Energy efficiency a factor in higher rates for WPS - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Energy efficiency a factor in higher rates for WPS

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NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) -

Being more energy efficient in your home should mean getting lower electric bills. But when you're saving money, companies have to fill the gap.

Some homeowners, like Kristin Weiss say they do what they can to save money.

"Just keep the house at a lower temperature, just wear extra layers around the house," Weiss said.

Weiss says being energy efficient is something she started doing because of the economy. But sometimes, it just isn't enough.

"We probably are more conscience of doing it because of the rising electric rates and gas rates and trying to keep costs down," Weiss said.

Last month, Wisconsin Public Services announced it wanted to increase electric rates by almost 10 percent, and gas by almost four. For an average family, that's more than $100 per year.

"I think customers are still seeing benefits from energy efficiency, although obviously, some of those benefits will be mitigated by any rate increase we will achieve," WPS Rate Case Process Director David Kyto said.

WPS officials say this is an annual process, where the increase is usually less than one percent. But this year, it's much higher.

"We are seeing reduced sales due to energy efficiency and due to the current economic conditions in our service territory," Kyto said.

"It's frustrating because it seems like you can never get ahead and you can never catch up and you're always paying the same amount every month. There's never any relief there," Weiss said.

But WPS says these are estimated numbers, and they can be adjusted. And for people with electric bills, it's the price you pay.

"I hope that they would go down, I just don't see that happening though," Weiss said.

WPS supplies services for more than 300,000 people in our viewing area.

It's not in the hands of the Public Service Commission. Reps there say they will make a decision by the end of the year. 

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