Monday, May 21, 2012

WE Energies Utility Base Rates Frozen For 2012, But Increases Expected In the Next Two Years

WE Energies confirms that their utility base rate will be frozen for 2012 reflecting to 2010 levels.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 21, 2012

Milwaukee - On Sunday, a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editor by Rick White, Vice President of Corporate Communications from WE Engergies in Milwaukee confirmed, that WE Energies base rates have been frozen at 2010 levels and for the rest of 2012. Freezing the utility rates was specifically done "to help customers during the still fragile economic below 4% annually," White wrote.
By 2013 and 2014, customers are expected to see an increase of 3.6% each year averaging a $4 increase on their montly bill raising over $199 million (2013, $99M and 2014, $100M). The electricity rate increase was filed with the Public Service Commission (PSC) on March 2012. WE Energies requested a decrease for natural gas services by $17.1M or 2.5% effective January 2013. But, it did not request an adjustment of natural gas services for 2014, according to PSC.
White says, the projected increase in the next two years, which was filed with state regulators is contributed to "previously approved projects to strengthen reliability, meet evolving environment standards and comply with the state's renewable energy mandate. Also in our rate plan for 2013 is a recommendation to lower rates for natural gas customers."
Keeping the cost down for the rest of the year will help people having difficulty paying the utility bills. But, WE Energies executives are making millions in salaries, plus bonuses per year. The current We Energies CEO Gale Kappa earned about $11,346,447 in salary per year, including a salary raise increase of $1.03 million in 2011 compared to $10,315,819 in 2010.
Other executives also received considerable salary increases as well. In 2011, WE Energies reported earnings of $526.2M. It provides utility services to more than 1.1M customers and is the largest utility service provider in Wisconsin.

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