Say, Minnesota Power, what’s with all the rate hikes?
Answers to that question and more will come at a Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce FORVM next week. The Duluth-based utility will give their view on why rates or increasing, where you can expect them to stabilize and how your business can conserve energy.
Minnesota Power’s Pat Mullen and Margaret Hodnik will be the guests at 8 a.m. March 2 at the Playground Theatre in the Tech Village in downtown Duluth.
I wonder if Minnesota Secretary of State Lori Swanson, or others that oppose the rate hikes, will offer retorts?
According the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, "Minnesota Power has had some of the lowest cost power rates in the country. Recently, however, the company has raised its rates and is seeking another increase. Some have criticized Minnesota Power saying the rates are not justified. Others simply wonder why rates are increasing."
Allete, the parent to Minnesota Power, saw net income drop $21 million from 2008 to 2009, but it still posted a $61 million net income last year, according to its annual earnings report.
“The financial picture for Allete in 2009 was negatively impacted by the economic downturn and by regulatory outcomes that were less than favorable to us,” Don Shippar, Allete’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release about 10 days ago.
In an April 2009 rate case before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Power got half of what it requested, said a spokeswoman, and in December, it got two-thirds of its request.
The December judgement meant residential customers will see their electricity bills increase an average of $7 a month this year.