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Public Service Commission denies WPS proposed rate increase

UNDATED (WXPR) -- The state’s utility regulator, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, is proposing that a utility serving much of central and northern Wisconsin cut rates.

Wisconsin Public Service had proposed a six percent electric rate increase and a four percent natural gas increase. Public Service Commission attorney Cindy Smith says they don’t agree. Smith says the Commission believes WPS over-collected for estimated 2013 fuel costs. That’s why they are proposing a rate that remains steady or even goes down. “The proposal is that we use whatever portion of those over-collections, I think would be approximately fifteen million dollars, that we apply those now and offset the rate increase.”

Smith says this situation is unusual, and they will have an opportunity for public comment. “We’re in the process of soliciting comments from the public, the utility and the other parties in this case because that process does deviate a little bit from how we historically handle fuel over-collection costs.” The state’s Public Service Commission should have the final order in place after public input sometime later this month.