December 15, 2011

MADISON - The Public Service Commission today approved new electric rates for Alliant  Energy, which will take effect on January 1, 2012.  The Citizens Utility Board participated in the case, and made suggestions that reduced the rate increase by more than $22 million.

Alliant had sought an increase in electric rates for 2012 of $30 million, or 3.1 percent.  The PSC today approved an increase in electric rates of about $4.4 million, or about 0.4 percent.

As part of its request to increase electric rates, Alliant sought $26 million to pay for complying with the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, a new air pollution regulation issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that takes effect in January 2012.  The regulation requires utilities to reduce emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, which cause acid rain and smog, and damage human health and the environment.

CUB and other parties urged the PSC not to increase electric rates for compliance with the air pollution rule, but rather to require Alliant to track the costs of complying with the rule, and to recover these costs from ratepayers in the future.  The PSC agreed with CUB, which resulted in a savings of more than $22 million.

“The good decisions made today by the PSC mean that Alliant Energy ratepayers will see a smaller increase in their 2012 electric rates than requested by Alliant Energy,” said Charlie Higley, CUB executive director.  “We appreciate that the PSC accepted our suggestion to reduce the rate increase by more than $22 million.”

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The Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin is a member-supported, nonprofit organization that advocates for reliable and affordable utility service. CUB represents the interests of residential, farm, and small business customers of electric, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities before the Legislature, regulatory agencies, and the courts.