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Environmental advocates challenge PSC approval MGE rates, WEC storage | Science & Environment

Environmental advocates challenge PSC approval MGE rates, WEC storage | Science & Environment

It claims that the commission expanded the range of fixed charges by issuing a series of ad-hoc orders between 2012 & 2014, rather than following the prescribed rulemaking process.

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The harm is not theoretical, according to the groups. High fixed costs create a greater burden for customers who use less energy, customers who are disproportionately poorer, non-white, or older customers who already face economic and social inequalities.

The complaint states that the commission’s decision to impose a high fixed charge and lower consumption-based rates on customers reduces their ability to control their bills, lowers incentive to conserve and efficiency, lowers incentives for self-generating solar energy with rooftop panels, and imposes higher relative charges for customers who use less.

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A spokesperson for the PSC stated that the agency does not comment upon pending litigation.

MGE was ordered by the commission to provide an analysis of how it allocates basic costs to customers. This could lead in future reductions. But the Sierra Club believes that customers will continue paying higher rates over the next two years.

MGE fixed electricity charges will now be in line with those of other large for-profit utilities in the state, but still higher than the $13 average national average, according an analysis of OpenEIs utility rates database.

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