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Smaller rate increase for Interstate Power and Light

January 26, 2011

Smaller rate increase for Interstate Power and Light

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 26

Minnesota Department of Commerce Recommends Smaller Rate Increase for Interstate Power and Light

(ST. PAUL, MN) The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES) has recommended that Interstate Power and Light Co.'s (IPL) proposed rate increase be cut in half. IPL, which provides retail electric service to about 40,000 retail customers in Minnesota in and near Albert Lea, originally requested that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approve an annual increase of $15.1 million. OES is recommending to the PUC that $7.17 million per year, or nearly half of IPL's request, be rejected. 

OES's recommendation takes into consideration a number of factors, including:

  • Development costs for a coal plant in Iowa that was never built

  • Costs of generation facilities that no longer operate

  • Over-charges for transmission costs

  • Excessive costs for IPL's own wind facility

  • Employee expenses that IPL did not justify

  • Reductions in IPL's workforce

  • Sales that are higher than IPL forecasted

The PUC's final decision on IPL's proposal is due in July, 2011.

OES, headed by Commissioner Mike Rothman, represents the overall public interest of all ratepayers in utility proceedings before the PUC. OES investigates proposals by utilities to increase their rates and makes recommendations to an Administrative Law Judge and the PUC for consideration.

OES strives to ensure that customers pay only reasonable costs of utility service, while balancing companies' ability to provide safe and reliable electric service to customers.

For more specific information about this proceeding, go to http://www.puc.state.mn.us/PUC/Index.html ,  Under "Basic Search," select 10 for the year and type 276 for the number.