“Punishing residential consumers for saving energy makes no sense.”
Madison – Today State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) slammed efforts by Wisconsin’s public utilities to penalize residential consumers who work to lower their energy costs.
“Wisconsin’s public utilities are seeking to dramatically shift a greater portion of a residential customer's monthly bill to a “fixed charge” rather than a charge that fluctuates each month depending on how much power the customer uses. Given the more extreme weather Wisconsin has been having, including long and bitter winters, the shifting of higher fixed costs onto residential customers is the wrong direction to take,” said Carpenter.
“For decades, my constituents and I have all tried to do our part to cut our energy bills and to reduce wasted energy. We keep thermostats lower in winter and higher in summer. We have insulated our homes and when our appliances need to be replaced we try to do so with more energy efficient products,” said Carpenter.
It is reported that WE Energies, the state's largest utility, is proposing to start with a 75% jump in its fixed charge. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. is proposing to more than double the fixed charge paid by residential customers and Madison Gas & Electric Co. is proposing to raise its fixed charge from its current $10.44 to $68 by 2017.
“The incentive for being more energy efficient should be a reduction in our energy bills. The utilities’ plan to shift higher fixed costs onto residential consumers is counterintuitive, counterproductive, and encourages waste. Given that manufacturing and other businesses are already treated at an advantage with their sales tax exemption on electricity, punishing residential consumer further for saving energy makes no sense,” said Carpenter.