Initiative for Competitive Energy: Business Coalition Formed To Seek Lower Electric Power Rates In SE Wisconsin

For Information: Dan Eastman, Executive Director, (414) 978-4732

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Spurred by a trend of rising electric power costs, a group of businesses has formed an alliance to advocate for competitive electric rates in Southeastern Wisconsin. Initiative for Competitive Energy, Inc. (ICE) will seek to intervene in future cases before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) and will foster policy decisions that encourage economic growth through lower electric prices.

“The future economic health and vitality of the region is dependent upon low-cost, reliable power,” said John Van Nelson, Engineering Services Manager of MillerCoors. “But with energy costs that are the highest in the Midwest and significantly above the national average, our region is at a competitive disadvantage. ICE has been formed to provide a strong, unified and reasonable voice to the ratemaking process to help achieve lower rates for all electrical power consumers.”

Members of ICE include MillerCoors, Neenah Foundry, Neumann Companies, Westbrook Management and other prominent industrial and commercial businesses in Southeastern Wisconsin.

“ICE has been formed to address the electric power cost problem in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Daniel J. Eastman, ICE Executive Director. “Rates are set for our regulated utility by the PSCW in Madison and our mission of lowering rates for all electric power consumers will be achieved by bringing technical competence and a strong, unified and reasonable voice to the ratemaking process.”

ICE staff includes Dan Eastman, Executive Director and Steve Vock, Technical Director. Eastman is a former Wisconsin Public Service Commissioner and Vock has over twenty years’ experience in lifecycle cost analysis, utility rate and energy use analysis, and renewable technologies. They have substantive experience in lowering electric rates through intervention in prior rate cases before the PSCW.

“Wisconsin has seen a significant increase in electric utility rates in the last 15 years, which is hampering economic growth,” said Vock. “Numerous studies have demonstrated that high electric prices produce lower or negative economic growth in states. Particularly vulnerable are manufacturers – the heart of Southeastern Wisconsin’s economic base.”

Vock cited “High Electric Prices Hurt Economic Growth” by Omar J. Borla, Director of the Center for Economic Policy and Analysis at the Caesar Rodney Institute and “The Vulnerability of the United States Economy to Electricity Price Increases” prepared by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

About Initiative for Competitive Energy, Inc.
Initiative for Competitive Energy (ICE) is an education and advocacy organization with a mission of fostering energy policy decisions that will encourage economic growth and vitality for Wisconsin. Led by some of Southeastern Wisconsin’s most recognized companies, ICE advocates for competitive electric rates for ratepayers through public awareness and education, as well as intervention in rate cases before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). More information is available at