The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 2, 2009

Letters fly as Alliant Energy talks of increases

Alliant proposed an 18.1 percent rate increase with an 8.9 percent interim increase

OTTUMWA — Area residents may have received a notice in the mail recently about Alliant Energy’s proposed rate increase, but the Wapello County Board of Supervisors has responded with a letter of their own.

The supervisors sent letters to Gov. Chet Culver and the Iowa Utilities Board requesting stops or reductions to the proposed increase.

The letter was also sent to Alliant Energy and the Iowa Consumer Advocate office.

A 60 percent energy rate increase over the past five years, plus a proposed 18 percent increase this year, plus an annual 3 percent equalization increase, adds up to about 80 percent in energy rate increases for residents of Wapello County if the IUB approves Alliant Energy’s proposed rate increases.

“What we would hope is that the governor recognizes the economic times and would be very definitive with the utilities board that this is not the time for a rate increase,” said Supervisor Jerry Parker.

Alliant Energy proposed an 18.1 percent rate increase for approval from the IUB, with an interim increase of 8.9 percent.

Iowa allows companies to impose an immediate increase pending the IUB’s decision on the overall proposal.

Alliant estimates the interim 8.9 percent increase will raise bills an average of just more than $7 per month. For example, the average Alliant Energy bill for residential customers is $80.97. The interim rate would increase that to $88.18. The full 18.1 percent increase would add on nearly $15 per month, putting the average at $95.63 per month.

“I think the governor has a lot of say in this,” said Supervisor Chairman Steve Siegel.

The proposed increase means about $250 more a year for an average Iowa residence.

“How is it that MidAmerican is in a 10-year rate increase moratorium while Alliant socks it to us each and every year?” the supervisors said in the letter to Culver, dated March 31.

Alliant claims one reason for the proposed increase is due to the ice storms of 2007 and floods last summer.

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