CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (PRNewswire-FirstCall) Alliant Energy-Interstate Power & Light today filed its first base rate case in seven years with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). The company is requesting to increase electric revenues by $88.2 million to ensure reliability of supply and delivery, excellent customer service and continued financial viability.
“In our discussions with customers, elected officials and regulators, the need for continued electric reliability and excellent customer service is the theme that comes through loud and clear,” says Eliot Protsch, president Alliant Energy – Interstate Power and Light (IP&L). “With 65 percent of the increased revenues directed toward reliability, security, safety, environmental protection and improved technology, we are responding directly to our customers’ needs.”
As previously announced, the company was able to limit its overall increase to 9.6%, significantly below some earlier estimates. Protsch stresses that increases in the typical residential customers’ electric bill from IP&L over the past 21 years is significantly below the general rate of inflation and the average for residential electric bills across the country.
While the request will average 9.6%, the impact on customer’s bills will vary depending on customer classes. The average residential customer could expect to see less than an $8 increase on their monthly bill.
“We understand that no consumer wants to pay any more for any service than they have to,” says Protsch. “But the devastating economic development impact of unreliable electric service makes it clear that the cost of not investing in the energy infrastructure is far greater.”
IP&L has invested nearly $825 million since 1997 to enhance the poles, pipes, wires, power plants, and operations that serve its Iowa customers. Protsch says that without increased revenue, it cannot make the necessary future investments required to provide customers with the service and reliability they demand and deserve.
“We also need to provide a fair return to investors if we expect to attract the massive amounts of capital required to meet our obligation to serve our customers,” says Protsch. “IP&L has demonstrated that, over the long-run, the utilities that are financially strong are also the ones that provide their customers with the lowest rates and the best service. This is a linkage we simply must continue.”
The company will request that a portion of its revenue request be granted in an interim rate increase this summer and that interim rate remain in effect until the case is completed. If final rates are set lower than interim rates, the company will refund the difference to customers with interest. Any rate changes must be approved by the IUB.
“Our employees have worked hard to hold the line on base rate increases for our Iowa customers. None of our customers have had a base rate increase in seven years, and some have not experienced a base rate increase in fifteen years,” added Protsch.