SWLP Defends Their Rate Increase Request [VIDEO]
Superior Water Light and Power recently announced that they would be seeking rate increases for each of the three services they provide to their utility customers - electric, natural gas, and water. As part of their application, they justified the rate increase request to offset the losses they experienced from one of their largest customers being offline. That unnamed company has been assumed to be Husky Refinery - which experienced a fire and explosion in April; Husky isn't expected to be back in operation for another year.
To combat the negative talk on social media and in the mainstream news, SWLP has offered their explanation for the rate increase. A social media campaign directs customers to watch a Youtube video featuring SWLP President Deb Amberg who offers the following message:
Hi. I’m Deb Amberg, President of Superior Water Light and Power Company. As you may have heard, we’ve filed for a rate adjustment with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. And we understand that you – our customers – may have questions. With so many options available, it might be hard to know where to find the most up-to-date information. So we’ve taken this opportunity to provide a Frequently Asked Questions on our website. You will find the link below.
While rate adjustments are never easy, we are committed to working on the right projects and the right activities to provide security, comfort, and quality of life. We’ve been proud to serve our community since 1889 and we thank you for being our valued customer.
That FAQ is now available on SWLP's website. The company offers an outline of various projects that it has completed in recent years. Included are:
- Gas system upgrades
- Water main replacement under Belknap Street
- New switchgear at the Winter Street substation
- A water overflow project
- Digital meters - a system that allows the utlility to have customers meters read without having a human do it.
SWLP also breaks down what the rate increases would mean to the average customer. Their application asks for a 2.01% increase in electric rates, a 2.31% increase in natural gas rates, and an 8.26% increase for water usage. The FAQ that SWLP offers suggests the following dollar amounts:
- $2 per month for electricity
- $1 per month for natural gas
- $4 per month for water
According to SWLP, the typical residential customer would see an increase of $5.00 to $14.00 per month, depending on usage.
To combat any rate increases, SWLP offers a primer on ways to reduce consumption.
Two public hearings have been scheduled on Tuesday, October 16 - one in Madison and another closer to home at WITC in Superior.