MILWAUKEE, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At WEC Energy Group's (NYSE: WEC) annual meeting of stockholders today, President and Chief Executive Officer Allen Leverett highlighted 2016 accomplishments and milestones, including the following highlights:
Safety and diversity
- OSHA-recordable incidents decreased by 17 percent and lost-time incidents by 11 percent from 2015.
- We Energies was recognized by the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors for our leadership in minority business development in the Wisconsin construction industry.
Customer satisfaction and corporate citizenship
- The results of a national survey ranked WEC Energy Group electric utilities third in the nation for large customer satisfaction – a 4 percent increase over 2015.
- We Energies was honored nationally with an Outstanding Customer Reliability Experience Award and was named the most reliable utility in the Midwest for the sixth year in a row by an independent consulting firm.
- Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked WEC Energy as one of the top 50 corporate citizens in the nation.
Financial strength, dividend growth and shareholder return
- The company reported record earnings per share in 2016.
- Our board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.52 per share earlier this year, which equates to an annual rate of $2.08 per share. This represents a compound annual dividend growth rate of 6.6 percent from the 2015 fourth-quarter level.
- WEC's total return to shareholders outperformed the S&P Electric Index and the Philadelphia Utility Index in 2016.
- Wisconsin Public Service continued progress on converting overhead facilities to underground and adding automation equipment to improve system reliability in the northern region of its service territory.
- The long-term Peoples Gas System Modernization Program to replace approximately 2,000 miles of aging pipelines in Chicago is more than 20 percent complete.
- Construction of the new powerhouse was completed on time and on budget at the company's Twin Falls hydroelectric plant on the Menominee River between Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The new powerhouse has increased the plant capacity by 50 percent.
Formation of Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation
- The Michigan Public Service Commission approved our request to create a stand-alone Michigan utility to serve customers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
- The new utility is helping to facilitate a future generation solution for the region.
During the meeting, stockholders elected the following directors to terms expiring at the 2018 annual meeting: John F. Bergstrom, Barbara L. Bowles, William J. Brodsky, Albert J. Budney, Jr., Patricia W. Chadwick, Curt S. Culver, Thomas J. Fischer, Paul W. Jones, Gale E. Klappa, Henry W. Knueppel, Allen L. Leverett, Ulice Payne, Jr. and Mary Ellen Stanek.
Stockholders also voted to:
- Ratify Deloitte & Touche LLP as independent auditors for 2017.
- Approve the compensation of the company's named executive officers ("say-on-pay").
- Establish the frequency of say-on-pay advisory votes every year.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving 4.4 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
The company's principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.
WEC Energy Group (wecenergygroup.com), a component of the S&P 500, has approximately $29 billion of assets, 8,000 employees and 55,000 stockholders of record.
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SOURCE WEC Energy Group