Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

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March 12, 2010

Alliant Energy to implement temporary 10 percent rate increase

The temporary rate increase will go into effect March 20.

On Wednesday, March 10 Alliant Energy/Interstate Power and Light filed a petition seeking a permanent annual revenue increase of approximately $163 million, or a 14 percent increase, according to a story posted on the Iowa Utilities Board Web site.

As permitted by Iowa law, Alliant/IPL on March 20 will implement a temporary rate increase of about 10 percent , or $119 million, which does not requiring pre-approval of the Iowa Utilities Board.

If the permanent rates granted are less than the temporary rates, customers will receive a refund plus interest for any over-collection. The impact on customer rates will vary according to customer class and rate zone.

Currently, eight customer comment meetings are scheduled to allow verbal questions and comments to be directed to representatives of the utility, the IUB and the Office of Consumer Advocate, which represents the general interests of customers in IUB proceedings. The closest consumer comment meeting to Appanoose County will be held in Ottumwa on Tuesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Ottumwa High School Auditorium, 501 East Second St.

The IUB is also accepting written comments in this rate case, with the most effective comments being concise and making specific points supporting or objecting to the rate request. They may be provided using an electronic comment form or be mailed to the Iowa Utilities Board, Executive Secretary, Docket No. RPU-2010-0001, 350 Maple St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069.

The IUB’s decision on permanent rates is expected by January 2011.

Just more than two months ago, the Iowa Utilities Board denied Alliant/IPL's proposal to increase annual revenue by approximately $171 million, or a 16.6 percent rate increase. The energy company was permitted by Iowa law to implement a temporary rate increase of about 7 percent, or a $84 million annual revenue increase.

“In this unprecedented time of economic crisis for so many people, this Board worked very hard to reduce cost impacts on ratepayers, balanced with the utility’s need for recovery of necessary expenditures,” said IUB Chair Rob Berntsen in a IUB press release dated Jan. 4.

The IUB issued its full and final written order Jan. 19, which did give Alliant/IPL a 10.5 percent return on equity.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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