MADISON, Wis., April 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wisconsin Power and Light (WP&L) today received the final order from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSCW) in its 2003 rate case. After adjusting for increased fuel costs based on current market conditions, the final order granted WP&L an overall increase of $81.1 million (9.78 percent) comprised of $77.1 million (11.78 percent) in retail electric revenues, $3.6 million (4.71 percent) in retail natural gas revenues, $269,000 (6.17 percent) in retail water revenues in Beloit and $100,000 (9.73 percent) in retail water revenues in Ripon. New rates will become effective on April 5. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020405/LNTLOGO ) The PSCW followed its standard practice of updating fuel costs to reflect current market conditions before making its final decision. Based on updated fuel costs, the estimated rate increase discussed at the Commission's open meeting on March 13 was adjusted upward, but should not have an earnings impact on WP&L. Including these adjustments, the PSCW granted approximately 66 percent of WP&L's revenue request and authorized a return on equity of 12.0 percent. "While the adjustment due to the dramatic increase in fuel prices on the wholesale market should not change the earnings impact of this rate decision for WP&L, we know it does have a dramatic impact on our customers," says Bill Harvey, president of WP&L. "We will continue in our efforts to help our customers use energy wisely and, like them, would welcome a decrease in fuel prices over the coming months." The State of Wisconsin has in place a regulatory procedure that allows utilities to request a change in rates for both increases and decreases in variable fuel and purchased power costs within specific limits. Under this process, WP&L would file for a change in rates related to fuel costs if fuel costs should increase or decrease in the near future. "Across the country, the cost to provide safe, reliable and environmentally sound utility service to customers has increased," says Harvey. "WP&L continues to offer its customers an excellent energy value when compared both within the state and across the nation. Nonetheless, we understand that any rate increase has an impact on our customers, and we will continue to do all that we can to operate efficiently and minimize increases while still maintaining service reliability." Based on today's order, typical WP&L residential customers using 600 kWh of electricity per month will see their average monthly bill increase by $6.32 to $58.36. The monthly bill of typical residential natural gas customers using 820 therms annually will increase by $1.57 to $57.30. Residential water customers in Beloit will see their average monthly bill increase to $15.64, a 60-cent increase. In Ripon, residential customers will see their average monthly water bill increase by $1.42 to $17.80. WP&L will implement seasonal electric rates as part of this rate change. Seasonal rates result in higher per kilowatt-hour rates in the summer, when the costs to meet electrical demand are generally higher, and lower per kilowatt rates the rest of the year when costs are generally lower. From June 1 through September 30, the price per kilowatt-hour for a residential customer will be 9.160 cents. The price per kilowatt-hour for residential customers will drop approximately ten percent the rest of the year to 8.259 cents. Seasonal rates will result in higher annual bills for customers with high summer usage and lower annual bills for customers with low summer usage compared to what they would have experienced without seasonal rates. "Seasonal rates more accurately reflect the actual costs of providing service to our customers," says Harvey. "With seasonal rates, customers who conserve in the higher-demand summer months are rewarded for using energy wisely." Alliant Energy Corporation is an energy holding company based in Madison, Wis. Alliant Energy's utility subsidiaries provide electric, natural gas and water services to 1.3 million customers throughout the Midwest. Wisconsin Power and Light serves approximately 430,000 retail electric customers and 170,000 retail natural gas customers. On the non-regulated side of the business, Alliant Energy has subsidiaries that operate utilities in targeted international markets and another that is working to increase generation capacity in select regions of the United States. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.alliantenergy.com.
SOURCE Wisconsin Power and Light Company