A nearly 20 percent increase in consumer prices in a situation where, for most customers, there is no choice of free-market competition is essentially a monopoly move that affords no rights to shop for a more economical alternative.
Further, most customers’ annual cost-of-living pay increase is, if they’re lucky, around 3 percent; raising rates to this level is unrealistic, as many consumers already live paycheck to paycheck, if not in serious debt.
As an Iowa teacher, I don’t receive a 3 percent pay increase annually, and I already pay $266 each month to Alliant Energy for gas and electricity. How am I, or customers like me, supposed to endure another $66.50 per month, or an additional $798 each year?
The advertisement/notice sent by Alliant essentially states it is raising prices to save consumers money, which is blatantly false. The upgrades Alliant proposes benefit it much more than any customer, commercial or residential. Its bottom line goes down, while it drastically increases the price to the end user.
How, in any way, does that serve customer needs?
Alliant’s proposed increase is a cash grab disguised as a benefit to the consumer. The only entity that will benefit from such a major cost adjustment is the corporate entity, and not the consumers it claims to serve.
I urge all affected consumers to submit replies to the Iowa Utilities Board — http://iub.iowa.gov — to provide public input to this proposed increase.