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Increase on energy bill?

Milwaukee County - A plan by We Energies to raise fees and eliminate some of the incentives for using Solar Energy generated a rally in downtown Milwaukee. Dozens of people rallied outside We Energies Monday afternoon. Many of them say it's wrong for them to pay more money after they've invested in Solar Energy.

\"Just because we have solar on the house, we are penalized by having this tax put on the system.\" Said, Juanita Ellias.

We Energies has a new rate increase proposal for customers who generate their own energy, by paying a stand-by charge. Some say it could range between 20 to 30 dollars added to a customer's monthly bill. Juanita Ellias is someone who would feel the pinch.

\"It's unreasonable because we pay for it 100 percent. We took it out of our savings. It was 25 thousand dollars we invested.\" Said, Ellias.

Brian Manthey for We Energies says if the rate isn't added, any unused electricity would be passed on to customer's who don't have solar energy panels on their home.

\"We think renewable energy is very important, including those owned by customers. However, it needs to be fair for all customers.\" Said, Brian Manthey.

\"It's not like we're using anything. It's not like we're abusing their infrastructure.\" Said, Ellias.

Organizers at Monday's rally say this is connected to We Energies proposing a rate to increase customer's fixed charges.

\"This proposal will hurt low income housing, senior citizens, and hurt anyone trying to be energy sufficient as well.\" Said, Sarah Wolfe.

Manthey says the proposals have followed by public discussion, and approval has not been granted at this time. There is a resolution on Milwaukee's Common Council to oppose the solar tax. A full vote is scheduled for September 23rd.



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