MADISON — On Friday, May 15, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation released another proposal to increase residential and small business fixed customer charges for electric and natural gas service. WPSC plans to set its monthly fixed customer charge at $25 for electric service and $20 for natural gas service. The fixed customer charge is billed every month in addition to the rate paid per kilowatt hour or therm.
In January 2015, WPSC increased its fixed electric charge by more than 80 percent, from $10.40 to $19.00 per month. Now, just five months later, WPSC wants to increase that monthly charge another $6.00, or 30 percent. If the new proposal is approved by the Public Service Commission, a WPSC electric customer will pay $300 a year even if they never turn their lights on.
“This proposal is bad for customers trying to conserve energy and reduce their bills, and it hurts customers already struggling on fixed incomes,” said Kira Loehr, CUB’s Executive Director and General Counsel. In addition to WPSC’s plan to hike fixed customer charges, WPSC wants to increase electricity rates by more than $96 million in 2016. If that increase is approved, residential and small business customers would see their 2016 electric bills increase by about 10 percent compared to current bills.
CUB is opposed to WPSC’s fixed customer charge and rate increase proposals. CUB encourages customers to submit comments voicing their opposition by visiting the Public Service Commission’s website http://psc.wi.gov, then clicking on the “Public Comments” button and selecting docket 6690-UR-124 “WPSC Rate increase request” at the bottom of the screen.