The Newton City Council has passed a resolution opposing proposed electric rate hikes by Alliant Energy. Interstate Power and Light Company…which does business as Alliant Energy… wants the Iowa Utilities Board to approve a two-year phased-in rate increase. The Utility Company estimates the rate hike will increase residential customers’ electric bills by 13.4%, small businesses by 20%, and large general service customers by 17.4% – 20%. Newton City Administrator Matt Muckler claims a 15% – 20% increase to the City of Newton’s current electricity purchases will result in the City spending an additional 108-thousand to 144-thousand dollars per year. He notes that money could otherwise be spent on vital public services. Muckler explained the resolution of opposition before Council members voted to support it.
Muckler notes the ultimate decision on approval or denial of Alliant Energy’s rate hike request lies with the Iowa Utilities Board. Mayor Mike Hansen says many communities are passing similar resolutions.