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Author Archives: Brandon Crawford

A graphic of a lightning symbol in a circle indicating utility disconnection.

CUB continuing to monitor CenterPoint practices and trends after PUC declines to adopt shutoff moratorium

Published February 9, 2024 On February 8, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) considered our request to implement a moratorium on wintertime disconnections for CenterPoint customers. Although the PUC did not approve the moratorium, it established a procedural framework for CUB, the Energy CENTS Coalition, and other stakeholders to continue bringing attention to harmful utility…

CUB calls for moratorium on CenterPoint’s wintertime disconnections

Published January 2, 2024 CUB and the Energy CENTS Coalition (ECC) recently recommended that CenterPoint Energy be prohibited from disconnecting customers during the winter. This decision was not made lightly. We reviewed numerous utility filings, compiled data on disconnection trends, and uncovered several questionable policies and practices engaged in by utilities. We detailed our concerns…

PUC approves MERC’s natural gas rate case settlement

Published October 27, 2023 On October 26, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) accepted a settlement agreement that limited rate increases for customers of Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC). Under the settlement, the company lowered its request to raise rates from approximately $32.7 million to $21.2 million, a more than $11.5 million reduction. As a result, the residential rate…

Investing in the Energy Future: Planned transmission projects create jobs and bring benefits home to consumers 

Published September 14, 2023 In two recent posts, we discussed the components of the electric grid and the important role that transmission plays in maintaining grid reliability and lowering energy costs. This background is essential to understanding why recently proposed projects will benefit the grid and utility customers. This post introduces the transmission system expansion…

Electricity Transportation: Why more transmission highways are needed

Published August 31, 2023 In the first blog post of this series, The Energy Highway: How electricity reaches your home, we introduced the general components of the electric grid: generation, transmission, and distribution. Together, these systems form a network that produces electricity and transports it to your home and the businesses you frequent. This post…

The Energy Highway: How electricity reaches your home

Published August 17, 2023 Every time we use electricity, it seems like an instantaneous process – just flip a switch and the lights turn on. In reality, the electric grid is much more complicated. Before it can be used, electricity must be generated and carried over potentially thousands of miles of lines and wires before…

PUC requires utilities to maximize IRA benefits

Published July 31, 2023 On Thursday, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ordered utilities to maximize the benefits of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in future planning and cost recovery proceedings.  When the IRA was signed into law nearly a year ago, it became the most significant energy investment in U.S. history, providing nearly $400…

Advanced Meters: PUC takes steps to ensure Xcel customers receive benefits and are protected from high costs

Published July 24, 2023 Xcel’s electric rate case is not the only reason the company’s customers will see their electric bills increase. Recently, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) heard a petition from Xcel to recover the costs associated with installing advanced meters. While these meters can provide customers with significant benefits, they are expensive. Cost…

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