Formerly Wisconsin Energy, WEC Energy Group provides electricity and natural gas to nearly 4.5 million customers in four states. One of the largest natural gas distributors in the US, the company operates through brands We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, People Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, and Minnesota Energy Resources. It serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota with some 70,000 miles of electric distribution lines, about 44,000 miles of natural gas distribution and transmission lines, and 8,800 MW of generating capacity. The former Wisconsin Energy acquired Integrys Energy in mid-2015 to create WEC Energy Group.
WEC Energy Group operates through about half a dozen principal utilities. We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service provide natural gas to about 1.5 million customers in Wisconsin and provides electricity to about 1.5 million customers in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Peoples Gas serves some 830,000 natural gas customers in Chicago, while Michigan Gas, Minnesota Energy, and North Shore Gas deliver natural gas to parts of Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois, respectively.
The company’s non-utility energy segment, We Power, designs, builds, owns, and leases four generation plants constructed as part of its Power the Future strategy. Other non-utility operations include Wispark (which develop and invest in real estate projects primarily in southeastern Wisconsin) and Trillium CNG (which provides compressed natural gas fueling services).
Prior to the acquisition of Integrys, Wisconsin Energy's net revenues increased by 10% in 2014 due to increased sales from the Utility segment. Electric utility operating revenues increased because of higher resales into the MISO Energy Markets as a result of Michigan's alternative electric supplier program, and higher availability of generating units driven by the recognition related to revenues under the System Support Resource agreement with MISO.
Electric fuel and purchased power costs increased primarily due to increase in total MWh sales and higher generating costs driven by an increase in natural gas prices. Total retail gas margins increased primarily because of colder winter weather in 2014 pushing up demand.
In 2014 the company's net income increased by 10% due to higher revenues, partially offset by increased costs of gas sold.
That year Wisconsin Energy's net cash provided by the operating activities decreased by $33.3 million due to a change in accounts receivable and accrued revenues, inventories, and accrued income tax.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Ina major move, in 2015 Wisconsin Energy acquired rival Integrys in a transaction valued at $9.1 billion. The goal was to establish a long-term energy leader serving the Midwestern US.