Alliant Energy customers in Clinton have a chance to weigh in on the utility’s possible 8 percent rate hike at a public meeting Thursday evening.
At 5:30 p.m., the Iowa Utilities Board will host a public meeting at the Clinton Community College Technology Center, 1951 Manufacturing Drive. The board has scheduled a half-dozen public meetings across the state, beginning in Clinton, before it considers approving Alliant’s rate increase.
Alliant Energy, or Interstate Power and Light Company in Iowa, has requested an increase in natural gas distribution rates and service charges. An average residential customer with a monthly gas bill of $52 would see an increase to $60 a month, according to spokesman Justin Foss.
With the proposed increase, Foss argued typical residential customer bills would still be cheaper than six years ago, as the cost of natural gas has dropped and energy efficiency programs have reduced usage since 2012. He said the rate hike is mostly geared at funding new investment, such as gas line improvements and infrastructure recently constructed in Clinton.
“Our customers expect safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service,” Vice President of Iowa Operations Terry Kouba said in a news release. “To deliver on that expectation, we maintain more than 5,000 miles of natural gas pipeline. We’re replacing older materials and enabling more efficient safety inspections. In addition, by investing in a safe and reliable system, we are helping drive economic development across Iowa.”
The company hopes to bring in an additional $19.8 million in annual revenue. Rate hikes would take place in two phases, according to the news release.
Around $11.3 million in interim costs were implemented Monday, raising the average Iowa customer’s rates by around $3 a month. The remaining increase of $8.5 million would begin if final rates are approved.
“If the final rates the board decides on are less than the interim rates, Alliant would refund that amount to customers,” Iowa Utilities Board Spokesman Don Tormey said.
After the public comment period, Foss said Alliant will have a formal hearing with the Iowa Utilities Board in the fall, with a decision on the final rates expected in around 10 months.
Clinton customers may also participate in Thursday’s public meeting via an online webinar.