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Wisconsin Public Service wants to increase rates

Wisconsin Public Service

SHEBOYGAN — Wisconsin Public Service is seeking to increase rates starting in 2023.

Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) filed proposals with the state’s Public Service Commission on Thursday for regulatory reviews that will set customer rates for natural gas and electricity for next year.

The filing comes as WPS is in the midst of the largest clean energy transition in company history.

“We have set some of the most aggressive goals in our industry for reducing carbon and methane emissions,” said Scott Lauber, President of WPS. This rate plan will help us reach those goals and provide customers with the affordable, reliable and clean energy they depend on.”

WEC Energy Group owns Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies.

The proposal includes critical investments in storm hardening and grid resiliency.

The request — which includes millions of dollars of savings from the closure of older, less-efficient fossil fuel plants — marks only the third time in eight years the company has asked for an increase in base rates.

The plan submitted for consideration would increase the typical electric bill for residential customers by approximately $5 to $6 a month in 2023, or roughly 5 to 6%. It should be noted that Alliant Energy provides electricity in the City of Sheboygan and parts of Sheboygan County while Wisconsin Public Service provides electricity service in Manitowoc and Calumet counties. We Energies services areas in southern and eastern Sheboygan County.

Average bills would remain below the Midwest and national average.

Natural gas

WPS natural gas customers would see a small increase in their monthly bills in 2023 as part of the filed plan. The company is the natural gas provider in the City of Sheboygan and much of Sheboygan County.

Electricity

In the rate filing, WPS points to three cost drivers:

  • Capital investments in new solar, wind and battery storage — many of which have already been approved by the PSCW.
  • Reliability investments, including grid hardening projects to bury power lines and strengthen the delivery network against severe weather.
  • Changes in wholesale business with other utilities.

Next steps

In late-May, WPS will update the filing to include more specific information on the impact for each customer group. The company also will provide this information to customers through a bill insert and on wisconsinpublicservice.com.

The state’s Public Service Commission will conduct hearings on the WPS proposals and is expected to make a final decision later this year. New rates are expected to take effect in January 2023.