Minnesota Power wants to cut rates for mines and mills, raise them for homes


Northeastern Minnesota's leading utility company has a plan to help the region's two leading industries by cutting their electric bills – with residential and business customers picking up the slack.

Minnesota Power says a plan it submitted to state regulators this week would cut the rates paid by taconite plants and paper mills by five percent. In would also raise the average residential customer's bill by 14.5 percent, which would come to $11.45 per month, the company says.

Businesses, schools, and government would see a flat monthly increase of $11.45 per meter. Minnesota Power says that amounts to an increase of 1 to 4 percent,

The taconite and paper industries have both fallen on hard times recently, with more than 1,000 iron workers laid off in Minnesota this year.

The Duluth News Tribune says Minnesota Power's proposed rate reductions would would apply to four paper mills and seven iron or taconite facilities, although four of those taconite plants are currently idled by the industry's downturn.

Not only are those industries big employers in northeastern Minnesota, they're also the biggest users of electricity.

MPR News reports, Minnesota Power has said that ore mines and taconite plants consume 40 percent of the power produced by the company, while paper mills use nearly 20 percent.

Minnesota Power says those industries have been paying higher rates to help keep homeowners' bills down. They say the proposed change would only reduce that subsidy, not reverse it.

The Public Utilities Commission has 90 days to consider the plan. the Mesabi Daily News says if it's approved, rate changes could occur as soon as March.

Next Up

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.


With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.


60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.


1 dead in early Wednesday crash on Interstate 694

The 28-year-old driver was not wearing a seatbelt, the State Patrol said.