Over the last year, Attorneys Joe Sullivan and Steve Nyhus represented the City of Albert Lea in its challenge to Alliant Energy’s massive electric rate increase.  Alliant Energy proposed raising electric rates for all of its Minnesota customers by approximately 22%.  As the largest Minnesota customer of Alliant Energy, the City of Albert Lea faced an approximate $250,000 yearly increase in its electric bills.  In representing the City, Joe and Steve developed a two pronged strategy for attacking the necessity of the electric rate increase.  This strategy had the City formally intervene in the Alliant Energy rate case before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and spearhead a public relations and media campaign to advocate to the Commission for reduced rates.  Prior to this case, no other communities had been so actively involved in opposing a utilities request to increase their electricity rates.  The overall campaign was tremendously successful and spurred a massive outpouring of opposition by similar communities, residents, and businesses affected by the increase.  The Public Utilities Commission ruled this past summer that Alliant Energy’s rate increase would be reduced by approximately 50%.