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Overflow crowd attends rate hike meeting in north Iowa  

“Most of this cost increase for our electric customers is coming from the investment in clean, cost-effective wind energy," Alliant’s Justin Foss said. “You know the green energy, at some point they're going to have to realize we can't afford it," Denise Martin countered.

Credit:  ABC 6 News | May 02, 2019 | www.kaaltv.com ~~

It’s a requested increase that would allow a utility company to expand its commitment to renewable energy, but some customers in north Iowa are concerned about paying for it.

“I think this also is going to have a huge impact on the economy,” a woman commented. “The company has been a good neighbor,” another said.

And from a man who explained he’s living on Social Security: “Don’t try to pull the wool over our eyes.”

It’s a proposal Alliant Energy says will make it stronger. On Thursday its customers had a chance to weigh in.

The Iowa Utilities Board was greeted by a standing room only crowd for a public comment meeting on a proposed increase by Alliant Energy.

“I’m concerned about a 25 percent increase in the utility bill” Mason City resident Denise Martin told us.

“In reality the base rate is just part of the bill, so while the base rate is going up other costs are going down,” Alliant’s Justin Foss said.

“And we’re concerned about just residential and the businesses here in town if we want to bring people in we have to have good rates that will encourage people to come and settle here,” State Representative Sharon Steckman of Mason City told the Board.

“In all a residential electric customer with a typical bill of 116 dollars a month in 2018 should see an eight dollar a month increase this year, which is about 7 percent, an additional 12 dollars a month next year in 2020 which is about ten percent,” Interstate Power And Light’s Anne Lenzen told the crowd.

Denise Martin said it’s still too much: “You know you have to start thinking about food, medication, other bills that you have to pay.”

“Most of this cost increase for our electric customers is coming from the investment in clean, cost-effective wind energy,” Alliant’s Justin Foss said.

“You know the green energy, at some point they’re going to have to realize we can’t afford it,” Denise Martin countered.

The Mason City meeting was one of ten planned around the state. It could be a number of months before the utility board makes a decision on the request.

Source:  ABC 6 News | May 02, 2019 | www.kaaltv.com

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