Monday, April 11, 2011

Rate increases make news

Rate increases, even small ones, get a lot of attention. Rate decreases or credits not so much (yes, we have had those from time to time).

On April 6, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that we are planning to file a request for rate increases for 2012 and 2013. While we have made no final decision on the filing, our initial estimates suggest that any proposed increase will be less than 4 percent.

The primary reasons include costs for environmental upgrades at our power plants and investments in renewable energy projects to address federal and state mandates. In reviewing our costs, we work to control costs where we can without jeopardizing reliability or public safety.

Because you get reports such as this one in the Journal Sentinel and then hear about it again when we make a filing with the public service commission, when the PSC has hearings and when we receive a final order, it can seem as if there are increases every few months – when it’s really just one.

No one wants any costs to increase – whether for energy, gasoline or even a cup of coffee. We don’t, and our customers always make it clear that they don’t. So, we work to manage our business efficiently. In fact, we are serving 5 percent more customers over the recent years with 1,000 fewer employees as we better manage our costs. Cost savings are in the best interest of our customers as well as our stockholders. We also work with customers to help them manage their energy use, which helps them control their own costs.

As your energy provider, we have a responsibility we take seriously to invest in the infrastructure that generates and delivers energy to you safely, reliably and at a reasonable cost.

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