MG&E Should Retract Rate Increase and Misleading Statements
CONTACT: Matt Kozlowski, Co-Chair
(715) 571-1577 – Admin@ProDane.org
For Immediate Release:
Today, October 9, 2014, the Public Service Commission will host a public hearing on Madison Gas & Electric’s proposed rate increases. Progressive Dane is calling on MG&E to withdraw its rate increase proposal and to retract the misleading information in its letter to ratepayers last week.
“The rate case proposal is an affront to the values of this community, where people invest in conservation and prioritize equity,” said Progressive Dane Co-Chair Matt Kozlowski. “Rather than working with the community to come up with a rate structure that would encourage clean energy investment and reward conservation practices, MG&E has decided to reward big energy consumers at the expense of those taking responsible steps to reduce their energy impact.”
MG&E’s proposal has been widely criticized by Repower Madison and other community groups for punishing conservation and providing a “volume discount” for larger users, while hurting renters and lower-income residents. People who consume less energy will be subsidizing the consumption of people who use more.
Late last week, many area households received a letter from MG&E claiming that a “typical” consumer would experience only an insignificant increase in electricity costs. Progressive Dane Policy Co-Chair Sue Pastor noticed the letter’s claims were unfounded when she compared her household’s energy use to that of MGE’s “typical user”. Pastor said, “There’s a lot more I could be doing to conserve energy, but I am still a long way from ‘typical’ according to MG&E. With 1600 square feet and appliances that should be updated for energy efficiency, usage in my last two bills averaged 170.5 kilowatt hours – a long way from their typical user with 550. This misrepresentation of ‘typical’ really calls MGE’s integrity into question.”
The number of comments on the Public Service Commission’s website point to just how out of touch MGE’s proposal is with the community it serves. “It is wrong to punish conservation and provide massive savings to big energy consumers at the expense of smaller, more responsible users,” said Pastor. The City of Madison and other municipalities that have filed interventions in the rate case should be closely watching Minneapolis this month, as city government considers an agreement with its local utilities that both reduces greenhouse gases and protects access to power for its most vulnerable consumers.
Progressive Dane stands with the City of Madison in its efforts to exercise strong leadership in assuring democratic access to people’s basic, survival needs and in championing our value of conservation.
Progressive Dane is the Progressive Political Party in Dane County, Wisconsin.
PO Box 1222, Madison, WI 53701
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