The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) raised the fixed charge for electricity for Xcel’s Northern States Power 255,000 Wisconsin customers by 75 percent from $8 to $14 per month (Xcel requested a $10 monthly increase). This follows similar increases to fixed charges the PSC approved in 2014 for the investor owned utilities We Energies, WPS, and MGE.
Opponents of the rate increase site hardships for elderly and low income households, penalization of low energy users and disincentives for energy conservation. The utility maintains that the higher charge supports their infrastructure costs. They calculate that a majority of the customers will see bill increases of around ten percent, given there was some reduction to the variable part of the electric charge. Additionally, the PSC increased natural gas charges by 3.2 percent.
Xcel Energy requested a smaller $1.50 rate increase to their Minnesota customers, but was turned down by the MN PSC in May. Wisconsin customers pay higher rates for the same electricity. Read more, JS, Xcel.