Published April 23, 2020
Today, Minnesota Power filed a request to immediately reduce customer bills, to soon refund approximately $12 million to customers, and to withdraw its pending request for a rate increase.
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the circumstances surrounding Minnesota Power’s earlier rate increase request. In November, Minnesota Power filed a request to increase rates by 10.59% across all customer classes (and by 15% for residential customers). Customers are currently paying a 5.8% interim rate increase while the utility’s request is under consideration by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
With today’s filing, Minnesota Power is requesting that the interim rate increase be reduced to a 4.1% effective May 1, and that an estimated $12 million in earlier interim charges be refunded to customers. Going forward, the 4.1% increase would become permanent across customer classes. The increase for residential customers would be slightly higher but still less than the interim increase that is on customers’ bills today. The earliest the utility would be allowed to request another rate increase would be March 1, 2021.
CUB has worked closely with Minnesota Power to develop this proposal, and we support it. If approved, it will result in immediate savings for customers.
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