UPDATE: First Wisconsin Rate Restructuring Case Decided

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) ruled in favor of the WPS utility November 6, 2014 that the fixed rate to customers for electric service be raised from $10.40 to $19 a month or an 83 percent increase. Also, natural gas charges were restructured so that the fixed fee for customers will increase 76 percent from $10.25 to $18 a month. The rate proposals were challenged in these heavily controversial cases by the Environmental Law and Policy Center, RENEW Wisconsin and Citizens’ Utility Board and generated thousands of public comments and a petition. This is the first of three such cases with We Energies and Madison Gas & Electric seeking fixed rate increases of $16 and $19 respectively. Additionally, the We Energies’ case includes restrictions and changes to distributed renewable energy system fees and buy back rates. Utilities are looking to recover their system costs while opponents see the increased fixed cost as a significant shift in market incentives away from energy efficiency and renewable energy.  To read more, WSJ and Green Bay PG For background information.