FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Eric Howard, Fourth Sector Consulting, (928) 701-1954
Buddy Robinson, Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast, (218) 727-0207
Minnesota Power Proposes Rate Increase of Around $100 to Annual Energy Bills
Families, Seniors and Small Businesses Will Raise Concerns at Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Public Meeting on September 15
DULUTH, MN – Minnesota Power (MP) is proposing an estimated 10 percent increase in bills for residential customers – about $100 more per year on average. The proposed increase is made under the “Competitive Rate for Energy-Intensive, Trade-Exposed Electric Utility Customers” statute, and would provide a five percent discount for EITE companies, like taconite mines and paper companies.
On Thursday, September 15, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will hold a public meeting in St. Paul to resolve the proposal.
According to the briefing papers found on the PUC website, public comments – which closed on Friday, September 2 – showed overwhelming concern about the rate increase and urged the commission to deny the petition. Out of 45 unique comments, only one supported MP’s proposal. 34 percent “expressed concern over the effect of the residential rate increase on fixed or low-income consumers,” and 62 percent “expressed concern that the rate increases on residential and small businesses are unfair.”
“The PUC has heard a clear message from northeast Minnesota residents who would be directly impacted by the significant increase,” said Buddy Robinson, staff director of the Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast. “This terrible proposal allows big companies to benefit unjustly from the sacrifices of our seniors, our families and small businesses. Unacceptable.”
Available for comment this week:
- Buddy Robinson, staff director of the Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast; firstname.lastname@example.org, (218) 727-0207 (office)
- Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director of Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota; email@example.com, (612)-568-5707 (cell)
- Pam Marshall, executive director of the Energy CENTS Coalition; firstname.lastname@example.org, (651) 470-4500 (cell)
Robinson and Levenson-Falk will attend Thursday’s meeting and are scheduled to provide oral argument against Minnesota Power’s petition.
The Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast is a grass-roots, non-profit citizens membership organization that works for positive reforms in health care, jobs and other issues to sustain and benefit all families.
The Energy CENTS Coalition promotes affordable utility service for low and fixed income people, to ensure the basic necessity of energy to all citizens, and to encourage the participation of low and fixed income citizens in energy issues and energy related decision-making.
Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota (CUB Minnesota) is a nonprofit consumer watchdog group that advocates for affordable and reliable utility service and clean energy.
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