Trempealeau residents to pay more for electricity
The Great Lakes Utility, the municipal electric company that supplies electricity to the village of Trempealeau, will increase costs for electricity in Trempealeau by 14 percent due to rising costs, according to village board documents and discussions.
In Trempealeau, a monthly bill that used to cost $83.60 will now cost $95.30, a change that is estimated to be in effect by January 2023. The increase takes months to process for the utility, which is why the board had it in front of them this month.
“Obviously, we’ve done a lot in the past number of years, improvements, trying to keep up with where we have to be,” Kurt Wood, village president, said at last Thursday’s meeting, “and unfortunately costs keep going up and we’re adding employees because we need to make sure that we can continue to service our customers the way they need to be serviced.”
The exact increase could fluctuate up or down depending on how the Public Service Commission makes its decision, and that decision is completely up to them. Some of the reasons the increase is needed, according to a proposal from the utility, include:
• Wages related to electricity have increased by about 82 percent since the last time the rate was accepted in 2019, which means more money in wages and benefits.
• Depreciation expenses increased by $65,800 due to an increase in service related to a new bucket truck and electric shop in 2020. The next year includes costs for retirement and a new subdivision.
• Tax increases of $23,400 related to an increase in service and payroll taxes because of a new lineman position.
In a list of the 12 highest electric utility providers in the state, the new rate will be the fifth highest, while the previous rate had Trempealeau numbers as the second lowest.