A message on the July City of Bloomer utility bill informed Bloomer Municipal Electric Utility customers that the Public Service Commission (PSC) had approved an electric rate increase for the utility.

In August of 2019 the city applied to the PSC for authority to increase electric rates citing increased operation and maintenance expenses and insufficient rate of return as the contributing factors for the request. On May 13, 2020, a public notice ran in the Bloomer Advance advising City of Bloomer Electric Utility customers that the utility had filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to raise electric rates. A telephonic hearing on the application was held on May 18, and the PSC issued a final decision, dated June 4, 2020, approving the application conditioned by the final decision.

According to the PSC’s final decision, click here to read, under the new rates the average residential customer using 862 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month will see a monthly increase of approximately $1.55, or 2.07 percent.

City of Bloomer administrator Sandi Frion said one of the main reasons for the rate increase is to lower the power cost adjustment (PCAC) to close to zero. The city of Bloomer buys all of its electricity from a wholesaler and uses the power cost adjustment to mitigate fluctuations in its earnings due to changes in the cost of purchased power.

The PSC also adjusted Bloomer’s base rate amount. Residential and general service customers with single phase service will see their base rate increase from $5.00 per month to $7.50 per month. This increase is figured in the example shown above.

The electric rate increase began with usage starting on July 15, 2020, which will show up on customers September bill.

All information regarding Bloomer’s application and the final decision of the PSC is available at the PSCW’s website: http://PSC.WI.GOV.