K-12 tax & spending climate: “We remain concerned that our electricity rates are higher than nearly all other Midwest states and that our utilities are earning profits well above what they need.”

Chris Rickert:

In the Madison area, MGE is proposing to increase electricity rates by 3.75% and gas rates by 2.56% in 2024. MGE spokesperson Dana Brueck said increased electricity revenues would go toward solar and grid-modernization projects, while increased gas revenues would go toward modernizing the distribution system and covering the cost of uncollected bills, such as those seen during the pandemic.

“We are sensitive to any rate impacts on customers,” Brueck said in a statement, “which is why we continue to work hard to contain costs throughout the organization while advancing cleaner energy for the benefit of all customers.”

Under the utility’s plan, the monthly electric bill for the typical user would rise from $98 this year to $103 in 2024. From 2016 through 2025, the typical customer would see an average 1.5% increase in their gas bills, she said.

Alliant Energy subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light — which provides service to much of the area outside of Madison, stretching from Plainville south to Monroe — is asking for a 14.25% increase in electric rates, but a requested surcharge related to higher-than-anticipated fuel costs would bump that up to 18.4%, CUB said.

It’s also seeking a 6.3% increase in its natural gas rates, CUB said.