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Alliant Energy Hopes to Raise Electrical Rates

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- If your electricity comes from Alliant Energy, for the past few months you've been paying a higher interim rate for your electricity. There was a meeting in Albert Lea to discuss how the rate hike could affect businesses and homeowners.

In June customers saw a 21% increase on their electricity bills. Alliant Energy, also known as Interstate Power and Lights, is hoping Minnesota Public Utilities will give them the "OK" to permanently bump it up to 22%. The hike would cost customers an extra $16 per month.

"The biggest problem we face is can we afford to stay in business with these kind of escalating costs," said small business owner, Anthony Trow.

Trow owns Minne-Soy-Ta Nice and Soap Wizards in Glenville. He said the rates will affect his business.

"We will find that when all of the unit heaters and fans are running 24 hours a day, and our melters are having to work harder to keep up we're going to see a dramatic increase now in this months bill," explained Trow.

It's not just small businesses that are taking a hit, but also homeowners.

"We had to turn our furnace down to 64-degrees. It's cold in the house and we have to have a sweatshirt on to keep warm. I'm on a fixed income. I'm not a young man anymore. If they raise that too high, I don't know how we're all going to get by," said Paul Schmidt, a concerned Albert Lea resident.

Adding salt to the wound, Mayor Rasmussen told residents the city could see a lot of services cut.

"The cities electricity bill will increase in the neighborhood of $240,000 dollars per year. If the cities property taxes are not increased to cover the huge IPL increases, there will be large cuts in city services. Cuts that could include police, fire, recreational programming, closing a city pool, and maybe even tree or road maintenance," said Rasmussen.

Alliant energy's spokesperson justified the rate hikes. He told us they're partially due to creating new infrastructure to better serve customers.

If you're interested in attending a public forum, it's not too late.

Wednesday, December 8
7:00 PM
Winnebago Municipal Center
140 Main Street South

Thursday, December 9
1:30 PM
Stewartville Civic Center
120 City Center (MN Hwy 30 & US Hwy 63)

Thursday December 9
7:00 PM
Riverland Community College
2200 Riverland Drive, Albert Lea

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