The public, business community and local leadership are invited to two opportunities to learn about utility models, how rates are set and the current Alliant Energy rate increase Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Guest Speaker David Osterberg will present at Winneshiek Energy District’s monthly Energy Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in T-Bock’s basement, then again at a noon brownbag at City Hall.
Osterberg was founder and director of the Iowa Policy Project (a think tank), and is a former state representative who was chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee as well as the Agriculture Committee. He has testified as an expert witness at several Iowa Utility Board dockets, including the present Alliant Energy rate increase case.
Osterberg will place the current rate case in a broader context. This context includes a look at the difference between investor-owned and consumer-owned utilities, regulated utilities and the “public interest,” and how rate structures are determined.
He will also explain how Alliant Energy’s current rate proposal includes increases to both the energy charges and customer’s fixed monthly charges. Increases to fixed monthly charges pose special challenges to many lower income households, and are deterrents to energy efficiency and consumer-owned solar.
Decorah Power is planning a series of invited speakers and workshops for this fall, as part of a learning process to investigate the opportunities and challenges that would be involved in a Decorah municipal electric utility. A feasibility study is also underway. Stay tuned for more alerts and a full schedule of events.