Newsletter Updates 2020 Work, CUB Wishes Wisconsin Restful Holiday Season
CUB’s Fall Newsletter and Holiday Card is arriving in mailboxes across the state, so we’re happy to share it.
We want you to have a happy and restful holiday season. It’s been a cataclysmic year. Our normal routines and lives have been turned upside down, and after all we’ve been through we hope you and your get a chance to exhale and relax.
The newsletter provides updates on what we’ve been working on, while working at our homes, during the pandemic.
The pandemic has been a critical focus for us. We advocated to keep utility customers connected and joined our consumers advocate partners across the country in urging Congress to step up and provide additional relief to those hardest hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Check out our COVID-19 resources here.
A new funding model for CUB, our Funding Modernization Plan, was approved unanimously in the state Assembly early this year just prior to the Governor’s Safer at Home order. We await Senate passage of the bill, though it’s unclear whether the Senate will reconvene again before year-end. With the prospect of all five big utilities having rate cases next year, this would be a good time to finalize a plan that has widespread and bipartisan support.
This year we’ve been working on cases involving several of the big utilities, negotiating a settlement to keep electricity rates unchanged and below 2018 levels for customers of Madison Gas & Electric Co., and supporting a refinancing plan that will trim costs for We Energies customers linked to the shuttered Pleasant Prairie coal-fired power plant.
The newsletter also highlights another recent win: Two Waukesha County teachers, Danielle Chaussée and Kelly Holtzman of Oconomowoc High School, were named Wisconsin’s Energy Educators of the Year for 2020. The teachers lead a combined Global Sustainability and A.P. Spanish class. On behalf of CUB, the nonprofit partner of their class, the students translated CUB consumer information materials into Spanish and created CUB’s first Spanish-language webpage, cubwi.org/espanol.
Finally, the newsletter highlights CUB’s savings for customers, which tallied $159 million last year, and shows how Wisconsin’s electricity rates stack up among Midwest states. Though rates have stabilized somewhat in recent years, the longer-term trend shows that rate hikes have outpaced inflation. Being among the most expensive in the Midwest underscores there’s more work for CUB to do, with the help of supporters across the state.
Our thanks go out to members who’ve supported the nation’s first CUB through the years. If you want to support Your Independent Consumer Voice, please consider a pledge this week as part of our #GivingTuesday campaign. Pledge your support at cubwi.org. Thank you!