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    Wisconsin Public Service Corp. recently announced that improving economic conditions and lower natural gas prices will likely lead the company to strike out an electricity rate increase it had been toying with for the 2013 budget, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

    Before the rosier outlook, the utility applied to the state Public Service Commission to increase electricity rates by $85 million, or 9.2 percent, by the end of 2012.

    "It's a big swing when you file at $85 million and bring it down to zero, but it's good for customers and it works for us," said David Kyto, WPS rate case director.

    Customer use is also expected to pick back up, further eliminating the need for the price hikes.

    "Our sales projections are higher now than when we filed the rate case," said David Kyto, the utility's rate case director. "That was by far the single largest contributor."

    Wisconsin is currently at the center of a debate surrounding energy deregulation, with many advocacy groups calling out for a competitive energy market. Such an environment would allow WPS customers to search for the best electricity rates, and switch electricity providers. It would also allow customers to decide on the best energy rates, which include greener electricity options.