Common Council member urges others to oppose We Energies rate increase

CREATED Sep 3, 2014 - UPDATED: Sep 3, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- We Energies customers may have to start paying a little extra on their monthly bill due to a proposed rate hike, but a Milwaukee Common Council member wants to stop the company from raising its rates. 

Starting next near, customers could pay about $4 extra on their electric bill. Alderman Tony Zielinski said he is against the increase becuase it punishes people who use solar and renewable energy.

"A 5 percent rate hike is just too excessive," Zielinski said. "That's just not fair. That's just not right. We're not going to sit by and let We Energies do this."

We Energies spokesperson, Brian Manthey, said it's a standard increase that'll pay for things like system upgrades.  

Zielinski said he plans to ask Governor Scott Walker to join the effort and reject the rate hike.

"We think it's important for individuals and employers to keep costs effective and reliable sources of power in the state," Walker said. "It's something we've pushed for in the past."

Manthey said it's interesting when there is a rate case in the middle of an election year. 

"I think that kind of speaks to why there's a political motivation here," he said.

The public service commission will make its final decision on what the rate increase will be at the end of the year.