Residential customers of the Pardeeville Municipal Electric Utility – which serves a village population of 2,000 in Columbia County, Wisconsin – will be paying $5.16 more per month when rates authorized by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin (Docket 4530-ER-104) on January 28 go into effect.
What that means is that homeowners who currently are paying $68.90 per month for 680 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will pay $74.06 under the new rate structure. The higher bottom lines will appear on bills mailed in March.
The utility applied to the PSC last July 31 for authority to increase electric rates by $146,217, or 7.22 percent, in order to “to generate a 5.30 percent return on average net investment rate base and to cover the applicant’s total cost of service.”
Pardeeville Municipal said that it had suffered a $105,812 revenue deficit during test year 2015, due to wholesale price fluctuations experienced by its supplier, Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WP&L ).
The PSC approved a 6.99 percent overall rate increase, which includes a $4 increase in the monthly meter charge for residential customers. The meter charge for commercial customers and other larger power users also has been increased.
But larger customers also may get a break: The utility has been mandated by the PSC to implement a time-of-day (TOD) rate structure for large power customers with loads of 200 kW or more of billed demand for three of the preceding 12 months.
What’s more, even with the increase Pardeeville electric bills will remain below the state average, according to WiscNews.com – and less than their counterparts in much of Columbia County, which is largely served by investor-owned Alliant Energy (of which Wisconsin Power & Light is a subsidiary). As of February 2015, Alliant residential customers using 680 kWh of power pay $81.45.
The last time that Pardeeville Municipal asked for a rate hike was 2007.