Milwaukee – We Energies filed proposals with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) today for regulatory reviews that will set customer rates for electricity, natural gas and steam for the years 2020 and 2021.
The request comes after a four-year freeze of base rates – a freeze that has resulted in lower customer bills while maintaining world-class reliability and shaping a cleaner energy future.
The monthly electric bill for a typical residential customer has remained relatively flat since 2013, while the combined electric and natural gas bill for a typical residential customer is $10 less per month today than it was in 2008.
The plan We Energies submitted for consideration would increase the typical monthly residential electric bill by approximately 2.9% in 2020 and an additional 2.9% in 2021. Average bills would remain well below the national average.
“We have been recognized as the most reliable utility in the Midwest for eight consecutive years. This rate plan will help us maintain that world-class reliability while continuing to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and clean energy,” said Tom Metcalfe, president – We Energies.
In the rate filing, We Energies points to three cost drivers:
• Higher transmission charges that have been capped at 2010 levels.
• Revenue the PSCW assumed We Energies would receive from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) that was not received.
• Increased costs associated with the purchased power agreement for energy from the Point Beach Nuclear Plant. This agreement was approved by the PSCW in 2007.
“Absent these three drivers, we would have been able to keep costs frozen for our electric customers through 2021,” Metcalfe said. “These drivers account for virtually the entire revenue deficiency we expect to incur to provide electric service to our customers.”
Natural gas and steam
We Energies natural gas customers also would see a small increase in their monthly bills in 2020 as part of the filed plan but no increase in 2021.
We Energies steam customers in downtown Milwaukee also would see an increase in rates in 2020 and no increase in 2021.
We Energies is proposing to the PSCW to use $111 million of savings from federal tax reform to partially offset the revenue request. With the tax law savings applied, the request would raise retail electric revenues by 2.9 percent in 2020 and an additional 2.9 percent in 2021.
On or before May 1, We Energies will update the filing to include more specific information on the rate impact for each customer group. The company also will provide this information to customers through a bill insert and on we-energies.com.
The PSCW will conduct proceedings on the We Energies proposals and is expected to make a final decision later this year. New rates are expected to take effect in January 2020.