Are you a We Energies' customer? Your monthly bill may be going up

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State regulators have approved We Energies' plan to increase hundreds of thousands of electric customers' fixed monthly charges by nearly $7.

We Energies had asked the state Public Service Commission for permission to raise its fixed monthly rates for residential and small business customers from $9.13 to $16. The utility contends the increase will ensure customers who use less energy and therefore pay less contribute their fair share toward maintaining infrastructure such as power plants and transmission poles.

PSC Chairman Phil Montgomery and Commissioner Ellen Nowak said during a meeting on the proposal Friday that they believe the increase is justified. Commissioner Eric Callisto countered the panel is supposed to protect ratepayers and the utility's proposal hurts customers who use less electricity.