Walnut Way Conservation Corp
WEPCO (WE Energies) Rate Case
WPSC Docket No. 5-UR-110
Should Walnut Way intervene? Survey results: (72% Yes) (129 responses)
Dear Community Stakeholders,
Walnut Way is getting involved in a case where We Energies is seeking to raise gas and electric rates for residents in Milwaukee and Lindsay Heights. The case is before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, an agency which must approve utility’s rate hikes.
Along with other allies, Walnut Way is calling attention to the impact of higher rates on low-income residents of the Milwaukee area. We are seeking equity and fairness, to ensure residents don’t get priced out of their homes and can enjoy the health and economic benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"Inequities are the result of institutionalized racism and other forms of harm across multiple overlapping systems (e.g. education, housing, health care, the fossil fuel industry, food systems, transportation, financial systems, etc.), with compounding impacts over time. For this reason, a systems view of the problem and an ecosystem approach to solutions is crucial to progress. Communities of color bear disproportionate burdens in terms of energy utility costs, housing instability, access to health care, technology, healthy food, transportation, and more." The aggregate impact of these issues makes it difficult for the Southeast Wisconsin region to progress both economically and socially.
In this current "rate adjustment" process, the energy affordability and efficiency data for low-income and BIPOC ratepayers will reveal a lack of targeted place-based capital investment by the utility in this customer class. "Redlining" clean energy through policy producing insuperable disparities created by inequitable "rate design" especially when examined by race, zip code and census tract.
With knowledge of these geographically exclusionary capital investments and the current "rate design" equity and fairness contradictions, WE Energies, legally bound by a "duty to serve," and being committed to decarbonization and energy affordability for all Milwaukee ratepayers, is obligated to:
Assert a sustainable vision for engagement
Articulate a developmental process
Assess participation efforts (inside the utility)
Account for sustained action
African American wellbeing in Milwaukee is among the lowest in the nation. WE Energies operations are linked to the social determinants of health for Milwaukee’s BIPOC community. Partnering with WE Energies to help reduce energy burden for low to middle-income ratepayers in Milwaukee is our ultimate goal.
As a partner, energy burdened ratepayers must be afforded the resources to experiment, innovate and adapt co-created solutions with the utility to reduce CO2 emissions, and catalyze the local economy through targeted investments in affordable housing, workforce development, entrepreneurship and education.
As the case unfolds, we will provide you with more information about the proposed rate increase process and what you can do to help.
as a result of the WE Energies rate case
1. Establish annual funding commitment from WEPCO Shareholders to make targeted investments in energy affordability and efficiency for energy burdened, low income, and BIPOC ratepayers.
2. Co-create solutions with most vulnerable ratepayers, including local community and economic development stakeholders to reduce CO2 emissions in targeted communities, through direct investments in affordable housing, workforce development, entrepreneurship and education.
3. Co-create an inclusive cross sector stakeholder group to govern over settlement objectives and financial resources.
Community Benefits Agreement
I believe with the increase cost. It’s going to cause a lot of families to struggle with paying their bills in a greater way. The problem is must families in Lindsay Heights already are struggling so why cause families to drown with increasing the utility rates.
I have solar panels to address electricity needs but gas prices need to stay affordable
Our community is already struggling to make ends meet due to low wages from jobs. And I believe also as Covid continues to rises again I'm afraid we might fall back in a pandemic crisis.
WE. energies is Constantly taking advantage of being able to raise their prices. Totally unfair!
We energy have been taken advantage of Milwaukee and surrounding missipalities it is for many years one of the main reasons they are our only utility resources that's available ,and that creates a enormous monopoly
i believe we already pay a inner city tax that causes our utilities to be higher. I also think that needs to be addressed.
The cost of utilities in any given area, if ever increased, should only be done so based on the aggregate cost of utilities usage, and offesr by higher usage area (downtown, for instance)
I'm not for an increase in my utilities bills
We have very low income already and the bills are sky high😥
We Energy do a lot of red lining raising their pricing in different areas in the city of Milwaukee.. I have a lot of use.
Increased utility rates would create a hardship for the low-income customers we serve at the Social Development Commission and throughout Milwaukee County.