Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Joint Finance Committee approves PSC proposed increased cost of energy

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One more thing the Republicans in the legislature will have to undo next year.

A Public Service Commission request to increase contributions from utilities for energy efficiency and renewable resource programs was passed by the JFC.

The proposal sets the contribution at $120 million in 2011, $160 million in 2012, $204 million in 2013, and $256 million in 2014. Prior to the change, utilities are required to contribute 1.2 percent of their revenues to the programs, with contributions for 2011 and 2012 estimated at $100 million each year.

The proposal passed on a party-line 11-4 vote.

The costs of such “contributions” will of course be passed along to the energy consumer. Democrats in the State Senate refused this year to take up the PSC-endorsed renewable energy mandates because they did not want to be responsible for raising energy rates. Now the Democrats, in a party line vote, are more than happy to try to sneak in this increase in energy costs through the back door right before the end of the year.

The PSC-proposed increased assessments on the state’s energy utilities will take effect unless Republicans address the issue in the next budget, as incoming Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairman Robin Vos has promised. If not, consumers can expect to see their energy rates continue to climb, something Wisconsin does not need if we are to improve the business climate in this state.

Under the Democrats, the Public Service Commission has not been a friend of energy consumers and instead has been the promoters of a Green Agenda that is unsupported by the public at large. Shame on the Democrats for using this body as their tool to force higher energy costs on Wisconsin.

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