Herald Staff Report
DES MOINES —
The Iowa Utilities Board approved a portion of Alliant Energy’s request for a natural gas increase in Iowa, but in the meantime residents will see a slight decrease on their monthly bills.
The approved settlement allows the utility’s permanent annual revenue from natural gas service rates to increase by $10.5 million, 4.8 percent, and included tax credits that will reduce customer rate impacts over the next three years.
The company had requested a $14.8 million, 5.6 percent, annual revenue increase and, as allowed by Iowa law, the utility already collected a temporary revenue increase of $8.6 million, 3.3 percent since June 4, 2012.
The settlement calls for three years of bill credits to customers. Tax credits will be applied to all Alliant customers with varying rate impacts. A typical residential natural gas customer should pay about 39 cents or .6 percent less per month than before the rate increase request was filed on May 25, 2012.
When the tax benefits expire in three years, residential customers’ bills will increase by approximately $3 per month.
This is the first increase proposed by Alliant since 2005. It was proposed in order to cover the costs for nearly $70 million in improvement projects that have been completed since the last rate increase.
About 60 percent of a customers’ bill is related to the cost of gas, while 40 percent is related to service, including infrastructure improvements.
Such projects in Clinton include the installation of 5,200 feet of gas main along Bluff Boulevard and adding seven new customers, which cost $200,000, and the replacement of 2,200 feet of pipe along Main Avenue and the addition of 33 customers, which cost $156,000.