City to Intervene in MG&E Rate Case

Posted June 17th, 2014 @ 8:33 AM by

Well, request to . . . minimum $10 payment now, could be $49 in the future.

From: May, Michael
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:32 AM
To: All Alders; Soglin, Paul
Cc: Iheukumere, Astra; Hoffman, Jeanne; Phillips, Rob; Schmiedicke, David; Viste, Doran
Subject: MGE Rate Case

You may have read about Madison Gas & Electric’s recent rate case filed with the Public Service Commission. Mayor Soglin authorized our office to file an intervention in the case; a copy of our filing is attached.

We consider the initial intervention as a placeholder to be certain the City will be at the table as the case proceeds; we have not taken a position on any matter at this time. The City will have to do additional research and analysis to determine all of the impacts of the proposed rates on the City and City policies and programs. Once we have some further analysis, we intend to have a resolution brought before the Common Council to ratify the intervention and formally state the City’s position.

Please contact me or ACA Doran Viste with any questions.

Michael P. May
City Attorney

In the Request to Intervene and Notice of Appearance by City of Madison, they say:

The City is a Wisconsin municipality. It is approximately 77.87 square miles and home to an estimated 240,000 persons. The City, through its departments and public utilities, is responsible for providing numerous services to its citizens and visitors, most of which require, in some capacity, the use of electricity and natural gas. Due to the City’s sheer size and the significant power needs of its numerous departments and utilities, it is one of the largest single customers of Applicant, Madison Gas and Electricity (MGE). Indeed, in 2013 the City paid $6,175,573.21 for electrical costs (47,244,935 kWh), and $696,706.81 (1,097,702 therms) for natural gas costs. Given the City’s annual energy needs, MGE’s request to increase rates, if granted, will affect the City’s substantial interests.
For these reasons, the City requests to intervene in the above-captioned matter pursuant to Wis. Stat. Sec. 227.44(2m) and Wis. Admin Code PSC 2.21.

In the past the CUB site reports:

Madison Gas & Electric
Rates for 2014
Docket 3270-UR-119

On April 15, 2013, Madison Gas & Electric applied with the Public Service Commission to freeze 2014 electric and natural gas rates at 2013 levels.

This is the first time in fifteen years that MGE has not requested a rate increase. MGE’s electric rates have more than doubled since 1996, rising on average 6 percent per year, much faster than the rate of inflation.

CUB, the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, and Airgas Merchant Gases submitted a joint brief in this case, offering qualified support for MGE’s plan to freeze rates, provided that MGE pay down old expenses with any money it may over-collect from customers in 2013 and 2014 above and beyond the cost of fuel for making electricity.

The PSC decided the case on July 11, 2013, freezing MGE’s electric and gas rates for 2014.

They actually say they are doing this so the can charge big customers (businesses) less, and small customers (regular people) up to $69 a month more. People are currently charged $10 per month minimum, this is would be a base line increase of at least $39 per month for just electricity. But hey, they give to the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund (to help those who can’t afford heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer), so they’re good guys, right? They better quadruple their donations.

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