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2017 Legislative Recap: Moving backwards on energy, but worst bills were prevented

Though the Legislature had been meeting since January 3, almost all of this year’s bills were passed in “omnibus” packages in the final days. After a contention four-day special session, Governor Dayton signed major bills into law on May 30th. With the exception of an early bill for a new Xcel Energy natural gas plant, this…

Getting Ready for Higher Summer Electric Rates

With the Memorial Day weekend comes the unofficial start to the Minnesota summer.  A few days later, on June 1, higher summer electric rates begin for Xcel customers and continue through September. (Lower winter rates are in effect from October through May.)  Residential electric rates go up in the summer to correspond with higher demand,…

Some improvements, but legislature’s energy bill is still bad for rural Minnesotans

On Monday, the legislature sent a revised omnibus jobs and energy bill to Governor Dayton, including this year’s energy policy provisions. The bill, SF 1456, was the result of negotiations among legislative leadership and the Governor. However, DFL conference committee members reported that the bill contained some items that the governor had expected would be…

Regulators approve Xcel rate increase

Yesterday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved a plan under which Xcel residential electricity rates will increase by 10.6 percent over four years. Customers are already paying much of the increase, in a 5.5 percent interim rate increase that went into place in 2016. This is the first multi-year rate plan that regulators have approved…

Time to Tune the AC

Aside from a little snow early this month, it’s been a great May! Now is a good time to make sure your air conditioner is in tip top shape. While you’re doing your spring yard clean up, make sure your AC unit is free of debris. Additionally, just like furnaces, air conditioners should be serviced…