Gov. Scott Walker recently announced that Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Lon Roberts will replace current Public Service Commissioner Phil Montgomery whose term on PSC ends next month. Montgomery had served 12 years in the Wisconsin Assembly before his six-year term on PSC.  Roberts, Montgomery’s replacement, was a partner and president at a law firm in Wausau and served as chair of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board before becoming DFI secretary in February 2016.


The Wisconsin Public Service Commission recently commissioned a study of Wisconsin’s  energy efficiency efforts to date and the potential for additional consumption reductions that could be achieved in the future by implementing additional efficiency measures. The study will provide estimates of energy efficiency potential through 2030. They intend to collect data in an effort to evaluate the success of current efforts, estimate the impact of building energy codes, and estimate the energy savings potential for a comprehensive list of potential programs and measures. The results will be used to determine the appropriate level of state investment in energy efficiency programs in the future as well as provide guidance on program design.

Lower Fuel Costs Could Offset We Energies Price Increase

Lower natural gas and coal costs could offset most of a small price hike that is set to hit electricity bills of We Energies customers next year. The utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission to reduce by more than $17 million the amount it wants to spend for fuel burned in its power plants.
Lower natural gas prices are expected compared with this year, and lower costs to deliver coal by train to Wisconsin are now expected. In addition, the utility is forecasting $8 million in savings because more of the coal burned at its new power plant in Oak Creek will be less-costly coal mined in Wyoming, he said.
The plant was designed to burn coal mined in the eastern United States, but the utility is testing the ability of the plant to burn more western coal. Those reductions offset several increases in costs that the utility is expecting, including $4 million in higher costs to buy power from the Point Beach nuclear plant and higher costs of chemicals used in air pollution control equipment at coal-fired power plants. The fuel-cost savings would amount to 51 cents a month for a typical customer now paying $101.72 a month, according to We Energies.


The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has issued written
approval of the acquisition of Integrys Energy Group of Chicago
by Wisconsin Energy of Milwaukee. The $9.1 billion deal was
previously approved by federal and Michigan regulators and
shareholders of each company. It requires approval by regulators
in Illinois and Minnesota. Integrys owns natural gas distribution
companies in each of those states.

New Power Line Considered For Walworth and Kenosha Counties

Courtesy of


A new power line in Kenosha and Walworth counties is needed to
reinforce the local grid in a fast growing part of southeastern
Wisconsin, American Transmission Co. said Monday.  The line
would extend 25 to 34 miles and cost between $71 million and
$91 million. The 138,000-volt transmission line has been
proposed in a filing by American Transmission Company with the
state Public Service Commission. The PSC will be asked to approve
the project and select a route.  The shorter route includes
construction of a new substation in the Town of Wheatland, as
well as a new 69,000-volt line connecting that substation with
Twin Lakes. The PSC’s review of the project will include public
hearings likely to take place this fall. A final decision is expected
next year.  Construction would start in 2017 and be completed
in 2019.

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