Dear Editor:

According to the notice I got in the mail yesterday, Alliant Energy wants to increase my electricity costs by 24.45 percent. By their own estimation, their rate hike would increase the average homeowner’s bill by $20.13 from $82.31 to $102.44 every month. Wow.

One of the reasons Alliant gives for their big rate increase is to recover the costs of building new wind farms. I fully support adding more renewable energy to their power mix, but I don’t understand why MidAmerican Energy has been able to install far more wind power over the last several years and have rates that are about 30 percent lower than Alliant’s.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to see how Alliant is doing financially. After all, if they need such a big rate hike, they must really need the money, right? Well, according to, Alliant Energy posted $457 million in profits in 2017, which was a 23.1 percent increase over the previous year.  

As an investor-owned company, each shareholder enjoyed a 16 percent return for that year and an 18.2 percent annualized return over the last five years. Imagine what those numbers will look like after our rates go up by nearly 25 percent.

Last May I voted for Decorah to establish a municipal electric utility. My guess is that some of the folks that voted against it might now be reconsidering their vote. It only failed by three votes. We can have that vote again in May 2022. That day can’t come fast enough as far as I am concerned.

Jim Martin-Schramm