Friday, March 23, 2012

Summarizing our Wisconsin 2013-14 rate change request

We filed a rate request with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin today to increase electric and steam rates and to decrease natural gas rates for 2013 and 2014.

Our base electric rates and fuel costs for 2012 will not be affected. Customers will continue to pay the same base rates that they have paid since 2010. Any increase approved in today’s filing would not be effective until 2013.

Primary reasons for proposed changes in 2013-14

Electric: Currently, our base rates are frozen at 2010 levels, and we have delivered on our promise made more than a decade ago to keep increases in base rates, excluding fuel costs, to less than 4 percent a year despite large-scale projects necessary to meet evolving environmental regulations and to comply with Wisconsin’s renewable energy mandate. Although our normal day-to-day operational costs have not increased since 2010, we are asking for an increase in base electric rates in 2013 and 2014 mostly for the $1.3 billion being spent on air quality controls on the older units at Oak Creek and for the recently completed wind farm – Glacier Hills Wind Park. These projects were designed to strengthen reliability and to meet environmental regulations and state renewable energy requirements.

Natural gas: Our requested decrease in natural gas rates is tied to a reduction in bad debt.

Steam: Our requested increase in steam rates is associated with increased water rates from the city of Milwaukee and increased staffing levels required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Specifics and impact of our rate request will be detailed May 1.

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