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Petition filed to block Alliant’s proposed rate increase

OTTUMWA, Iowa – Thousands of Iowans have signed a petition to block Alliant Energy’s proposed rate increase. |

Last week, the company filed proposals with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), requesting a 24 percent increase to the base rate for electric customers, and a 25 percent increase for gas customers.

Ottumwa Alliant customer Erin Cowles is one of many against this proposal.

“Utilities are already hard on families,” Cowles said in a Facebook post Thursday. “No one can afford this.”

But Alliant spokesman Mike Wagner said it’s important for customers to look at the bigger picture. He tells KTVO a major portion of the rate increase is centered around a $1.8 billion expansion in wind energy. The increased base rate would help the company fund those renewable energy projects. As the base rate increases, Wagner said transmission, fuel, and energy efficiency costs will decrease.

“So those four parts of the (energy) bill, when you add them together, are going to help offset that increase so a customer, a typical residential customer, is really going to see about an $8 a month increase starting in April and then in January, they’re going to see about a $12 a month increase,” Wagner said.

Starting next month, the IUB will host a series of public meetings across the state. Alliant customers in southeast Iowa will have the opportunity to express their concerns 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.