No good deed goes unpunished.
Apparently, that’s the mantra of at least one of Wisconsin’s largest utilities, We Energies. The proposed changes that the utility is asking for would allow it to penalize its customers who produce their own power and/or reducing their load through energy efficiency projects.
We Energies’ proposed a 75% increase in the fixed charges on residential electricity customers’ bills. These changes would allow them to charge higher monthly fees to customers that generate their own clean solar power and pay those customers less for excess power that’s sold back to the utility. The proposed changes would also make energy efficiency less appealing.
An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed at least one disturbing reaction from Economist Charles Cicchetti, former chairman of the state Public Service Commission. Cicchetti took a look at We Energies’ plan. He described the plan as an “abuse of market power,” designed to reduce risk for the utility’s shareholders at a time when We Energies and other utilities are seeing tepid or no growth in electricity sales. He also stated that We Energies is hoping “to convince the Commission to let it use its utility monopoly and mostly very limited customer choice to force customers to absorb risks in an unjust and unreasonable manner.”
Fortunately, customers can make their voices heard at Zeidler Park in Milwaukee.
Where: Zeidler Park, 301 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When: September 15th, 4:00pm
Customers who are unable to attend the event can also make their voices heard by submitting a public comment which will be relayed to the Public Service Commission.
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