Xcel Energy and Utilities Nationwide Promote Scam Awareness Campaign to Protect Customers

Xcel Energy is joining more than 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities
to raise awareness about scams targeting customers. November 15th was the second annual
Utility Scam Awareness Day, which focuses on exposing the tactics scammers use to steal
money from utility customers and educating customers about how to protect themselves.

Typically, customers receive a telephone call from an individual claiming to be a utility company
representative. In some cases, scammers extort payments from customers by threatening to
disconnect or shutoff service immediately.  To complicate matters, scammers are increasingly
adept at disguising themselves as utility company representatives. For example, some
scammers use technology to “spoof” a phone number so when a customer views caller ID, it
appears the call is actually coming from a utility company when it is not.

Xcel Energy is a member of Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a consortium of utility
companies and their respective trade organizations that develop consumer education
campaigns and initiatives to prevent scams. This week, UUAS released a report titled,
“Consumer’s Guide to Impostor Utility Scams,” which exposes some of the most frequent ways
in which impostors pose as utility companies to steal money from customers.

Signs of Potential Scam Activity:
• Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell the customer his or her utility bill is
past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made – usually within an hour.
• Request for immediate payment: Scammers may instruct a customer to purchase a
prepaid card – widely available at retail stores – then instruct the customer to use the card
to pay their utility bill.
• Request for prepaid card: When the customer calls back, the caller asks the customer for
the prepaid card’s number, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds and
the victim’s money is gone.


The company has indicated that this project will add construction and other jobs,
as well as tens of millions of dollars
in additional property taxes to local communities
and lease payments to landowners.
“Apex wind projects are designed to meet the needs
of forward-thinking utilities such as Alliant Energy,” said Mark
Goodwin, President and
CEO of Apex. “We share the same priorities, especially strong community partnerships.”

Alliant Energy received approval in 2016 to add up to 500 megawatts of wind energy.
The company has requested a
similar expansion from the Iowa Utilities Board again in
2017. The combined projects would represent a $1.8 billion
investment and add up to
1,000 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa. Together, that’s enough to power up
430,000 Iowa homes a year.


We Energies expects to have the large Solvay Coke property in Milwaukee’s Harbor District
cleaned and ready for
a possible industrial redevelopment in 2019. The 46-acre waterfront
property is the largest piece in an envisioned
revitalization of Milwaukee’s entire inner
harbor area south of the 3rd Ward. Businesses and the city are pushing to
make the inner
harbor Milwaukee’s next Menomonee Valley, transforming its underused industrial land
with new
development over several years.

The Harbor District will release its proposed long-range plan for the area, which encourages
new public spaces, offices,
manufacturing facilities and housing. The area has a history of
heavy industrial uses stretching back to the late 1800s.
It has left the land contaminated
and vacant for years. We Energies bought Solvay Coke in May.


Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company continues its move toward a clean energy future by placing Iowa’s largest solar
garden in service. The record-breaking site is one of two new solar energy resources from Alliant Energy. As of late
September, customers started getting solar energy from the five-megawatt West Dubuque Solar Garden, which is
now the state’s largest and most powerful individual site. In addition, customers are also benefitting from the new
1.2-megawatt Port of Dubuque Solar Garden.


WEC Energy Group president and CEO Allen Leverett has been hospitalized following an apparent stroke.
The Board ofDirectors at the Milwaukee-based parent company of We Energies has voted to name Gale
Klappa, 67, to the interim role “until such time as Mr. Leverett is able to re-assume those responsibilities,”
the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Klappa has been serving
as non-executive Chairman. Leverett, 51, took over as CEO on May 1, 2016 when he was 49.

Budget Restores Funding for Citizens Utility Board Advocacy

The Wisconsin state budget, recently signed into law, restores in part a funding cut enacted by the
Legislature in the 2015-17 budget. That cut led to cutbacks at the Citizens Utility Board, a residential
customer advocacy group in existence since 1979.

The Legislature endorsed Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to boost funding for intervenors to $742,500 a year after the Legislature cut the funding from more than $1 million a year to $371,000 per year in 2015. The funding increase was supported by state utilities.

CUB said it was appreciative of the support it received from a variety of energy industry stakeholders and for the testimony of PSC Chair Ellen Nowak before the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

We Energies Rate-Freeze Plan Wins Regulatory Approval

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. won final state regulatory approval for a proposal to freeze business and residential rates for two years in what the company calls its response to complaints from industrial customers that electric rates in Wisconsin are too high.

The public utility companies owned by WEC Energy Group Inc. filed a proposed settlement in April to avoid the cost and effort of a full review by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.  At the time, the companies said 21 industrial customers signed statements backing the rate proposal.

The rate freeze adds two years to an existing two-year flatrate period that runs through 2017. The settlement also makes permanent cheaper wholesale rates that large industrial customers pay for expanded use of power from We Energies. The Public Service Commission has approved a draft order approving the company proposal for 2018 and 2019. The commission in August had voted to support the plan from the WEC Energy companies.

The PSC draft order determined that freezing We Energies base rates through 2019 was reasonable and in the public interest. The order also states that it’s reasonable to authorize We Energies to
extend and expand the market-based pricing for electric service at large commercial and industrial customers.

A WEC Energy spokeswoman said company executives are pleased with the commission’s action.

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