Lawmakers back plan to scale up energy efficiency
From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
In a vote along party lines, the Joint Finance Committee adopted a proposal on Tuesday to collect more money from utility ratepayers in order to expand the incentives to make businesses and homes more energy efficient.
The higher spending is projected to deliver savings to utility customers as they take advantage of stepped-up incentives to reduce energy waste, according to projections by the state Public Service Commission and the energy-efficiency research group Energy Center of Wisconsin.
The proposal will enable the PSC to collect more money on electricity bills beginning in 2011. The $20 million increase in 2011 will raise $120 million for the state’s Focus on Energy program. Further increases would boost that to $160 million in 2012, $204 million in 2013 and $256 million in 2014.
The PSC projected the increase would result in a 0.2% increase in electric bills in 2011, and that by 2013 bills would be 0.6% higher than current levels. The forecast assumes the average customer would then start to see savings on electricity bills that would drop the average customer’s bill by 1% from today’s levels by 2016.
For a typical We Energies customer now paying $99.53 a month, that would mean an increase of 20 cents a month in 2011 and another 40 cents a month in 2012, but bills on average would fall by nearly $1 a month by 2016 as homeowners take advantage of bigger efficiency incentives.
Rates for large factories and paper mills would not rise. They are exempt from paying more into the Focus on Energy program under state law.