Vol. 20   No. 1
Winter 2015
  • MGE Talks Business
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New 2015 gas and electric rates take effect

New 2015 gas and electric rates take effect

Construction of emission-reduction equipment at the Columbia Energy Center accounts for a portion of our electric rate increase.

MGE's new gas and electric rates went into effect on Jan. 1. The rate changes include an electric rate increase, a natural gas rate decrease and rate restructuring. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) issued the final order setting MGE rates in December.

Electric rates

The primary reasons for the electric rate increase are construction of emission-reduction equipment at the Columbia Energy Center and improvements to the state's electric transmission system.

As part of rate restructuring, the PSCW also approved an increase in the fixed customer charges. The newly named Grid Connection and Customer Service Charge reflects many of the costs of providing access and basic service to customers who are connected to the electric grid. This increase has been offset in part by a reduction in the per kilowatt-hour energy use charge.

The objectives of electric rate restructuring are to:

  • Maintain electric system reliability and provide equitable, universal access.
  • Continue to encourage local renewable energy sources.
  • Continue to develop a strong electric grid, which has an even more important role as energy flows not just from central power plants but back-and-forth from local, distributed resources such as solar.

Gas rates

The PSCW also approved a higher fixed charge for gas service. The newly named System Connection and Customer Service Charge covers the costs to provide access to basic service, maintain the gas system and deliver natural gas.

This increase has been offset in part by a reduction in the distribution service charge, which is charged according to how much gas a customer uses.