WPS wants higher electric, natural gas rates - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

WPS wants higher electric, natural gas rates

GREEN BAY (WAOW) - Wisconsin Public Service Corp. on Friday asked state regulators to raise its electricity rates 7.4 percent and natural gas rates 5.6 percent, beginning in 2014.

The company said electric rates have been "relatively flat" for several years and natural gas rates have actually fallen. WPS said the higher rates would cost the typical residential electric user about $5.78 more a month and a typical residential natural gas user about $3.64 monthly.

"While electricity rates have increased over the years, they have done so at a pace less than ordinary inflation," WPS said in a statement announcing the rate increase filed with the state Public Service Commission.

Raising natural gas rates is needed in part due to the increased cost of inspecting natural gas lines and inflation, the company said.

"Even with the proposed natural gas rate increase, typical residential customers will be paying less each month than they did five years ago," said Patrick Campshure, a WPS rate case consultant.

WPS is an investor-owned utility headquartered in Green Bay, with about 441,000 electric customers and 319,000 natural gas customers mostly in northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

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