WisBusness: PSC adjusts MGE rates up for ’07, down for ’06

MADISON – The state Public Service Commission has granted Madison Gas and Electric a $12.2 million rate hike for 2007, due to higher-than-anticipated costs for electricity earlier this year. The increase means typical residential customers will see a $2 increase in their monthly bills.

In addition, the commission ordered MGE to give its customers a $2.4 million credit for rates they paid at the end of 2006. The average customer will receive a one-time credit of $5.40, the commission said. MGE officials said the price of natural gas in November and December was less than anticipated.

PSC Chairman Dan Ebert called for an overhaul of the rate-making process, labeling it outdated and confusing for customers. “The process worked well when fuel prices were fairly stable, but today fuel prices are so volatile that it’s like a roller coaster ride when it comes to setting electric rates,” Ebert said.

“We seem to be constantly readjusting electric rates up and down. It’s confusing to the customers, counterproductive and could ultimately increase costs to ratepayers.”

See release at http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=94391