You've probably had your air conditioning running these last couple weeks. Wednesday night, some Iowa MidAmerican customers heard more about a plan that could have them paying more for it in the future.
Right now, the average monthly energy bill for a customer is $75.74. Under this proposal that would increase by $2.73 monthly later this year. Costs would continue to rise over the next few years. In 2015 the average customer will be paying about $8 more a month compared to now.
A couple dozen people turned out to hear more and voice their thoughts at the meeting in Davenport. It's one of eight public meetings the Iowa Utilities Board is holding throughout the state.
Some are worried about costs adding up for people already struggling. While some praised MidAmerican for being a good utility company, there's worry about transparency with this plan and where the money is going.
"My biggest concern is they're wasting money, my taxpayer money, subsidizing their foolish wind farms in Western Iowa," said Bruce Hansen of Davenport. "It doesn't impact me a whole lot but when you take all their customers they're going to be pulling in a pretty good chunk of change."
"Good management is rate increases as they come with justification. That's all I'm asking," said another customer.
MidAmerican reps say there hasn't been a base-rate increase in Iowa since 1995 and this is to align with the times. Also, the fact is that the company has spent more than $5 billion since then in generation and infrastructure improvements and operating costs have gone up over $300 million dollars a year.
If approved, the increase would start going into effect in August. The Iowa Utilities Board is also accepting written public comments on this proposal.