May 8, 2009

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.

"With the worst economy since World War Two, Alliant's request to raise electricity rates by over 9 percent will make it difficult for many families to pay their monthly expenses," said Charlie Higley, CUB executive director.

Wisconsin Power & Light, a utility subsidiary of Alliant Energy, has steadily increased electricity rates by nearly 75 percent for the period 1998 through 2008, while inflation has only increased by 32 percent, and Wisconsin household incomes have barely kept pace with inflation. With electricity rates rising more quickly than household incomes, energy bills consume more of a household's monthly budget, making it more difficult for families to meet monthly expenses.

The Public Service Commission will review Alliant's rate hike request during the summer and fall, and will likely issue a decision by the end of 2009. CUB will intervene in the proceeding
on behalf of residential customers and look for ways to reduce the size of the increase.

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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.