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Wisconsin regulators approve electric rate increase (5:11 p.m. 11/12/09)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — We Energies customers will face bigger electric bills.

The state Public Service Commission has approved a $90 million rate increase for We Energies subsidiary Wisconsin Electric Power Company, or WEPCO. That translates to $5 more a month for the average residential customer.

The utility had asked to raise rates by $190 million, citing construction and conservation costs and the recession. Commission Chairman Eric Callisto says the panel struck a balance between the utility and customers.

The commission also reduced WEPCO natural gas rates by $1.4 million, cutting monthly bills by 9 cents. It approved a $6.1 million gas increase for another We Energies’ subsidiary, Wisconsin Gas Company. That translates to about 84 cents more per month.

The increases are expected to begin early next year.

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