Get Engaged: Energy Matters!
Help Milwaukee Reduce Fossil Fuels and Reinvest in a Cleaner Future
The City of Milwaukee is working to reduce its use of fossil fuels by making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Reinvesting limited energy budgets into energy efficiency and renewable energy creates local jobs, improves the environment, and keeps are energy dollars local. It also supports our action to address threats from climate change.
You can take action to help put Milwaukee and Wisconsin on a path to a clean energy future. Here are some tips:
- Use ECO programs like Milwaukee Shines and Me2 to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Organize your neighbors around these and other sustainability programs using our new Eco Neighborhoods Toolkit.
- Organize your faith community for environmental action based on your faith traditions. For example, students from Marquette University recently published a Flipping the Default Toolkit based on the Catholic faith tradition, or the grassroots environmental justice group Wisconsin Green Muslims has information on how solar energy can bring people of faith together to care for Earth, and how to have a green Ramadan.
- Ask your state legislators, Public Service Commissioners, and your utility to increase renewable energy as part of the regional utility fuel mix. Wisconsin currently has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 10% by 2015 and has met that goal overall statewide. We Energies reports that its current fuel mix is 5.5% renewable energy.
- Ask your utility to offer community solar options.
- Support the proposed Bus/Rapid Transit plan and ask your legislators to support mass transit.
2014 We Energies Rate Case
On December 23rd, 2014, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission issued its final order on the 2015-2016 We Energies rate case, largely granting the utility's requests. The Commission voted 2-1 (Chairman Phil Montgomery and Commissioner Ellen Nowak voting in favor) to approve the overall rate increase of 1.8% on average for residential customers, however bills will rise more for customers who use less energy. The approval includes a larger fixed charge on residential monthly electric bills, and the utility will pay less for the power that customers generate with solar panels.
Specifically, the order includes:
- 75% Increase in the Fixed Charge. The fixed charge on all residential bills will increase from about $9 to $16 a month. A fixed cost is a set cost in a resident’s energy bill, regardless of how much, or how little, electricity a customer consumes. The variable rate on a customer’s energy bill is the amount paid per kilowatt hour (kwh) for energy consumed. The current rate is $0.139/kwh, which will be reduced one-half cent to $0.1349/kwh.
- Reduced Value of Solar Production. We Energies will change how solar production is valued on a customer’s energy bill. A change in net metering of clean energy systems was approved, which will change from annual netting to monthly netting and will also reduce the price credited for excess generation from the current 14 cents/kwh to 3 cents/kwh
- 10 years Grandfathering of Existing Solar. Existing owners of solar systems will be grandfathered for a period of 10 years. The new solar surcharge and net metering changes will not apply to existing distributed generation owners until December 31, 2024.
- No Ban on Third-Party Ownership (Leasing) of Solar. The Public Service Commission denied We Energies’ request to ban any solar or wind project from interconnecting and net metering with the grid if it is not owned by the customer. The PSC noted this is a legislative issue that should not be dealt with in this rate case.
- Solar surcharge rejected. Customers of We Energies looking to add solar panels won't have to pay the extra $3.80 per kW per month fee proposed by We Energies. A suit was filed in Dane County Circuit Court by the Alliance for Solar Choice and Madison-based RENEW Wisconsin. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter Anderson ruled in October of 2015 that the state Public Service Commission did not have enough evidence to back up its decision in December to impose the fees.
Questions? For questions on how this change will impact you, your future bills, or your potential for installing a solar system contact:
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
WE ENERGIES RATE CASE IN THE NEWS:
- Judge rejects We Energies plan to assess solar panel owners extra fees - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Oct 30, 2015
- Solar companies, advocates go to court to stop We Energies solar fees- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel- January 23rd, 2015
- Regulators Agree to Increase Charges for We Energies Customers - MKE Journal Sentinel - Nov 14, 2014
- PSC Throws Out Questionable Petition - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - November 1, 2014
- Broad Coalition Opposes We Energies Rate Plan - BizTimes - October 27, 2014
- As Klappa Energizes Company, Rates Rankle Customers - Milwaukee Business Journal - Sept 11, 2014
- We Energies Rate Case Impacts on MMSD - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - September 7, 2014
- We Energies War on Its Solar Customers - Shepherd Express - August 27, 2014
- Wisconsin Utility Companies Take Aim Against Solar - Milwaukee Business Journal - July 27, 2014
- We Energies Drops Opposition to Groups Joining Rate Case - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 26, 2014
- Solar v. Utilities Battles Heating up in Wisconsin, Iowa - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 12, 2014
- We Energies Faces Opposition for Proposed Rates - Wisconsin State Journal - June 29, 2014
- Growing Number of Solar Panels a Concern for WI Utilities - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - June 28, 2014