Rate increase proposal to be discussed

Meeting tonight in Marshalltown

Alliant Energy representatives will explain why they want to raise rates while answering questions the public may have at a meeting scheduled for tonight in Marshalltown.

Alliant executives and other members will publicly share their rate increase proposal they are submitting to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Marshalltown. This is part of an ongoing series of public hearings the IUB is holding throughout the state.

Alliant officials say the increase is necessary in light of two major investments the company has made: One being the new power plant in Marshalltown which has already generated electricity for two months. The second project, more large scale, was updating the state of Iowa’s power grid.

In total over the last six years, more than $2.5 billion has been expended.

“We’ve made the grid cleaner, more reliable and stronger,” said Alliant Energy Spokesman Justin Foss. “We want to be able to continue making these investments and provide our customers with power they need.”

Some of the IUB members will be present. The board has until Feb. 3, 2018 to decide whether or not the rate increase receives approval.

Until that decision is made, an interim rate has been implemented. That rate increase went into effect April 13.

“People are currently paying for projects we’ve worked on the last several decades,” Foss said. “This increase is mainly due to our incurring costs of our two recent projects.”

The IUB could come to a decision to accept a rate lower than the proposed one by Alliant. The proposal is asking for a $176 million increase, currently the interim rates sit around $100 million. However, if the IUB accepts an increase less than the interim, Alliant has to refund the excess.

“This process is transparent and allows the community to be part of the process,” Foss said. “We’re trying to be as cost-effective for them and help them understand what’s going on and how we’ve improved their available energy.”

Information detailing the proposal can be found at https://iub.iowa.gov/ipl-electric-rate-increase-request and a handout will be given to those that attend the open meeting.

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Contact Mike Burvee at (641) 753-6611 or mburvee@timesrepublican.com