Alliant Energy filed a joint settlement agreement with consumer groups on Thursday that would lower the current interim rates being charged to its natural gas customers in Iowa, including those in southeast Jasper County.
Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant; the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate and the Iowa Consumers Coalition filed the unanimous settlement proposal with the Iowa Utilities Board that addresses issues among the parties concerning Alliants natural gas base rate case filed in May.
The parties have agreed to an increase in Alliant's annual natural gas service revenue requirement of approximately $10.5 million. The parties also agreed to a cost management plan which would use tax benefits to credit customer bills and mitigate any impact of the revenue requirement increase for a period of three years.
This would result in customers per therm expense dropping below the current interim level if approved by state regulators. Because the settled revenue requirement increase of $10.5 million is above the interim increase of $8.6 million, customer refunds of interim rate hikes would not be provided.
"We appreciate the discussions between OCA, ICC and our company to reach a fair agreement that meets the needs of our customers and our company," said Tom Aller, president of the company. "We believe that this proposal helps our company recover the costs of our investments into the natural gas system while meeting our company's goals to minimize impacts to customer costs. With continued low natural gas costs and the benefit provided through the cost management plna, our customers continue to enjoy some of the lowest natural gas costs they have seen in years."
The Iowa Utilities Board must approve the settlement before any of its provisions become effective. The Board may accept or reject the agreement or come to an alternate decision.
Residents of Lynnville and Sully are the only communities in Jasper County to receive their natural gas through Alliant. Other communities impacted by agreement are Grinnell, Pella, Knoxville and Marshalltown.