All five investor owned Wisconsin utility services have announced their intent to raise electrical rates, citing the cost of constructing wind and solar farms as the reason.
NextEra and other wind energy companies keep telling us that wind energy is one of the cheapest sources of electricity there is, and that wind farms will lower our electrical bills. Of course, these lowered electrical rates never actually materialize. In fact, the exact opposite tends to be true.
That fact was borne out once again in Wisconsin, where over the last couple of months, all five investor owned utilities have announced their intentions to raise electricity rates in 2024. The largest rate hike applied for so far is by Alliant Energy–a company that also serves many Iowa customers–including many in Buchanan County. Alliant Energy proposes to raise Wisconsin electricity rates by 8.4% in 2024, and another 5.4% percent in 2025. This comes on the heels of the 6.8% increase in electricity rates that Alliant already hit customers with at the start of this year. All total, that works out to a rate hike of 20.6% over a period of just three years. For a household that averages a $250 a month electric bill, that works out to $600 a year in increased electricity costs. The stated reason? To cover the cost of constructing wind and solar farms.
Yet, here in Iowa, Alliant Energy has assured us that prematurely ending their contract with the Duane Arnold Nuclear plant in favor of purchasing electricity from cheaper renewable sources will ultimately save customers money. This despite the fact that they recently applied for a rate increase from the Iowa Utilities Board. At the same time, NextEra continues to insist that wind energy is the cheapest form of electricity there is, and that somehow their Jubilee Wind project will result in lower utility bills for Iowa customers. Of course, they always give their standard disclaimer at the community information meetings: They are a wholesaler of electricity. Ultimately, they have no control over the rates that the utilities actually charge.
Whether that’s true or not, one thing we know for sure: Thanks to government subsidies, wind energy companies like NextEra and the utilities that buy electricity from them are making record profits. In fact, they are making billions of dollars in profits at taxpayer expense. And we the customers? Well, we’re paying for it twice. First in the form of federal tax dollars that go to pay for renewable energy subsidies. Second, in the form of increased electricity rates.
For those who like to claim that wind turbine subsidies are no different than ethanol subsidies? Well, there is one really important difference: Ethanol subsidies actually work. They’ve resulted in significantly cheaper gas for consumers compared to gas that does not contain ethanol. Wind turbine subsidies do not work. The utility companies themselves blatantly admit that they are raising rates to pay for the cost of construction of wind farms and solar farms.
Only the wind energy companies and perhaps the utilities are benefiting from wind turbine subsidies. We can only come back to the same conclusion that has been said before. “Green” energy is really “Greed” energy.