View Case Record, GR-16-664
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I do not want the rate to increase for MN Power. As someone living in a rundown apt, I do not have the options to save energy by buying energy efficient appliances. An increase in price would be absurd for the quality and service by MN Power. Increase in price by $6 or $9/month is a large increase for the same service. It doesn't make sense and is impossible for people who live on a budget.
I am one of the many elderly in MNP service area and do not think they should be allowed another increase. I am looking at my current billing and for the continued increase in the billing for less elc. use than the same period for the last three years. We save and they in turn raise the rate. We live on our S.S. due to many health BILLINGS like many of the elderly without any COLA increases while they get fat. Why should we be punished so the mining industry can be more profitable and give to their ex's? What gives do we as the old people have no considerations anymore? I served and have made and paid my familys way all the time without ever ASKING FOR HELP. NOW WE DON'T SEEM TO COUNT, WHY? You have already given them more than they deserve and now they want more, I have the hope that we can live out our lives without being forced out of our home but it looks like we are second class citizens when it comes to giant power companies who have squandered much of what they already have taken. Please look into this for hundres of elderly in this are?
First off, if anything, the electrical grid should be put out so you can join the one you want instead of the one they give you. I have Crow Wing Power just 4 homes from mine. I would WAY rather have them the Minnesota Power, but cant, because they cant cross each others lines. Maybe the public utilities commission should look into that instead of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
I also am on a limited income. We got a $5 dollar a month increase on our pension checks. OMG!!!!! I would like the commission to investigate how much increases Minnesota Power gave there executives and the rest of their salaried employees. I would say if they got .01% like the rest of us, they would have plenty of money and wouldn't need to take it from us.
In closing, I would appreciate the commission to vote NO on the rate increase.
This rate increase should absolutely be rejected..Northern Pine county is experiences power outages all the time from Minnesota Power their answer to everything is their not responsible to provide contentious power ..Well understandable but recently I suffered a loss because of power surge that reentered my home..they won't own up to the damage done around the neighbor that costs not just me other homeowners also..No they already get resource costs from us ..which i don't agree with either
i am from International falls... our county has on e of the loest income per capita in our great state. the increase in utility rate will only hurt us. we depend on timber industry.. not iron and do not benefit from mining industries.. i realize we are a part of this wonderful state but we are struggling without this rate increase... this will make it worse.. please consider the loaction and economic conditions of our county when making this decision. thank you.
This utility is not due even a partial rate increase. They do not provide adequate customer service and take a minimalist approach to on-site service for the high rates they already charge.
I am not happy about this request for a rate increase. They want 9%, my wages don't go up as fast as my bills. I do everything I can think of to try and save energy. I've purchased many energy star appliances, have replaced most of our lights with led & fluorescent bulbs, we always shut lights off when we leave a room & a lot of the time we just use a flashlight to go do something quick in a dark room. We turn our heat down at night & do not turn it back up until we return home the next afternoon. We don't even turn the heat on in our bedroom, all of these things & yet our bill still keeps going up. Our last bill was $164.00 & our house is only 728 square feet & we are both at work all day. I have a co-worker who has someone home all day with the TV on. He also has 2 freezers & his bills are way less than mine. My wife called MN Power about this and their reply was "You can't compare yourself to others." REALLY!! Then they have this affordability surcharge forcing me to help pay other peoples bills. They say the Boswell Energy Center 4/Renewable Resource Adjustment/Transmission Adjustment have been reduced. Looks to me like they are just trying to keep us paying more instead of letting us see any benefit of these so called reductions.
I have concerns as well about the proposed rate increase and would vote to have it rejected. As a MN Power customer for many years (20+) we have enjoyed reasonable rates and very good service. Over the past several years, however it seems that rate increases have been sought as the easiest way to balance the operating budget. This is too close to a big government approach which says "work out a reasonable (by our standards) set of expenditures and then petition for the revenue to make it balance this year.... and we'll revisit it again next year."
Our utilities need to be held accountable for fiscal responsibility the same as the people they serve. One cannot always buy a new truck and hire a few more employees and then tell the customers the cost increase is really for their benefit. But I digress...
My primary concern is this: I feel we are constantly being asked to conserve energy and are given incentives to do so for the good of all. Yet I have been simplifying my bill by dividing the total dollar amount by the Kilowatt Hours used and see that my end "rate" is approximately $.115/kwh which is the same end rate as someone who uses over 6x the amount we use monthly! We are currently building a home with great interest in energy conservation but it would appear that the "smoke and mirrors" that takes place in the newly added line items on the bill nullifies any savings we are trying to achieve. Please understand that an overly detailed explanation as to why someone is reaching into our pocket doesn't lessen the pain caused by having to cut an expense somewhere else in our budget. We can't simply "request an income increase".
My secondary concern/question is: As I read the explanation included with my last bill as it concerns the 2018 proposed increase, the average residential customer will see an increase of 13.5% (from $81 to $92) in their bill. It's interesting the interim increase shows to be credited back netting little to no current impact but there appears to be a bigger concern looming....It's like their shaking our right hand and smiling while their left hand is reaching for our wallet!
Please regulate/simplify the only number that means something to the consumer....the final $$ amount and let us know with clarity the benefit of using less electricity. Thank you.
I have concerns regarding the request for a rate increase. In the past, Minnesota Power had a reduced rate after using a set amount of kilowatts. This was especially helpful for customers who heat their homes solely with electricity. I would like to see that reduced rate be considered again.
Secondly, we have had more power outages in the last year than we have had in 28 years in Fayal Township, Eveleth, MN. I would like to see this addressed.
Thirdly, enforcing the Fair Trade laws will make more of an impact for the steel industry than reducing their electrical rates.
Thank you for your consideration.
Minnesota Power is a for profit stock company and they are asking for increases to protect shareholder value and corporate profits, not for increases due to producing energy.
My bill is filled with service fees such as a mysterious $8.00 service charge. We just had friends move her from CHICAGO and they were shocked by the electric rates here. From Chicago!
We can't subsidize corporate welfare and they already lied about the first rate increase to support mining and then got a second rate increase put on the mines.
They need to be investigated.
I am opposed to proposed rate increase of Minnesota Power
My wife and I are seniors on a fixed income.
Our primary heat is electric baseboard, as is our appliances and water heater.
PLEASE oppose this as it is very hard on people with fixed income.
Hoyt Lakes, MN comment...
First, the positive: I have lived in Carlton County for 4 years, and have had reliable power service overall, experiencing very few outages. That being said, MN Power's Customer Service could use improvement- I once tried to get somebody to explain the myraid charges and fees on my bill, and after having several people essentially admit they didn't even know, I just gave up. I second Bruce Niemi's comment about a simplified bill/rate! Its hard to know exactly what a 6.1% rate increase really means when my bill has 18 (eighteen!!) different line item charges and fees. Which one of these will be changing? All of them? In the end, I pay around 11.5 cents/kWh as an average residential customer. I think that is sufficient. I do not support an additional rate increase.
As a side note: why does the State of Minnesota (and Carlton County) charge sales tax on a basic service such as electricity??
We are against the rate increase as proposed in docket 26-664.
Please deny MN Power's new request to raise residential electric rates again. People of low and middle incomes are finding it more and more difficult to cover basic utility costs due to stagnant wages and other increasing living expenses, especially health care costs. I feel that MN Power should actually reduce residential electric rates and not be giving their large industrial customers, especially the mines, such preferential treatment. Last summer some areas right within the City of Duluth were without power for 7-8 days after a wind storm. We could not understand why they were so slow to restore electricity within the city limits -- they must handle such outages faster. What if that were to happen in the winter? Thank you for the opportunity to speak against this proposed rate increase.
I too am on a fixed income (S.S. and VA pension), residing in Northern Pine Co. on a farm that has been in the family since 1914. It seems like MNP wants to increase our rates every two years. My bill goes up every winter because I have to provide heated water for the cattle. I also am paying the electric bill for my daughter's home, The county seems to think she can survive on $200 per month, and her bill during winter is $350 or more. MNP has never done anything for the average consumer. I for one am totally against MNP receiving a rate increase, because I'm tired of paying more money on my power bill. Deny them their request. Let their corporate big-wigs take a pay cut for once.
It sounds like MN Power is once again submitting an unreasonable rate hike for the middle income consumers. Even though they are putting a spin on it for the mines and paper company, it will be devastating for those who will have to pick up the tab. I am all for keeping jobs up north and helping the mines; but when the mines are working, some of those people make 3 times the salary of the average consumer who MN Power wants to absorb cost. When the mines are not working, those people fall into the lower income bracket which is exempt from any rate increase.
I think it is an absurd percentage MN Power expects people like myself to pay. I am retired and heat with electricity. MN Power certainly does well enough to help the mines or choose to give a failing company a break, so why should it all of a sudden become a detriment to the middle income households?
Please hold strong on not allowing them to pass the hike without it being a reasonable percentage. There are seldom, if ever, salary increases for middle income and retirees.
Thank you for considering my concerns,
3873 Haines Rd
Hermantown, MN 55811
Minnesota Power's service has been good on the Iron Range. It's been dependable and reliable. On the other hand, their request for a rate increase is unwarranted. Their justification is to cover the operating costs. My monthly electric bills consist of 70% for electric rates based on usage, 25% for fees and surcharge subsidies allowed by MPUC and 5% for use tax. If the electric bill only consisted of rate charges based on usage, it would be manageable. Residents on fixed incomes must be struggling to meet their monthly expenses. No matter what rate increase is allowed, it will affect the fee and surcharge portion proportionally and without regard to the consumers' ability to pay.
Public utilities have a monopolistic advantage over the public. Our governmental agencies should be protecting the consumers concerns and interests from these same monopolies since no competition is available and the public is at their mercy.
The fees and surcharges were originally implemented the help utilities cope with excessively high energy costs - which should have been a short term remedy. Energy costs have declined yet the fees/surcharges have remained on the bills. Let's not forget, the public also experienced these same excessively high energy costs.
Utilities' rates should cover generation, distribution and operations of the organization. Continued governmental subsidization has always created inefficient and wasteful practices by those receiving the subsidies. Consumers are expected to live within their means, why are utilities permitted otherwise?
Not that many years ago, utilities operated by their rates alone. Now with state intervention, those practices are gone. Whose interests are being served?
Respectfully, Terry Pogorels Hibbing, MN Doc# 16-664
I am once again writing you as this is the second time MP&L has tried to raise rates over and above what they need. As one of the many elderly trying to stay in my home and off welfare on a fixed income of S.S. after paying all my moneys to the medical people to stay alive I need your help and understanding. First I still say we as private citizens should have more rights than the wealthy mine owners who may or may not be Americans. Our Pres. has put a stop to the shut down of coal mining so there is no need for the ultra expensive natural gas to run the power plants already IN PLACE. Please deny this increase as it is not in line with the people they serve. Further their billing practice is harsh as I get my bill and they only give me 6 days to have the money in their coffers or I get told I am late even when I mail it the same day I get the bill. Thank you listening and I hope helping my wife and I stay in our homes as it is getting very hard to so and this increase even though we have cut back in our power usage for some time now is alarming.
My husband and I are opposed to the proposed rate increase filed by Minnesota Power. We are a middle class family and we cannot afford this potential rate increase. We agree with Terry Pogorels that this is unwarranted. If this rate increase also affects the taxes/ fees on my bill (which there is more than a dozen on my bill) then it is more than what they are leading it to be. We are very conservative with the amount of electricity that we use but it feels as though no matter what we do our bill never seems to reflect our initiatives. We have all energy star appliances, replaced all our light bulbs to energy saving ones, and we do not use they baseboard heaters in our basement (once turned them on for company and our bill skyrocketed by $200.00). Minnesota Power will undoubtedly fill for another increase in the near future, however, I am already struggling to meet expenses and don't have the luxury of asking for a 13.5% increase of my salary.
Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.
Awesome, and we'll said, my company won't give me a 13.5% increase in my wage to pay for my power. Paulus minnesota power says say many install less, and as soon as you get your rebates they want to raise rates to recoup there money
Minnesota Power is attempting to get an increase of the rates for the consumers in the Duluth area but plans to reduce the rate for industry and mining companies. This would be a severe blow to the older residents that are attempting to live on their retirement incomes. Their incomes generally have very limited increases from year to year and the increase to their power billing for many would not be affordable. They need to adjust their rates so they treat all customer in the same manner. Mining companies and industry do not deserve to be treated better than the residential customers.
Agree and we'll said, big companies consume probably 3 to 4 times the power of residents
I in no way want an increase to the rate for Power. I'm writing this knowing full well that the powers that be will do whatever they want regardless of those of us who took the time to reply here.
I'm single, everything in my house is energy star qualified, every single light bulb is LED., and I still pay 80 to 150 per month. And my neighbors with 3 to 6 members only pay roughly 60, and you want to raise your rates to residents and give BIG BUISNESS a break. We're they consume more power then residents, I find this to be unjustified. I will not support this hike, this is your plant. If this hike goes through I WILL GO TO SOLAR and get off the grid, because I really don't need Minnesota Power. Sure it will cost at leastv10 grand, but then I don't have to deal with corporate greed, thank you
We are all for paying a reasonable amount for the electricity that we use. We are on a limited income and CAN NOT afford the rate increase Minnesota Power is asking for. They are a for stock company. Why should we be asked to pay for their new energy project in Superior WI. If anything a rate decrease is warranted.
We are all for paying a reasonable amount for the electricity that we use. We are on a limited income and CAN NOT afford the rate increase that Minnesota Power is asking for. Minnesota Power is private stock company. Why should we be asked to pay for their new project in Superior WI? If anything a decrease in rates is warranted.
When even the Chamber of Commerce says no to another greedy rate increase by Minnesota Power, that should tell you something! Why are they allowed to go after more and more money, allegedly to "go green" and produce renewable energy, at the total expense of its customers, particularly when they just brazenly ammounced they will build a huge NATURAL GAS producing plant in Superior, Wi??????
I am asking you, as a customer of MN Power to please deny the request to raise rates, they are a thriving business and the profits they made last year proved that. We have many citizens within the electrical grasps of MN Power who can't afford further bill increases due to corporate greed, the fact that they want us to pay more money for the same amount of services does not leave enough of a convincing argument that they need the finances to continue operating Day to day. Each and every one of their customers has a duty to pay for the power they use as I do myself, but why should us customers have to help pay for corporate electric bills who use more power and more strain on the grid but want a lesser bill so they can in turn make a higher profit. Vote/encourage a nay say to allowing the 2nd increase in our power bills by Minnesota Power.
Ms. Rutledge say: "Residential customers are paying 30 percent less than the actual cost of serving them."
Then who is? Must be the large corporate users who I am now forced to subsidize.
I'm a 65 yo, disabled, Social Security recipient whose COLA was 0.0% in 2015 and 0.3% in 2016.
DENY their request!
I am a residential customer on dual fuel. Sadly, this is not the first time that MN Power has raised our rates. I have complained before and you did try to go to bat for us, but it was too late.... We are not saying that MN Power is not doing their job, we appreciate their efforts. What we are saying is that we cannot afford to keep up with the rate increases. Taxes in Duluth skyrocketed this year with many home-owners having over a $1000.00 increase. Many of us in Duluth are on fixed incomes and with these increases - many won't be able to afford to live in their homes much longer. When you don't have competition, increases are not kept in check. The sad part is when you read in the paper that the stock holders of MN Power are doing great! Maybe to help the people, you could turn MN Power into a cooperative for the people of Northern Minnesota so we could all benefit and have our rates reduced. Please work out something to help the citizens of Minnesota instead of adding more burden on them.
This a private corporation, which has had solid profits, which wants residential customers to pay to subsidize decreased business and corporate rates. The reasons behind this money grab are specious at best. It will disproportionately raise rates on families at a rate triple what it is asking its largest power users. Many people on fixed incomes will have to struggle to meet this increase. If this private corporation wants to pay for infrastructure improvements, it should look to its profit structure. Please do not support this proposal.
Sad. Corporate GREED is stinking up this request to increase rates. What really irritates me - which I have read in these comments - and which I've always felt is wrong - is we - the consumers - are asked to reduce our use - so what do we do? We do - we go out and buy new energy efficient appliances - light bulbs - turn off the lights etc. And then they want us to pay more? SAY NO to another increase!! We - the people - the consumers Can Not Afford It!! I can't believe they want their consumers to pay more and not the big business & corporations. Everything today is backwards. Corporations and big business are the ones who are supposed to pay. Record breaking profits for big business & corporations and they are the ones who catch the break?? Just as I said at the beginning - SAD!! SAY NO TO THIS INCREASE!!!
As the Duluth News Tribune reported on June 1, 2017, the Commerce Department stated that Minnesota Power should lower their rates, not increase their rates. The Commerce Department is able to analyze and gather pertinent information regarding this issue. Therefore, the Commerce Department is able to ascertain this very important recommendation. Interestingly enough, the article stated "that the utility can reduce the rates it charges customers while continuing to provide safe, reliable service and obtain a reasonable rate of return on equity." The article went on to say "that both consumer groups and the company's largest customers, namely taconite processing plants, have vehemently opposed the rate increase." As many folks, we are on a fixed income and every penny counts. Based on the findings of the Commerce Department, there isn't a need for Minnesota Power to increase it's rates and, in fact, should lower their rates.
My electric bill has literally doubled in the 5 years. Every increase takes food off of my table. I have never seen a company request rate increases every year like MN Power. These increases are OBSCENE. The MPUC commisioners are just as much to blame. They have never denied them an increase, partial or otherwise. Deny this increase!
Do not allow a rate increase. It will hurt low income people in this area greatly, especially those on fixed income. We are already seeing many increases coming our way that we have no control over and certainly don't need another one. If MN Power made investments in equipment and infrastructure that makes energy costs more expensive they made bad financial decisions and should not be rewarded for it.
I oppose MN Power's plan to subsidize large users (i.e., mining/paper mills) by raising domestic users because it supports industries that employ fewer workers every year, while penalizing the residents of the area. Rising rates for families will not encourage people to move to our area. MN Power needs to recognize that they don't need to cater to mining. The big companies are here because of the geology, not because of low power rates. Let's subsidize renewable energy instead and look out to the future using recycled sources of metals to allow the earth to heal and new markets to build.
Why do private homes have to have this increase when the business(mining) can get by on less. We are on a fixed income and any increase is terrible for our budget. Also we can't go out and buy new appliances to get their rebates , etc to save energy and money. The buck has to stop somewhere and it starts now.
No way should Mn Power be able to raise their rates!! I got a new energy efficient furnace 4 years ago and this last March got a new energy efficient hot water heater. I have been hanging my laundry outside since March. My light are not on till after 8:00 at night with the longer days and the furnace has not been on for over a month and not much for the last 3 months. My May bill was still $136, so I would like to know what I am paying for? I also want to know why they started raising our rates( to my understanding) in January anticipateting that they will get the rate increase passed. Do we get our money back for those months!!!???
Mn Power residential rate hike: Vote No. I am a Mn Power customer. Winter months my electric bill is already anywhere from $300-$500 per month. I don't feel we need any increase.
Why should residential customers pay for power used by the taconite industry and other big business. Electricity is a necessity for residential customers. Big business uses electricity as a money making tool to take millions of dollars out of our state. Vote No to the rate increase.
I encourage you to vote no on this latest increase request from Minnesota Power. The large industries they want to give a break to are working at capacity and can well afford their power bills. Minnesota Power is currently providing record excellent returns to their investors. This is coming on the backs of the everyday consumer. As an older person on a fixed income I simply can't afford to subsidize large industry and over the top corporate profits for private Minnesota Power investors. Their argument is to provide a "cleaner" environment. I applaud their success and investment in clean energy. I also am aware this is far cheaper investment to implement and produce than coal and gas. Please vote no on this request.
Pleaer vote no on this request. I do not foresee my income increasing to cover this increase. Subsidizing large industry at the expense of middle income taxpayers has been shown to be unwise multiple times. Mining is not the most important industry in this area. Don't bow to industry while forgetting your small customers.
Minnesota Power stockholders will again get a dividend of approximately 3% this year, as they have year in and year out for many years, while those living on social security will not get anything extra at all except an increase on their electric bills.
So it seems that my rates, that I'm struggling to pay already, will go up to subsidize a 3% dividend for those that can afford to pay for stock in Minnesota Power.
Maybe this year Minnesota Power could give only a 1% dividend to shareholders and forego any rate increase on the rest of us. Please vote no on this substantial increase.
I oppose the proposed rate hike. Residential customers should not have to subsidize taconite plants. They can pay their own electric costs.
I write today to protest the increase of rates put forth by Minnesota Power and Light. I have great respect for MPL but these rate increased cannot be allowed. MPL has unlimited ways that they can use to account for their costs. They can take the cost incurred in one department and record it in the books of another department. You an I will only see the costs as MPL presents them and that may not be true record of where they were actually incurred. MPL grants large reductions in the rates of their large consumers. They offset these reductions with increased rates for the home owner and small business owner. All of the costs of generation and distribution will show and will balance on their annual statement but e cost source shown, will only be as MPL chooses to show them. The large user has the freedom to seek lower prices in a competitive market which has little control. The small consumer has no choice as to who he get his power from. It is a monopoly and because of that, it is regulated. The large consumer can simple pass the cost of electricity on to his customer. The home owner has nobody to pass the cost on to. It is patently unfair to levy the small user who is locked in and cannot seek other suppliers, and benefit the large consumer, who can shop for lower prices on an open market. The home owner ends up paying for the freedom exercised by the large user. This is so wrong that I dont know where to begin. I have nothing but respect for MPL. They are a true asset to Duluth and all of Minnesota. My family was instrumental in the establishment of The Great Northern Power Company which later became MPL. MPL has served this area well and with class and honor but int this case, they are wromg. The rate increased should be rolled back in full. It is not the fault of the home owner that the cost of distribution has gone up more that the cost of distribution to a large user. The home owner has invested time and money to be more careful about electric use. All of this at the urging and request of MPL. We have done our part and now it is up to MPL to be more fair in their price structure.
Those on Social Security, disability, state assistance and the many minimum wage earners in the State of Minnesota as a whole are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. We have no other option when it comes to buying our electricity, so we are at the mercy of Minnesota Power, a for profit corporation. The PUC is our only protection from this giant. In addition, why should private citizens pay more than major corporations? Let them take out the loans for alternative energy resources, so that private citizens don't have to take out home loans just to keep the lights on.
I am a 22-year resident of Duluth, MN and a customer of M.P.
The kinds of infrastructure improvements that M.P. proposes are sorely needed and if a rate adjustment is needed to support them, then I support such a change. In fact, to whatever extent it is possible to have electricity rates fully and accurately reflect the direct as well as indirect costs and consequences of generation and distribution, I am a supporter.
The issues of assuring affordability of adequate power to all is a role for our state and/or national governments -- just as other issues of social safety-net are and should be. Not a role for a private, all be it heavily regulated, utility.
Only with real and accurate price signals representing the full cost of power -- including all the hitherto externalized costs of air pollution and land use -- will we be able to make intelligent decisions about it.
Thank you for consideration.
In 1985 my wife and I purchased a large historically significant masonry house. Heating the house has been expensive, and we looked for a long time for ways to save on these costs. In 2010 we invested tens of thousands of dollars in the installation of a ground water geothermal heating system consisting of three 6 ton heat exchangers, two wells totaling over 1800 feet deep, and a horizontal field of 2000 feet. Taking advantage of federal tax credits and Minnesota Power rebates, we expected a payback within about eight years, an annual savings in heating costs after that, and the satisfaction of doing our part as guardians of our environment. Since then, while the cost of natural gas dropped, the cost of electricity has increased, and we have hardly begun to benefit from our geothermal heating. Dual fuel is a very significant cost of reducing our natural gas consumption. With Minnesota Power’s rate increase we could very well end up paying as much as we did using just natural gas. The rate increases are inconsistent with Minnesota Power’s commitment to geothermal heating. Furthermore, as senior homeowners on fixed incomes (and with property taxes having soared 300 percent in ten years) we cannot afford this additional escalation of our costs of living.
We are very opposed to another MN Power Residential rate increase! Big industry shud not have to rely on financial support of the public. NE MN has an approximate 10.1 % poverty rate and another increase would create hardship on everyone but especially the elderly, those on fixed incomes and families. With our long winters we are all dependent on electricity for light, home heating, and meal preparation. The ironic part of this increase is those who are frugal in electric useage will actually pay more, possibly up 15% more! How can this be fair?
It is unfair and wrong to burden residential customers to enhance benefits of industry. If big business can't cover their own utilities, then so be it! Each of us has to pay our power bill.
I sincerely hope the Commission will consider this matter seriously and fairly. Thank you for offering the opportunity for public input on this potential rate increase. We hope the Public Utilities Commission will consider all the diverse populations this additional increase would affect and consider not allowing it. Especially piggy backed on a increase not already in effect.
I oppose the amended rate hike for Minnesota Power. In regard to reducing the power rate for the taconite companies, this is a ploy by the taconite companies to reduce costs and increase profits. Reference the announcements by Cleveland Cliffs about record profits. The taconite companies operate at the market for steel, not at the cost for operating materials (electrical rates). Minnesota Power is basing their rate increase solely on the fact that the rates haven't been raised for many years. I was disappointed during the public hearings that Minnesota Power didn't present any justification for the rate increase. This Company should be allowed to provide the public with power for equitable rates. I understand the need for a reasonable rate of return and a reasonable dividend for their owners, but to raise the rate without justification is not reasonable. Please reference the following announcements by Allete, and Minnesota Power. January 22, 2016; Allete Raises Quarterly Common Stock Dividend to 52 cents a share, an increase of 3%. February 18, 2016; Allete Corp. reports increased 2015 earnings. May 3, 2016; Allete Corp. Reports higher first quarter 2016 earnings. August 3, 2016; Allete Corp. reports higher second quarter 2016 earnings. January 25, 2017; Allete Board of Directors raises quarterly common stock dividend, an increase of 3%. February 15, 2017 Allete Corp. reports earnings of $3.14 per share, up from $2.92 per share in 2016, up 10%. May 4, 2017 Allete Corp reports higher firsrt quarter 2017 results. "Hodnick said that the companies 3 year shareholder return through the end of 2016 was 44.4% . Based on these outstanding reports does anybody think a increase in electric rates is justified!! ? Please do not approve the rate increase and do not approve any transfer of cost from the taconite companies to residential rates. Glenn Peterson