(5/1/12) Wisconsin’s largest utility said its customers used 24-percent less natural gas in January-through-March than a year ago.
But the parent firm of We Energies still managed to make a two-percent profit for the quarter. The Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy said it had lower operating costs, lower fuel costs for power plants, and revenue from a stock buy-back. And it all added up to a net profit of 172-million-dollars for the first quarter of this year –one-point-two million more than the same time in 2011. Earnings rose by two-cents to 74-cents-per-share. Total electric-and-gas sales went down from one-point-three billion-dollars to just under one-point-two billion. C-E-O Gale Klappa said Wisconsin Energy was still pleased with its financial results, considering the large drop-off in demand for home heating fuel due to a warm winter and early spring.