Alliant refund to come in 2012

Published 9:45 am Friday, August 19, 2011

It could be the end of this year or even the beginning of 2012 before Alliant Energy customers in the Albert Lea area receive a refund from the recent rate case, according to an Alliant Energy spokesman on Thursday.

Scott Drzycimski, customer communications manager for Alliant Energy, said though the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued its final written order last week on the case, there are still several remaining steps that have to take place before new rates go into effect.

The Public Utilities Commission approved a revenue increase of $7.7 million out of an original $14 million annual request by the company, but exactly how the decision will impact ratepayers is not yet available, Drzycimski said.

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Now that the final written order has been released — it was long delayed by the state government shutdown — Alliant Energy has until Sept. 1 to ask for clarification and reconsideration on the order.

That period is followed by another 30 days for all of the other parties involved in the case to submit comments about what the company has submitted; then the commission has another 30 days after that to review the paperwork.

Lastly, Alliant Energy has to file compliance filings of what the new rates will be for each customer class, and the commission has to accept the filings before the new rates go into effect.

Whatever happens, however, will mean good news to ratepayers, who can plan on a refund because the rates approved will be less than the interim rates that customers have been paying since July 2010.

Drzycimski said customers who are still with Alliant Energy will be issued a credit, while customers who are no longer in the service area will be sent a check with a refund. Customers’ bills going back to July 2010 will be recalculated with the new rate that has been approved. The refund will be the overage customers had been paying since the interim rates, plus interest.

The refund will be different based on customer class, usage and size of their home or building.

“Not everyone will get back the same thing,” he said.

Look to the Tribune for more on this story as it becomes available.