Utilities Board Ordered Honesty from Alliant to Communities
Andy Johnson, Executive Director
In a pair of orders in 2020 (January pp97-106 and October) related to the 2019 Alliant rate increase, the Iowa Utilities Board directed Alliant to develop a stakeholder engagement plan that would “present accurate information to communities regarding anticipated rate increases”, and address “the Board’s concern over the lack of transparency and the inaccurate information provided with regard to the Decorah municipalization vote.”
Alliant developed a plan that includes an “energy cost outlook” web site and related webinar presentations to communities, which many felt were incomplete or misleading. The Board apparently agrees, and has just issued a striking order chastising the company and demanding better, including these statements: “If Alliant intends to present information regarding anticipated rates to communities, including those considering municipalization, any information presented is required to be consisted with Alliant’s actual plans included in internal documents.” And, “The Board considers Alliant’s inability to formulate a plan that addresses the Board’s concerns regarding providing accurate information to Iowa customers to be unacceptable and inconsistent with the conduct expected of a rate-regulated utility.”
We agree. The city of Decorah’s Municipal Electric Utility Task Force has submitted two data requests to Alliant in recent months. The purpose of the requests is to “reduce the confusion and polarization … by ensuring that any future feasibility studies or study updates use a common set of data consistent with actual utility records.” Alliant has, so far, refused both data requests.