Wisconsin Public Service requests increased rates for 2015

Special to The Freeman

April 1, 2014

GREEN BAY – Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc., filed a request with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on Tuesday requesting the ability to increase electricity rates next year.

The proposal calls for an 8 percent increase in electric rates and a decrease of 0.5 percent in natural gas rates, according to the announcement.

“The company's electric rates have remained relatively unchanged since 2008 and gas distribution rates have decreased over the same period,” according to WPS. “In recent years, WPS has been able to delay anticipated increases due to lower fuel costs.”

If approved, and applied equally to all customer classes, the new rates will result in an increase of about $6 monthly for a typical residential electric customer using 600 kilowatt-hours per month. A natural gas customer using 800 therms annually would see a $0.34 monthly decrease.

“While prices did increase due to the colder-than-normal winter this year, the 12-month rolling average total cost of distribution and gas prices are about 23 percent lower than in 2008,” according to WPS.

In its request to increase electric rates, the company cited a number of factors, including: completion of a one-time fuel refund to customers which had the effect of keeping rates flat in 2014; increased fuel costs for power plants; increased transmission costs; improved electric reliability by converting company distribution lines with lower performance history from overhead to underground; and general inflation.

Wisconsin Public Service Corporation is an investor-owned electric and natural gas utility headquartered in Green Bay. It serves approximately 441,000 electric customers and 319,000 natural gas customers in residential, agricultural, industrial, and commercial markets.