Over 80 local residents attended the hearing which a MGE representative answering questions and formal comments by rate payers to the state commission which regulates investor-owned utilities.
MGE is seeking a $23.3 million rate increase - 4.9% increase while the PSC staff recommendation is a .3% increase.
The rate request covers recovering infrastructure investments, higher taxes and insurance. The rate also includes customer incentives to increase energy efficiency.
If approved in full, the average residential customer would pay approximately $2.33 more per month or $28 annually.
The PSC staff recommendation would increase monthly rates less than a penny a month.
The Public Service Commission will hold evidentiary hearings during April in Jefferson City.
The Independence public hearing is one of several being held around the MGE service area on the rate increase.
Independence Power & Light, a municipal-owned utility, is not covered by the Public Service Commission (PSC). It typically does not public hearing on proposed rate increase.
Electric and water rates are approved by the City Council, based on recommendations provided by the Public Utilities Advisory Board. The water company is a also a municipal-owned enterprise.
In 2008, the Independence City Council approved a general rate proposal that included a 9% rate increase on Jan. 1, 2009 and 5% increase each July 1 from 2009 to 2012.
IP&L electric rates are higher than the investor-owned Kansas City Power & Light and also the municipally-owned Board of Public Utilities (Kansas City, KS).