‘This is going to be tough for everybody:’ MG&E to raise prices by nearly 9% next year

MADISON, Wis. — Utility bills for more than 150,000 customers in south-central Wisconsin are about to increase. Madison Gas and Electric is increasing rates by about 9% in January, which will result in customers paying about $8.20 more per month.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the price hike Thursday night while also approving MG&E’s request to purchase part of Alliant Energy’s West Riverside Energy Center natural gas plant in Beloit.

The move toward clean energy also includes a solar and wind farm. However, the cost of those initiatives has been increased by pandemic- and supply chain-related issues.

“This is going to be tough for everybody, but you have to have the fuel to keep the plants running and keep your house warm,” Commissioner Ellen Nowak said.

Higher natural gas prices nationwide in addition to problems with shipping coal are also causing utility prices to rise. 

MG&E corporate communications manager Steve Schultz said the community will ultimately benefit from having clean, reliable energy, and it’s working to control those costs.

“MG&E is working to build a smarter, cleaner and more dynamic grid to better serve all of our customers now and into the future,” Schultz said. “A cleaner, smarter grid is part of our strategy for achieving our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050.”