Alliant Energy's senior vice president addresses concerns about increased rate proposal

    Alliant Energy's senior vice president says the increased rate proposal will save customers more money in the long run.

    Alliant Energy's senior vice president is addressing concerns raised by customers about a notice sent out about a proposed rate hike.

    The company's senior vice president Terry Kouba tells CBS2/Fox28 News the chart on the notice that shows the impact of the 25% base rate does not show the offset from other savings.

    "For the residential customers, the typical monthly bill will go up approximately $8 this year and $12 next year. That includes everything, including all the savings we're working on to benefit customers," said Kouba.

    The proposal is part of a $1.8 billion project to bring more wind energy sources to Iowa. The project will see the addition of five different wind farms in Iowa for clean energy. Kouba says two of those wind farms will go into service in a week, while the other three will go into service next year.

    "We're installing 1,000 megawatts of wind farms, for Iowans, for our Iowa customers. While it's a significant investment up front, we're taking all kinds of savings from production tax credit and flowing that back to customers," said Kouba.

    The Iowa Utilities Board has to approve of the proposal before the base rate increase can take affect. The Iowa Utilities Board will host a series of public comment meetings across Iowa within the next few months. April will see the start of the interim rate, which is when residential customers should see the $8 increase in their bills. Kouba says the transition to wind energy is expected to save customers millions of dollars within the next few years.

    "When you talk to customers, reliability is one of the most important things they're concerned about. A large part of this increase is also associated with that work we do day in and day out, to not only have a good, safe, and reliable distribution system, but also to add automation so we can better understand the system," said Kouba.

    Some Alliant Energy customers tells CBS2/Fox28 News they still don't like the idea of being charged more now to save later. They plan on holding a protest in Cedar Rapids this Saturday to raise their concerns.

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