BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – For the second time since 2017, Alliant Energy, will be asking the Iowa Utilities Board for a rate increase.
Alliants’ Iowa electric utility, Interstate Power and Light Company is requesting the new rates beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Alliant said the rate increase will generate $203.6 million annually across all classes of service.
A mailing sent out to it’s Iowa customers indicates that investments in windfarms, energy grid technologies, including advanced metering infrastructure and environmental controls reducing emissions, are driving the request for additional revenues.
A chart in the mailing shows a 24.5% base increase in residential rates taking a typical bill with average usage of 756 kilowatt hours per month, will climb from $82.31 to $102.44 for an increase of $20.13.
On April 1, the company will begin charging an interim rate increase which is allowable by law, to allow the Iowa Utilities Board to investigate the rate increase proposal.
That rate will be a 5.5% boost, as part of the overall request, and is subject to refund with interest should the IUB decline the rate increase.
The IUB has 10 months to complete a review of the request, which was submitted on March 1. At that time, the IUB will establish the final rates.
Fort Madison Partners Executive Director Tim Gobble said Alliant provides some of the best service in the country and continually invests in Iowa’s infrastructure.
“Obviously, we value the excellent service and our relationship with Alliant Energy,” Gobble said. “They have continued to make large investments in the state with wind and natural gas and they need to see earnings from those investments, but these rate proposals are robust. We’ll be talking with businesses and industries about the impact of this proposal.”
He said there will be hearings around the area and people can comment on the rate hikes during the IUB investigation.
“This still has to go through the IUB so there is a vetting process to the rate increases.”
Customers have the right to comment on the increase online at efs.iowa.gov, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 1375 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50319.
The following link takes you directly to the IUB comment form: https://iub.iowa.gov/online-services/open-docket-comment-form
In addition, the IUB will also be hosting a series of customer comment meetings beginning in April. The two closest to north Lee County will be a May 22 meeting at Southeastern Community College in Building 300 beginning at 11:30 a.m.
There will also be a meeting in Ottumwa at 6 p.m. on May 8th at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church Street.