Attorney General asks Minnesota Power for customer refundsMinnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has asked that Minnesota Power be ordered to provide more than $6 million in refunds to its individual and small-business customers.
By: Forum Communications Staff, Pine Journal
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has asked that Minnesota Power be ordered to provide more than $6 million in refunds to its individual and small-business customers.
LastWednesday, Swanson also asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to reject the company’s request to surcharge those customers nearly $1 million.
Swanson’s request is based on the fact that the company’s individual and small-business customers have been paying interim rate hikes of 11.34 percent long after the PUC approved final rates of between 3.9 and 5.4 percent, according to a news release from her office.
According to Swanson’s office, the PUC approved a rate hike for Minnesota Power customers of 3.9 percent for individual ratepayers and 5.4 percent for small businesses on Nov. 2, 2010. On March 8, however, Minnesota Power asked the PUC to have individuals and small businesses continue to pay the interim rate hike of 11.34 percent until June 1. Minnesota Power also asked the PUC to surcharge individuals and small businesses an additional $927,984.
In a legal filing with the PUC, Swanson asked the PUC to reject Minnesota Power’s request to delay implementation of the lower final rates to June 1 and to instead refund individuals and small businesses a total of $6,243,372.
“This continues to be a tough economy for most people. It’s not fair for the company to expect individuals and small businesses to keep paying the higher 11 percent rate hike long after the PUC approved lower rates of 3.9 to 5.4 percent,” Swanson said.
Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge wanted to see the release from Swanson’s office before commenting.