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After approving a rate increase, the Iowa Utilities Board warns Alliant Energy it needs to improve

Posted: Sun, Jan 12, 2020 4:31 PM

Last week the three members of the Iowa Utilities Board approved a 9.5 percent rate increase for Alliant Energy--good news for the company.

But the IUB members also assigned some "homework" to the utility and voiced their displeasure over the growing number of consumer complaints about Alliant.

The board members noted "numerous complaints from (Alliant) customers regarding service, including complaints regarding the rollout of the (smart meter) project, and declining customer satisfaction evaluations."

The board members then required Alliant to file with the IUB a comprehensive plan addressing how Alliant intends improve its customer relationships.  The IUB said the plan "must include monthly meetings with the IUB's customer service staff to address trends in customer complaints," adding that it will monitor Alliant's progress and expects it to show evidence of increased customer satisfaction, "including but not limited to: a reduction in customer complaints, reduced average call wait times, and an increase in its J.D. Power customer satisfaction score."

Alliant Energy has been imposing interim rates while the IUB deliberated about the permanent rate increase.  Alliant now must submit plans to the IUB showing how the utility will handle refunds to its customers and implementation of the new rates.