From Rep. Scott Ourth’s newsletter:

Alliant Energy recently filed applications with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) requesting a 24.45% retail rate increase for residential electric customers and 25% rate increase for residential gas customers beginning in 2020. Alliant has also requested an interim electric rate increase of $89.9 million among all classes, beginning April 1, 2019. Complete information on the rate increases is available on the IUB’s online filing system under RPU-2019-0001 (electric) and RPU-2019-0002 (gas).

The IUB will hold ten public comment meetings in April and May to provide Alliant customers an opportunity to express their views about Alliant’s proposed rate increases and the utility’s overall quality of service. IUB is working to arrange remote participation via online webinar at the venues.

The following public comment meetings are scheduled:

•    Creston: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Southwest Community College, Performing Art Center, 1501 W. Townline St.
•    Marshalltown: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Iowa Valley Education Center, 3702 S. Center St.
•    Storm Lake: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Buena Vista University, Science Center, 610 W. Fourth St.
•    Mason City: 11:30 a.m. Thursday May 2, at the Historic Park Inn, 7 W. State St.
•    Decorah: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Hotel Winneshiek, 104 E. Water St.
•    Ottumwa: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St.
•    West Burlington: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Southeastern Community College, Building 300, 1500 W. Agency Road.
•    Clinton: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Clinton Community College, Tech Center, 1951 Manufacturing Drive.
•    Dubuque: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Hotel Julien, 200 Main St.
•    Cedar Rapids: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Kirkwood Community College, Main Campus, Iowa Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard S.W.

Persons with disabilities requiring assistance or devices to observe or participate should contact the IUB at (515) 725-7300 at least five days prior of the meeting’s scheduled date to request appropriate arrangements.

Last session, the Governor and Republican lawmakers passed legislation authored by Alliant Energy that granted utilities wide discretion over increasing utility rates. SF 2311 deregulated numerous utility statutes, decreased funding for weatherization assistance, and elevated utility demands over the affordability for Iowa consumers. I strongly oppose this measure because it increased the burden already faced by low-income, working Iowans.

This session, my Republican colleagues are considering another utility-authored bill in the House Commerce committee that deregulates utilities’ requirement to provide affordable solar energy rates to Iowa consumers.