2016 Utility Rate Cases

Our state's electric and natural gas utilities, excluding rural electric co-operatives, need approval from the state regulatory agency for the rates they charge customers and programs they offer. This agency is called the Public Service Commission.

Since 1991, RENEW Wisconsin has participated in numerous proceedings at the PSC,including many utility "rate cases." A rate case is a proceeding where a utility requests a) the total amount of money they will collect from customers for a 1, 2 or more year period and b) how the rates will be set for customers so the utility can collect that revenue.

Fixed charge increases have been a huge topic in Wisconsin rate cases since 2014--learn more below!

Alliant Energy

Alliant is asking the Public Service Commission to approve an increase on their fixed charges for electric customers from the current rate of $7.50 per month to $12.00 per month in 2017, and $18.00 per month in 2018. Alliant is also requesting lower energy rates, which will result in a 6-7% decline by 2018.

What you can do

File a comment and tell the PSC that arbitrary increases that unfairly harm low income families and senior citizens should not be approved.

Empowered: A Tale of Three Cities Taking Charge of Their Energy Future

National energy expert Ben Paulos is the author of a new book titled "Empowered: A Tale of Three Cities Taking Charge of Their Energy Future," which discusses how citizens in Boulder, Minneapolis, and Madison are taking matters into their own hands as they seek local, affordable, and clean energy.

To discuss the new release of his book (which can be purchased for $2.99 as an e-book on Amazon here), Ben toured the state of Wisconsin with RENEW's Michael Vickerman to share how other cities can take charge of their energy future.

Ben and Michael gave presentations in Madison, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, and La Crosse. They also stopped to see some of the area's renewable energy installations including Blenker Companies, Inc. and Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst, Eau Claire Electric Cooperative's new community solar garden in Fall Creek, and Western Technical College's 200 kW Hydro Station (formerly the Angelo Dam) near Sparta. Below is a list of media coverage from Ben and Michael's tour:

  • Xcel may hike rates to offset solar power users, WIZM, La Crosse, WI, September 24, 2015
  • Scott Krueger: Portage County Live, WSPT 1010 AM Morning Show, Stevens Point, WI, September 24, 2015
  • Xcel Energy proposes increase in rates, WKBT-TV, La Crosse, WI, September 24, 2015
  • Xcel energy proposing rate hike, WXOW-TV, La Crosse, WI, September 23, 2015
  • The All New Mitch Henck show, The Mic 92.1, Madison, WI, September 21, 2015
  • In Our Backyard, WORT-FM, Madison, WI, September 21, 2015
  • Op-ed: Empowered: A tale of three cities taking charge of their energy future, CapTimes (Madison, WI), September 20, 2015
  • Sly’s Office, 93.7 FM WEKZ, Monroe, WI, September 18, 2015
  • MGE Plans for the Future, The Isthmus (Madison, WI), September 17, 2015
  • The Devil’s Advocate, WXXM-FM, Madison, WI, September 17, 2015
  • Commentary: Midwest cities pushing for control of their energy future, Midwest Energy News, September 17, 2015

  • 2015 Rate Cases

    In 2015, two utility companies filed for increased monthly rates:

  • Wisconsin Public Service
  • -Increased monthly customer charges to from $19 to $21, and energy rates declined from 10.3 cents to 10.0 cents/kWh

  • Xcel Energy
  • Increased monthly customer charges from $8 to $14 per month, while energy rates declined by about 5%

    2014 Rate Cases

    In 2014, three utility companies filed for increased monthly rates:

  • We Energies
  • -Increased monthly customer charges to $16, while energy rates declined from 13.9 cents to 13.1 cents/kWh

  • Madison Gas & Electric
  • Residential and commerical customer charges increased from $10.29 to $19 per month, while energy rates declined from 14.4 cents to 13.3 cents/kWh

  • WPS
  • -Monthly customer charges increased from $10.40 to $19 for residential customers, and to $22 for commercial customers. Energy rates decreased from 11.3 cents to 10.3 cents/kWh.

    Learn More

    Find more detailed information and media coverage of the 2014 rate case filings in our report, 2014 Rate Case Round Up"

    During the 2014 rate cases last fall, we had unprecedented levels of involvement from individuals and businesses speaking up in their outrage over utility requests for increased fixed charges. Read our report here, which documents over 3,000 comments showing 90% opposition to the proposed increases, including many businesses and nonprofits.

    Besides asking for increased fixed rates, We Energies also imposed a "Tax on Renewable Energy" on its customers who choose to generate their own power. Currently, we are taking legal action against this decision and defending clean energy in the courts. Learn more, or donate to our legal funds to help reverse this unfair tax!