Following the Alliant Energy feasibility study of a Decorah municipal electric utility presented at the Decorah City Council’s meeting Monday evening, Decorah Power representatives disputed a number of issues they said call into question the heart of the Alliant findings.
“Confuse, scare, and delay appears to be the strategy,” said Decorah Power representative Emily Neal, who attended the presentation.
Dave Berg, project lead for the NewGen Strategies and Solutions feasibility study for Decorah Power presented to the Council in January said “the $50 million (cost to start a city electric utility) is a classic grab-bag of massive and inaccurate costs, all in order to arrive at the claim that Decorah would pay about 4 percent more under a municipal, relative to the 30 percent cost savings identified in our study.
“They say $20 million for infrastructure valuation, while our $5.6 million follows Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) methodology and is much closer to previous board rulings for five separate communities on a per-capita cost.
“They claim $11 million in ‘reintegration costs’ because they say the IUB would not allow a territory larger than the city limits, but the city attorney read part of the 2008 ruling clearly proving otherwise.”
“Alliant presented a reliability chart that appears to cherry-pick a good year for Alliant’s Decorah operations, while comparing to a nationwide mix of utilities that obviously would include some that recently experienced problems or major events,” said Andy Johnson, Decorah Power Board treasurer.
“The presentation also included a chart comparing Alliant rates to Iowa municipals, that did not include the current very significant Alliant rate increase, and clean energy claims that neither compare apples to apples nor match information on their web site.”
“I’ve worked with dozens of municipal utilities,” said Berg. “The opportunities for Decorah to own its energy future are very real, and very large.”