person meter readers and field crews to do their critical work.

WISCONSIN UTILITIES ON TRACK FOR REDUCTION IN CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2026

Emissions this year are expected to be significantly lower than they were 15 years ago, thanks to recent coal plant retirements. The findings are part of a draft Strategic Energy Assessment, a short-term forecast the Public Service Commission is required by law to complete every two years to look at the adequacy and reliability of the state’s electric grid. According to the draft, Wisconsin electric providers as a whole are on track to achieve a forty percent reduction of 2005 carbon emissions by 2026 — ahead of the 2030 target some have laid out.

ALLIANT ENERGY TO RETIRE COAL-FIRED GENERATION FACILITY IN SHEBOYGAN

With an eye toward delivering cleaner, more cost-effective energy, Alliant Energy has announced plans to retire the Edgewater Generating Station in Sheboygan by the end of 2022. Closing the coal generation facility and transitioning to renewable energy will help Alliant Energy customers avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term costs.

TRANSMISSION LINE INSPECTIONS HAVE BEGUN

Xcel Energy transmission patrol crew has been flying helicopters alongside lines in Wisconsin to perform inspections to ensure the electric system remains reliable through the summer cooling months. The inspections also meet federal regulatory compliance requirements to secure a reliable electric system.
The crews will identify potential trouble spots along these lines or structural issues that need to be addressed and repaired. They will also look for encroachment issues, such as buildings on or near right of ways, or trees growing too close to transmission lines. Inspections on all Xcel Energy transmission lines in Wisconsin will take about 4-6 weeks. Helicopters will fly within fifty feet of transmission lines at varying speeds. At times the helicopter will hover near infrastructure to perform more detailed inspections. The exact flight schedule is dependent on weather and flying conditions.

PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY ANNUAL MEETINGS

Due to COVID 19 and stay at home orders, the Public Utility companies will be hosting their stockholder Annual meetings virtually. Below is the list of companies, their meeting date, and how to attend. 

WEC Energy Group
WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) will hold a virtual-only 2020 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. Central/2:30 p.m. Eastern time.  Sign Up

MGE Energy 2020 Annual Meeting Update 
This is an important update regarding our Annual Meeting on May 19, 2020, at 11 a.m. CST.
Since the printing of your proxy materials, we have modified the format of our Annual Meeting from an in-person meeting to a virtual meeting. Sign Up Online




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A NOTE FROM YOUR WUI BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dear Wisconsin Utility Investor Members,

During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, please know of our caring concern for your health and well-being. We will continue to bring you the utility news you need in order to make educated decisions regarding your investor-owned utility stock. 

Looking ahead, we are also considering whether in-person meetings are prudent in 2020. Please check our website and see future newsletters for updates regarding our September Annual Meeting and the Regional Meetings in October. If you care to share your opinion on the possibility of virtual rather than in-person meetings, please email us at [email protected].

PSC APPROVES UTILITY COVID-19 COST RECOVERY

Wisconsin investor-owned utilities will be able to recover some expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis. However, the relief will be at a lower rate of return than companies had requested. The Public Service Commission has voted to allow investor-owned utilities to track and defer expenses and lost revenues related to maintaining service under health emergency orders which prevent them from shutting off service or collecting late fees. The PSC split on the rate of interest on that money, with the majority favoring short-term borrowing costs which range from 2.7 percent to 3.4 percent depending on the company.

XCEL ENERGY AND ITS FOUNDATION TO DONATE $1.5 MILLION FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

Xcel Energy has announced that as part of its plans to dedicate more than $20 million to new corporate giving, including COVID-19 relief, Xcel Energy and the Xcel Energy Foundation will donate the first $1.5 million in the eight states it serves before the sale of the Mankato Energy Center closes later this summer. The company previously announced last that the net proceeds from that sale, expected to be more than $20 million, will go to short and long term corporate giving, including COVID-19 relief.

As part of the donation, the Xcel Energy Foundation is matching employee donations up to $1,000 at a rate of two dollars for every dollar donated, tripling the amount of the gift, up to $300,000. Within a week, employees donated $112,000 dollars. With the Foundation match of more than $223,000, that’s a donation of nearly $335,000. 
One million dollars of the money donated by Xcel Energy and its foundation is designated for existing nonprofit partners along with organizations that address food insecurity and those that provide disaster relief, including local chapters of The United Way and regional food banks. Xcel Energy serves communities in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan.

WE ENERGIES AND WISCONSIN PUBLIC SERVICE FOUNDATIONS COMMIT $1 MILLION TO COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service have announced 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.

ALLIANT ENERGY DONATES $2 MILLION TO HOMETOWN CARE ENERGY FUND

Alliant Energy is making a $2 million donation to its Hometown Care Energy Fund. The fund assists customers that need financial help to pay their bill. Alliant Energy knows that many customers may face financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. This contribution shows the company’s ongoing commitment to serve customers in Iowa and Wisconsin and help those in need. The fund is supported annually with funds from Alliant Energy shareowners as well as voluntary contributions from employees, retirees and customers.

PEOPLES GAS AND NORTH SHORE GAS CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO CHICAGO SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago sited Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, parts of WEC Energy Group, will contribute more than $1 million in funding, as well as personal protective equipment, to help 42 community organizations across the region provide vital services in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

WEC ENERGY GROUP DECLARES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND

The Board of Directors of WEC Energy Group has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 63.25 cents per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable June 1, 2020, to stockholders of record on May 14, 2020. This marks the 311th consecutive quarter — dating back to 1942 — that the company will have paid a dividend to its stockholders.

XCEL ENERGY NAMES NEW CHIEF NUCLEAR OFFICER

Pete Gardner has been named Xcel Energy’s Chief Nuclear Officer. He succeeds Tim O’Connor who has held the role since 2013 and was promoted to Chief Generating Officer of Xcel Energy, effective March 31.

XCEL ENERGY 2019 YEAR-END EARNINGS REPORT

Xcel Energy has reported 2019 GAAP and ongoing earnings of $1,372 million, or $2.64 per share, compared with
$1,261 million, or $2.47 per share in 2018. Earnings reflect higher electric margins primarily due to non-fuel riders and
regulatory rate outcomes, higher natural gas margins and expenses, increased depreciation and interest expenses.
“We delivered strong financial results again in 2019, with earnings at the upper end of our guidance range. Xcel
Energy continues to deliver consistent and solid performance, meeting or exceeding earnings guidance for the 15th
consecutive year,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy.

“We are proud of our continued progress in leading the clean energy transition on our path to 80% carbon reductions
by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050, all while providing great value for our customers, communities,
and shareholders. We took important steps on that journey this past year, completing three major Steel for Fuel wind
projects, which contribute to the almost 4,700 megawatts of additional wind expected on our system by 2021. We
begin the new year well-positioned to deliver on our financial objectives in 2020 and beyond.”

WEC ENERGY GROUP POSTS STRONG 2019 RESULTS

WEC Energy Group has reported net income of $1.13 billion, or $3.58 per share, for 2019. This compares to earnings of
$1.06 billion, or $3.34 per share, for 2018. For the fourth quarter of 2019, WEC Energy Group recorded net income of
$243.9 million, or 77 cents per share. This compares to earnings of $205.0 million, or 65 cents per share, for the fourth
quarter of 2018.
“From network reliability to customer satisfaction to earnings and dividend growth, the company continues to
perform at a high level,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman. “And we’re poised for progress in 2020 as we work to
deliver a clean energy future that is safe, reliable and affordable.”
During the fourth quarter of 2019, two WEC Energy Group utilities — We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service —
were honored for superior reliability of their electric delivery networks. This is the ninth consecutive year that We
Energies has been named best in the Midwest and the first time Wisconsin Public Service has been recognized.

WEC ENERGY GROUP TO INCREASE OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN THREE MIDWEST WIND FARMS

WEC Energy has announced that the company has agreed to increase ownership interest from 80 percent to 90
percent in three Midwest windfarms: Blooming Grove Wind Farm, Thunderhead Wind Energy Center and the Upstream
Wind Energy Center. The total investment is $118 million for an additional 75 megawatts of capacity.
“This agreement marks another step forward for the energy infrastructure segment of our five-year capital plan,”
said Gale Klappa, executive chairman of WEC Energy Group. “The plan calls for deploying $1.8 billion in high-quality
projects that will serve strong, vibrant companies for years to come.”
Invenergy, a leading developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, is currently building the Blooming Grove
and Thunderhead projects which are expected to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2020. The Upstream
Wind Energy Center, also developed by Invenergy, began service in January 2019. All three wind farms have long-term
offtake agreements with affiliates of investment-grade multinational corporations.
Under the tax rules, the WEC Energy Group investment is expected to be eligible for 100 percent bonus depreciation
and production tax credits. The transactions are subject to receiving all necessary regulatory approvals

XCEL ENERGY ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO, has announced that Bob Frenzel will be named President and Chief Operating Officer and that Brian Van Abel will be the company’s Chief Financial Officer, both effective March 31. As President and COO, Frenzel will have oversight for Xcel Energy’s four operating companies, including the company’s transmission, distribution and natural gas operations. He will continue to report to Fowke.