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WPS Requests Electric & Gas Rate Hikes

Wisconsin Public Service customers could be paying more for their gas and electric service in 2014.

WPS filed a request Friday with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to increase electric rates by 7.4% and natural gas rates by 5.6%.

If approved, WPS says the new rates will result in a monthly increase of about $5.78 for typical residential electric customers using about 600 kilowatt-hours per month. Natural gas customers using about 800 therms annually would see a $3.64 monthly increase.

Because natural gas distribution rates have fallen over the past several years, WPS says typical customers would be paying less each month than they did five years ago. Electric rates have been relatively stable over the past five years.

In its request to increase electric rates, the company cited a number of factors, including completion of a one-time fuel refund to customers; the purchase and operation of the gas-fired combined cycle Fox Energy Center generating units; installation of environmental controls at the Columbia Power Plant near Portage, WI (WPS is a co-owner); increased transmission costs; conversion of company distribution lines with lower performance history from overhead to underground; and general inflation.

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