MADISON– WEC Energy Group is proposing to charge customers $370 million plus interest, totaling more than $460 million, to build storage tanks to store extra fossil gas, in case they need it on cold days in the winter. WEC’s proposal assumes increasing use of fossil gas, year over year, infinitely.
Sierra Club submitted expert analysis showing that WEC’s assumptions contradict what science tells us is needed to avoid the worst climate disasters and what Governor Evers and President Biden have committed us to. Sierra Club’s analysis shows that annual reductions are needed to meet those commitments, which will eliminate the need for WEC’s expensive LNG proposal. Sierra Club’s analysis also showed that a combination of energy efficiency (making homes more efficient and less costly to heat) and demand response (rates that reward large customers for reducing usage during cold days) would avoid the need for the storage facility and lower cost to ratepayers. Not only is this more cost-effective than more fossil fuel infrastructure, but it also is better for the climate and for people. If targeted appropriately, this could also help reduce the high energy some are experiencing.
In response, Wisconsin Sierra Club Chapter Director Elizabeth Ward issued the following statement:
“WEC’s proposal is expensive, irresponsible, inequitable, and bad for the climate. Our testimony today proves this. For less money we can make peoples’ homes warmer and cheaper to keep warm, saving customers money while reducing carbon pollution and lowering the energy burden in Milwaukee, Racine, and Southeast Wisconsin.
“Avoiding new fossil fuel infrastructure’ is one of the solutions that the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change has proposed. The Evers and Biden Administrations have stated goals to reduce carbon pollution from the electricity sector. We Energies’ proposal to increase our bills to undermine those goals is the wrong direction. We can not allow WEC to lock us into a future of higher rates and more fossil gas.”