Alliant Energy must refund customers after rate increase slashed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alliant Energy must refund customers after rate increase slashed

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Governor Chet Culver's office is applauding the decision by the Iowa Utility Board to not award the full rate increase requested by Alliant Energy.

In March, Alliant Energy requested a 14 percent rate increase for its customers.  Governor Culver asked Alliant to hold off until the matter could be heard by the Iowa Utilities Board.  Instead, Alliant implemented a 10 percent rate increase, the highest allowed by law without IUB approval.

On Wednesday, the IUB ruled that Alliant could only increase rates by nine percent, meaning Alliant Energy must refund its customers the one percent they have been overcharged, which equals $4.5 million plus interest.

Governor Culver voiced support for the IUB's decision, but says that Alliant's customers are still required to pay more than customers served by other utility companies in the state.

"I am obviously disappointed that Iowa ratepayers are being required to pay higher electric rates than consumers served by other Iowa utility companies – particularly at a time when our economy is emerging from a recession that has stretched families, businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental jurisdictions very thin," Governor Culver said in a written statement.

Governor Culver went on to say that he is, however, pleased that the IUB has imposed a three-year freeze on electric rates charged by Alliant. 

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