DES MOINES, Iowa -- Alliant Energy customers are no strangers to paying more for their electric bills.
Alliant Energy's original proposal filed in March of 2019 asked for two stages of rate increases, the interim rate increase in April of 2019 and the second stage increase in January 2020. This will be discussed during a hearing with the Iowa Utilities Board.
“The hearing really is where everybody has been asking questions back and forth to get understanding on what’s going on, and so that kind of comes to fruition here,” Alliant Energy spokesperson Justin Foss said.
Alliant Energy is proposing a 25 percent increase on the base rate line item on customer’s energy bills over two years.
“There are different line items on your energy bill. One of them is called your base rate. Really what that pays for is all of the assets that we need to be able to provide that energy to customers,” Foss said.
The other line item on a bill deals with the fuel needed to make that energy.
Alliant Energy said the rate increase will help the company make investments in wind energy.
“One of the advantages of using wind energy is that you don’t have to burn any fossil fuels, there’s no cost for the fuel to make that energy. So, while one part of the bill goes up, another part of the bill goes down,” Foss said.
If the proposal passes, Alliant Energy calculated that the average residential customer would pay under $136 a month for their electric bill.
“We don’t know the exact number. Exactly how low it’s going to be; that will be decided as part of the case,” Foss said.
Another part of the case that is going to be decided throughout this hearing is how fast the company can take steps toward sustainability.
“We’re moving to that cleaner energy future, relying less on fossil fuels, creating less emissions, using less water, and so it’s just understanding what’s the pace change? What’s the pace of change we want to make going forward?” Foss said.
Alliant Energy proposed to start the new rates on Jan. 1, 2020. But that may change, as the Iowa Utilities Board has until the end of the year to make a decision.
The Iowa Utilities Board Director of Communications Don Tormey said, “The final rates won't be determined until the Board issues its final decision order. The Board will issue its final decision after a complete review of the proposed non-unanimous partial settlement, the testimony and exhibits already filed, the testimony and any evidence presented at the hearing, and a review of the entire record in this rate case (RPU-2019-0001).”
The hearing begins Monday at 9 a.m. at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.