While the Iowa Utilities Board has until January 2020 to reach a decision on Alliant Energy's proposed electric rate increase for customers, a partial settlement that's been raised would deviate from what the holding company has pushed for.
According to the Iowa Environment Council (IEC), "Alliant was seeking to increase electric rates to cover a request of $203.6 million per year. As part of the proposed settlement, Alliant agreed to a reduced request of $127 million."
The IEC, as well as the Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Sierra Club agreed to the proposed partial settlement in the Alliant case, along with the Consumer Advocate and large energy consumers.
With that proposal, Alliant would refund about $7.5 million in interim rate increases through 2020. Again, customers would still see an overall increase, but not as much as initially pitched and with money coming back, which is standard practice when a final rate decision by the utilities board is lower than the temporary rate that's been established with the utilities company.
One other piece of the settlement that Alliant would agree to would have them analyze their coal plant outputs and how those stack up to production from more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
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"We are confident that this analysis will be the first step in moving Alliant away from dirty, expensive coal plants," Sierra Club representative Elizabeth Katt Reinders said.
During the process, Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy company, said in a statement that the settlements would help in both the short term with consumers and in the longer run.
"Our company continually looks for ways to better serve our customers, and we are excited about the new options we've proposed to advance renewable energy and drive economic development."
Since 2003, Alliant Energy, doing business as Interstate Power and Light Company, has ratcheted up its proposed rate increases. IPL has had at least five distinct requests for a permanent increase that have gone before the IUB since the 2003 increase and all of them have been for 5% or more.
Rate increases are typically done after the energy company has made investments in new technologies and developments.
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