Electric customers of Alliant Energy’s Interstate Power and Light subsidiary will see a lower rate and get a refund on the electric bills they have paid since March. Iowa Utilities board spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says the board approved a rate increase of approximately nine percent.

Hillesland that rate is one percent below the temporary rate approved when the company asked for the rate increase in March and customers will be due a refund, plus interest that amounts to $4.5 million. The company had originally asked for a 14% increase in electric rates. Hillesland says the board held numerous hearings and took public input on the rate increase, and the down economy was one issue that kept coming up.

Hillesland says the board heard from a lot of customers who were really struggling. He says the board does have an obligation to allow the company to make enough money to provide good and reliable service, so they have to balance that with the interest of the customers.

Hillesland says the board did approve a set 10% return on equity for the company. He says the board agreed to the automatic recovery of transmission costs if the company agrees to a minimum three-year rate freeze. Hillesland says the company will decide next year whether they want to agree to the equity plan.

Hillesland says customers will see the refund on their electric bills under what’s called the energy adjustment clause.