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Solar-users will save less on utilities next year

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsinites who install solar energy systems could lose part of their savings on their reduced electric usage, if they haven't already. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says some of the state's largest utilities are beefing up their fixed charges -- the amount which all customers pay, regardless of their energy usage.

We Energies has asked the state for permission to raise its fixed charge from $9 a month to $16. Wisconsin Public Service proposes a doubling of its fixed charge to $25-a home for home customers, and a tripling to $35 for businesses.

Also, We Energies and Wisconsin Power-and-Light want to reduce what they'll pay customers for solar power starting next year. The Journal Sentinel says falling prices and better technology have made solar energy a much better bargain than it used to be -- and the higher fixed charges on electric bills are designed to have those customers pay their fair share of things like power lines and sub-stations.