Protecting the bottom line with rate case interventions
Wisconsin’s utilities have recently filed for over a half billion dollars in higher electric rates, fuel surcharges and natural gas rates for 2024 and 2025. WIEG has intervened in all the pending rate cases and fuel cases at the Public Service Commission. Contact WIEG today to be part of our growing coalition and protect your company from the pending rate hikes.
WIEG’s efforts on behalf of large energy users has led to significant results. In the last twelve years, investor-owned utility rate hike requests have been reduced by roughly 60% and over $1 billion. In addition, WIEG has successfully advocated for new market-based industrial tariffs. In just a few years, these efforts have resulted in savings of more than $120 million versus standard industrial tariffs without shifting costs to any of the utility’s other customer groups.
WPL 2024-2025 base rate case (6680-UR-124)
WPL filed a base rate case application for an electric increase of $111 million (an overall rate increase of 8.4%) and natural gas increase of $17 million (an overall rate increase of 6.3%) in 2024. WPL’s filing also requested approval to implement an additional electric increase of $71 million (an overall rate increase of 5.4%) in 2025. If you include WPL’s 2022 fuel under-collection surcharges (proposed $0.004875/kWh) plus the base rate increases, then the overall electric rate impact for an industrial customer would be around 18% over two years. The key drivers for the filing include revenue requirement impacts of increasing electric and gas rate base, including solar generation and battery storage. WPL also requested continued recovery of and a return on the remaining net book value of $480 million for Edgewater Unit 5, which is currently expected to be retired by June 1, 2025.
NSPW 2024 base rate case (4220-UR-126)
NSPW filed a base rate case seeking an electric increase of $40 million (an overall rate increase of 4.8%) and a natural gas increase of $9 million (an overall rate increase of 5.3%) for 2024. Xcel Energy has an integrated system and 16% of their Upper Midwest costs flow proportionately to Wisconsin customers through the Interchange Agreement. Upper Midwest capital expenditures in wind farms, other generation, transmission, and distribution system upgrades, along with advanced metering infrastructure are increasing the revenue requirement.
MGE 2024-2025 base rate case (3270-UR-125)
MGE filed a base rate application for an $18 million electric increase (an overall rate increase of 3.75%) in 2024 and $16.9 million (an overall rate increase of 3.41%) in 2025. MGE is also seeking a $6 million (an overall rate increase of 2.56%) increase in natural gas rates in 2024 and $4 million (an overall rate increase of 1.66%). The increased costs are largely due to capital expenditures associated with purchasing a portion of West Riverside Energy Center, solar projects (Paris, Darien, Koshkonong, Badger Hollow II) and grid modernization projects.
WEPCO 2024 limited rate case reopener (05-UR-110)
WEPCO filed a 2024 limited rate case reopener application for an $86 million electric increase (an overall rate increase of 2.5%). WEGO requested a $23.9 million natural gas increase (an overall natural gas rate increase of 4.5%). Wisconsin Gas requested a $22.2 million increase (an overall natural gas rate increase of 2.9%). WEPCO’s limited reopener is related to recovering new capital investments that will achieve commercial operation in 2023 and 2024, as well as to address reduced O&M expenses from future coal plant retirements. The gas utilities are requesting an increase related to their new gas facility in service for a full year and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that will achieve commercial operation during 2024. WEPCO also submitted an analysis of how to address the remaining unrecovered book balance of $657 million for the Oak Creek Power Plant.
WPSC 2024 limited rate case reopener (6990-UR-127)
WPSC filed a 2024 limited rate case reopener application for a net $28 million electric rate decrease (an overall rate decrease of 2%). WPSC’s limited reopener is related to recovering new capital investments that will achieve commercial operation in 2023 and 2024, as well as to address reduced O&M expenses from future coal plant retirements.
Other regulatory initiatives include:
WIEG successfully sought an incremental load Real Time Market Pricing (RTMP) tariff for We Energies’ customers. Following this win, WIEG successfully worked for the adoption of a similar tariff (New Load Market Pricing, or NLMP) for both WPSC and WPL customers.
WIEG also worked with WPSC and WPL to develop nominated load real time tariffs. WIEG negotiated changes to a WPSC tariff that is also called RTMP. Under the revised RTMP tariff, customers pay a $5.50 per MWh adder, but then pay day-ahead market prices.
A similar nominated load real time program was approved for WPL’s largest customers in the summer of 2017. The Day Ahead Market Pricing rider (DAMP) is now in place for qualified customers.
Together, these new tariffs help promote economic growth and development in Wisconsin, without shifting costs to any of the utility’s other customer groups. In just a few years, these efforts have resulted in savings of more than $120 million versus standard industrial tariffs.
Recent legislative initiatives include:
Coalition efforts to block passage of monopoly construction legislation
WIEG helped build a coalition to defeat this anti-competition, anti-consumer legislation in the 2021-2022 session. Although the bills failed to advance out of committee, we need to keep this coalition together as utilities are expected to reintroduce the bill in 2023. Please contact us to find out how you can be part of the growing coalition.
Industrial RRCs & waste heat recovery/waste heat to power
Industrial customers can create and keep renewable resource credits (RRCs) in Wisconsin, including from waste heat recovery projects. WIEG was instrumental in passing two new laws to help keep energy-intensive operations competitive in Wisconsin (2013 Act 300 and 2017 Act 53). Applications are now available on the PSC’s website.