RATE INCREASE: Proposal By MidAmerican Energy

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For MidAmerican Energy customers, the month started off with savings.

Iowa’s largest energy provider announced it would give customers some money back after not deciding to go through with building a nuclear power plant.

That refund could be off-set by proposed rate increases.

“MidAmerican is proposing an 11% increase in our base rates,” said Terry Ousley, Vice President of Customer Satisfaction for MidAmerican Energy.

For the average customer that means in three years you could be paying an additional $8 dollars per month for the same services.

It’s the first base rate increase since 1995 and MidAmerican says it would help them keep up with higher operating costs.

“Our operating costs have gone up over $300 million dollars a year since 1995,” said Ousley.

Not all customers are on board.

Jerry Bridgeman says he’s happy with his service but feels he pays enough for it.

“I believe it’s the board’s responsibility to make sure MidAmerican stays healthy, but doesn’t get wealthy,” said Bridgeman.

Bob Wessel says the proposed rate increases won’t affect him much, but others may feel it in the pocket book.

“There are a lot of people who don’t enjoy very good incomes and are living on margin now,” Wessel told Channel 13 News.

Over the next two weeks, the Iowa Utility Board will hear from customers throughout the state.

They say they will make a decision that weighs how much it costs MidAmerican to provide service with what customers can afford to pay.

“What the utility board has to do is make sure everything they’re proposing is just and reasonable,” said Rob Hillesland, Information Specialist for the Iowa Utilities Board.

Other scheduled hearings:

• Storm Lake: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, King’s Pointe Resort, Rooms A and B, 1520 E. Lakeshore Drive.

• Council Bluffs: Monday, June 24, 2013, Council Bluffs Public Library, Room B, 400 Willow Avenue.

• Sioux City: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, Briar Cliff University, Stark Student Center, Clare Room, 3303 Rebecca Street.

• Davenport: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, Modern Woodmen Park, 3rd Floor Suite Level, 209 S. Gaines Street.

• Waterloo: Thursday, June 27, 2013, Petersen Town Hall, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street.

• Fort Dodge: Tuesday, July 2, 2013, Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites, 1518 3rd Avenue NW.