Three Wisconsin Utilities Apply for Rate Hikes in 2024, Citing Renewable Energy Construction Costs

Three utilities have submitted proposals to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to increase rates in 2024, and consumer advocates worry about how rate hikes could affect customers.

Those utilities are Alliant Energy, Xcel Energy and Madison Gas and Electric. The Public Service Commission, or PSC, is reviewing their requests for adjusted rates.  The utilities cite the upfront costs of renewable energy projects as one of the factors for the proposed rate increases, which they say could help stem rate increases in the long run.

Of the three to propose rate increases so far, Alliant’s were the steepest. The Madison-based utility, which serves south central and parts of central Wisconsin, applied for electric rate increases of 8.4 percent next year and 5.4 percent in 2025, along with a natural gas increase of 6.3 percent in 2024.

The company is also looking to add a surcharge to customers beginning in October and running through 2025 to recover $122.5 million in lost revenue from higher than expected natural gas costs in 2022. That surcharge would equate to a roughly 4.1 percent rate increase for customers.

Xcel Energy’s proposed rate increase for 2024 came in between those proposed by Alliant and Madison Gas and Electric. Xcel Energy serves parts of western and northwest Wisconsin.

For 2024, the utility requested a 4.8 percent increase in its electric rates and a 5.3 percent increase in its gas rates for the year. Xcel did not propose additional increases for 2025.

In a press release, Xcel said its proposal equates to an estimated increase for residential electric customers of $9.54 per month, and $4.54 for natural gas customers.

Madison Gas and Electric, or MGE, proposed the smallest rate increases of the three utilities with a 3.75 percent electric increase next year and a 3.41 percent increase in 2025. It also asked for gas increases of 2.56 percent in 2024 and 1.66 percent in 2025. The utility serves the Madison area, as well as parts of southwest and central Wisconsin.