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View Case Record, M-16-564
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comment...WE WANT OUT OF THE EITE LAW:
FOR MINNESOTA POWER CUSTOMERS in KOOCHICHING COUNTY
1) THE ONLY KOOCHICHING COUNTY PEOPLE WHO WILL BE HIT BY THIS ARE International FALLS RESIDENTS, Ranier residents and businesses and rural Koochiching County people on Minnesota Power in the immediate vicinity of International Falls.
2) IT WILL INCREASE RESIDENTIAL RATES 10% AND COMMERCIAL RATES FROM 4.55% TO 5.53% DEPENDING ON YOUR BUSINESS CUSTOMER CLASS
3) OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL LORI SWANSON SAYS THIS RATE HIKE IS UNFAIR, UNWARRANTED AND NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED THAT IT MEANS JOB 1 ON THE IRON RANGE.
4) THIS RATE HIKE ON US PROVIDES “NEGLIGIBLE” BENEFIT TO BOISE, PER THEIR SPOKESPERSON
5) BOISE PAID FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE MILL TO GIVE THEM A COMPETITIVE EDGE. NOW THAT IS BEING BLUNTED BY THIS LAW THAT REWARDS ENERGY INEFFICIENT MILLS AT OUR EXPENSE
6) FOR CITY RESIDENTS ALONE, IT MEANS HALF A MILLION OUT OF OUR POCKETS AND A $1.5 MILLION BLOW TO OUR LOCAL ECONOMY –NOT INCLUDING COST TO BUSINESSES AND NON-RESIDENTS
7) THE $19 MILLION IN ANNUAL RATE HIKE WE NORTHLANDERS PAY WILL BE SPREAD OVER 10 COMPANIES AND IS INSUFFICIENT TO CHANGE PRODUCTION OPERATIONS. IT WILL BE USED FOR CEO BONUSES.
8) WE DON’T BELIEVE THE LIE THAT WE ARE BEING SUBSIDIZED BY BIG INDUSTRY. THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MAKES SURE EACH CUSTOMER CLASS PAYS THEIR FAIR SHARE.
9)MINNESOTA POWER HAS A DIFFERENT COST STRUCTURE THAN NORTH STAR ELECTRIC OR LAKE COUNTRY POWER BECAUSE THEY HAVE LESS DISTRIBUTION COSTS. IT IS NOT LOGICAL TO TAKE INDUSTRY OUT OF THE MP COST STRUCTURE IN WHICH WE PAY OUR FAIR SHARE AND THEN SAY WE ARE SUBSIDIZED BECAUSE IF INDUSTRY VANISHES, WE WILL PAY MORE.
10) THIS LAW UNDERMINES THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION STAFF WHO WORKS TO ENSURE WE ARE TREATED FAIRLY. THE COMMISSION WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1878 TO STOP THE HURT BEING INFLICTED WHEN BIG INDUSTRY AND POWER COMPANIES SET DEALS THAT PUSHED UTILITY COSTS ONTO PEOPLES’ BACKS.
WE WANT OUT in KOOCHICHING COUNTY BECAUSE THE LAW UNDERMINES BOISE’S INVESTMENT IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN OUR MILL AND OUR STRUGGLING COMMUNITY CANNOT TOLERATE THIS. KOOCHICHING COUNTY HAS 6% OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY’S PROPERTY VALUES, OUR RESIDENTS HAVE 6% OF THEIR INCOME AND LESS THAN A TENTH OF THEIR BUSINESS ACTIVITY. WE CAN‘T AFFORD TO COVER THE COST OF BUSINESS IN ST LOUIS COUNTY.
We built our home 20yrs ago. Our builder suggested we build a Triple E home--an all electric, highly energy efficient home. The program was developed and marketed by MinnesotaPower. All electric appliances including hot water and heat, super energy efficient windows and insulation, and dual fuel capability were some of the program's requirements. Twenty years into this, we are certainly regretting our decision. After multiple energy assessments, no one can tell us why our electric bill is so high--even when you exclude heat/cooling, our bill is $250 a month for two adults. The city of Duluth has now increased the franchise fee 3%, up from 1%. Now Minnesota Power wants a total of 18% increase in electric charges to it's customers. As an all electric household, we will feel the effect of these increases much greater than the average household always quoted in the new releases. The increases to our bills would be approx $55-$80 a month, depending on time of year. We are coming close to retirement with a fixed income and so these increases that we have no control over are very concerning. Duluth passed their franchise fee increase without regard for those of us who will be paying beyond our fair share. This increase should not be granted.
I am very angry that MN Power sneaked in almost the very same proposal that was previously denied, benefiting big business to the detriment of those of us on fixed incomes and lower incomes who live here. Seniors and the poor cannot afford more in electric rates; my church also faces that issue annually in the budget. For a "public utility" Minnesota Power surely throws its weight around an awful lot. I wonder how much their lobbyists make? Please don't approve this, yet another greedy grab by Minnesota Power! ,
Please reject petition for another increase. Send them back to examine their budgets and trim accordingly. They already have enough for lavish pensions, self insurance and high wages.
Social Security provided me a 0.3% increase for this year. They raised the cost of Medicare to nullify the 0.3% increase. How does Minnestoa Power get away with asking for an 8% increase? With all the city ,county,state and federal taxes we pay we can't afford an increase in electricity rates. Please reject their request for an increase!
My name is Kay Johnson and I have worked at the Verso Duluth Paper Mill for 29 years. I am requesting timely approval of the EITE petition. Our mill’s product pricing is currently at lows not seen since the recession of 2008. Our products, which are sold in the United States, face fierce global competition, particularly from Canada. Energy costs are the mill’s largest cost and have doubled since 2007. Please approve the EITE petition; it will significantly improve the competitiveness and viability of the Verso Duluth Mill. This will greatly benefit the 250 employees that work here and their families, along with the greater Duluth/Superior area where employees live and spend their paychecks. I do understand that with this passing that I will be paying more for our home electricity but the real financial pressure on my place of employment and its impact on the community easily tips the scale to supporting the petition for me.