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Monday, May 11, 2009

Alliant Energy Seeks Large Rate Hike

MADISON – The Citizens Utility Board has grave concerns for the ratepayers of Alliant Energy, which today applied with the Public Service Commission to raise electricity rates for 2010 by 9.2 percent, or $85.5 million, and natural gas rates by 8.4 percent, or $6.2 million.
Why have concerns? The City of Janesville has proposed raising water rates by 15% mainly stemming from reduced demand expected by the closing of the GM plant - and hardly anyone protested. While the city continues to build out in its insatiable thirst to expand its tax base into perpetuity, this so-called progress never seems capable of generating even a modest 6% rate of return for the city's water utility. In fact, the city will increase its operational assets soon again with a new $7.1 million water tower, thus increasing the burden to maintain a reasonable rate of return, guaranteeing even further rate hikes. We can expect a series of water rate hikes over the coming years. But folks in Janesville can easily afford it - although our economy says no - our silence says so.

But the Alliant request is simply a follow-up on an earlier rate hike request by Wisconsin Power & Light, a utility subsidiary of Alliant. In February, the power company relented and announced it will "share the pain" during this period of economic decline and decided against filing for the emergency rate increase.

Three months later, the painful sharing is over.

1 comment:

Gaylynn said...

Get ready to add a school tax increase of between 2-6% for Janesville.

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