Minnesota Power, which serves many people in northeastern and central Minnesota, is requesting rate increases that would result in an average 28% hike for its residential customers.
The utility has two requests before the state regulatory body, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). On November 2, it requested a general rate increase, proposing to hike residential rates by an average of 18%. This comes on the heels of a separate request this summer, which we’ve written about on this blog, to increase residential rates another 10%. Both proposals need the PUC’s approval.
State regulators will conduct a public process to examine the utility’s requests, and CUB is already advocating strongly to protect residential customers. In the past 30 years, Minnesota Power has never received more than 66% of what they’ve requested in a rate case, and we will work hard to make sure no unjustified costs are put onto consumers this time.
The first step is a PUC hearing next Thursday, at which an “interim” rate increase could be approved. This would allow rates to increase by a portion of the utility’s full request while the full case moves forward. At the end of the case, if the final decision results in a rate hike less than the interim increase, customers would be reimbursed the difference.
Are you a Minnesota Power customer? Let us know how this rate increase could affect you, and follow CUB on this blog and on Facebook for ways to make your voice heard.