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We Energies asks PSC to approve rate hikes over next two years

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's largest electric utility asked the state Friday for approval to raise its rates by 1.8 percent next year, and one percent in 2016.  

In an unusual move, We Energies negotiated an agreement with three consumer groups on the bulk of the increase, before it went to the Public Service Commission. Those groups can still challenge proposed customer charges to make up for the cost of the fuel the utility burns in its power plants.  

We Energies wants to increase its revenues by $52 million next year, and another $20 million in 2016.  

The Citizens Utility Board said the utility first wanted to raise rates by 4.7 percent on about $41 million of those revenues -- and they bargained it down to 1.4.  

The utility board, the Wisconsin Paper Council, and the state's Industrial Energy Group took part in the negotiations. We Energies' spokesman Brian Manthey said the agreements on key issues before the rate request was filed was an "unusual and positive development."  

We Energies is based in Milwaukee and provides electric service in much of the eastern half of Wisconsin.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)