In La Crosse and most of Western Wisconsin, residents could see increase in their energy bills.
Xcel Energy filed an application to the state's Public Service Commission in May to increase rates. According to Xcel Energy, customers would see a 3% increase—meaning an increase of roughly $3 per month for customers.
Xcel Energy has to gain approval from the state's Public Service Commission, and they requested to increase rates to make upgrades to power plants, transmission lines, as well as a means to help invest in Xcel Energy's CapX2020 line, which spans from Alma to Holmen.
“These are long term investments that we are making,” Xcel Energy Spokesperson Brian Elwood said. “The investments that we make in lines and power plants, they're investments for decades, and they'll serve customers for many years to come. We're in the process of continuing to make those upgrades and we continue to strengthen, so it's a process that we're on.”
Elwood said Xcel Energy is continuing striving to strengthen power grids in the La Crosse area and bring more renewable energy to customers by continuing to make upgrades to their current system.
"We've got about $600 million in investments of new transmission lines in Northern and Western Wisconsin in the next five years,” Elwood said. “There's several projects that are ongoing and we'll continue to do that to make sure we are updating the grid. Much of that system was built in the 1950's and 60's and it just needs to be updated to serve customers' needs well into the 21st century."
The Public Service Commission will host a public hearing at state headquarters in Madison on October 28th. If Xcel Energy's request goes through, rate increase could be in effect by January.