Business

Group plans protest of Alliant Energy's proposed rate increase

Alliant Energy Tower on the Fourth of July, 2018. (Brian Morelli / The Gazette)
Alliant Energy Tower on the Fourth of July, 2018. (Brian Morelli / The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Upset over recently announced rate increases by Alliant Energy, some area customers plan to hold a protest rally outside the energy provider’s Iowa headquarters.

A Facebook group called Protest Alliant plans to hold a rally at noon Saturday outside the Alliant Energy building at 200 First St. SE to protest “an unfair and outrageous rate hike,” according to the group’s page. More than 500 people plan on going to the event and more than 4,000 have expressed interest, according to the group page.

Alliant officials last month announced plans for electric and gas rate increases — an interim increase next month and another at the start of 2020 — that would cost a typical residential customer approximately $20 more each month on their electric bill. A customer with the current monthly bill of $116 per month could see their 2020 monthly bills at $136. This would represent a $240 annual increase in 2020 over the current rate, which is a 17.24% increase.

Alliant has filed electric and gas rate cases with the Iowa Utilities Board for review.

The proposed rate increases would apply to a customer’s base rate and represent company investments in renewable energy and a resilient grid.

Alliant officials have said those investments will bring down customer costs in the long run — in other portions of their bill such as energy efficiencies and fuel and transmission costs.

The Iowa Utilities Board will host 10 public comment meetings across the state regarding Alliant’s rate requests. Customers with comments are encouraged to attend.

Representatives with Alliant, the Iowa Utilities Board and the Office of Consumer Advocate will be present at the meetings and answer questions.

• — April 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Southwest Community College Performing Art Center, 1501 W Townline St., Creston

• — April 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Iowa Valley Education Center, 3702 S Center St., Marshalltown

• — May 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Buena Vista University Science Center, 610 W Fourth St., Storm Lake

• — May 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Historic Park Inn, 7 W State St., Mason City

• — May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Hotel Winneshiek, 104 E Water St., Decorah

• — May 8 at 6 p.m. at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St. Ottumwa

• — May 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Southeastern Community College Building 300, 1500 W Agency Road. West Burlington

• — May 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Clinton Community College Tech Center, 1951 Manufacturing Drive. Clinton

• — May 23 at 11:30 a.m. at Hotel Julien, 200 Main St. Dubuque

• — May 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Kirkwood Community College Main Campus, Iowa Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids

• Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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