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Minnesota Power rates will increase January 1

Minnesota Power electricity rates will increase by 5.8% beginning on January 1, 2020. This reflects an interim rate increase approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) earlier this month, and is lower than the interim increase of 7.7% that Minnesota Power had requested.

Minnesota Power (MP) has requested permission to increase its rates on a permanent basis by an average of 10.59% across all customer types, and 15% for the average residential customer. The final rate increase request still needs the PUC’s approval and is subject to review and comment by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of the Attorney General, public interest groups, and customers.

The impact of MP’s final rate increase request on individual households could vary greatly. The utility seeks to change from its block rate design – where the lowest 400 kilowatt-hours of energy use each month are billed at a low rate, and rates increase with usage – to flat rates, with the same rate charged for each unit of electricity regardless of a customer’s usage level. This means that customers who use little electricity are likely to see higher bill increases, while customers who use relatively high amounts of electricity, including homes with electric heat, could actually see bill savings if MP’s proposal is approved.

 

Source: Minnesota Power

If the final rate increase that is approved is higher than the 5.8% interim increase, then customers will receive refunds for the amount that they overpaid while interim rates were in effect, with interest.

The rate increase review will begin soon, including opportunities for public comment in person and in writing, and will conclude by December 1, 2020. CUB will intervene on behalf of consumers and will keep you up to date about opportunities to submit comments as customers of Minnesota Power.

You can prepare for higher bills:

  • Find opportunities to save money by cutting energy waste in your home and taking advantage of utility or state programs for which your home qualifies. Our website includes energy efficiency tips, links to relevant programs, and more information.
  • Contact us (651-300-4701 or info@cubminnesota.org) for an individualized consultation on your gas and electricity bills.
  • Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to make public comments in this case.

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Author: Annie Levenson-Falk

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