Alliant Energy defends new rate hikes

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Alliant Energy customers will pay more starting next month.

In short, Alliant Energy's President, Terry Kouba, tells I9 paying more now will save money later for customers by investing in green energy.

"We believe they're long term decisions that will help our customers for decades," said Kouba.

On average, homeowners will pay an extra eight dollars a month for electricity. Alliant wants to raise that rate another $12 next year. That adds up to about a 25% increase in less than two years.

Alliant Energy's 2017 annual report says it made nearly half-a-billion dollars in income that year. That is $84 million more than the year prior. Despite the revenues, the company's president tells I9 they think its new investment in green energy should not come from those coffers but rather from their customer.

"We are constantly working on the balance of afforadability and reliability for customers," said Kouba.

The rate increase does not sit well with several Alliant customers when they received notices of the rate hike. Steven Kenney of Martelle is one of them.

"I just think that's unacceptable,” said Kenney.

Kenney is not alone in his frustration. Just days ago he created an event on Facebook to rally together to "Protest Aliiant" on Saturday.
More than 500 have said they are planning to go.

"I'm just wondering when does it stop? When do you guys keep on coming up with excuses to keep raising rates on people?" said Kenney.

Kouba is aware of protesters’ plans, and while he says the company has no intention of sending a representative to talk directly with them, he tells us he welcomes the feedback.

"The Iowa Utilities Board and others get to look at all those decisions and tell us whatever they think they we're prudent or not, we believe they were," said Kouba.

The Iowa Utilities Board will hold public meetings on Alliant's proposal where consumers can give their thoughts.