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Minnesota Commerce Department challenges proposed natural gas rate increase by Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation

3/18/2016 3:42:21 PM

Public hearings scheduled in Cloquet, Rochester, Albert Lea and Rosemount

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Commerce is recommending a 60 percent reduction in the $14.8 million rate increase proposed by Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC) for natural gas service in 2016. 

MERC, an investor-owned utility, is a division of Wisconsin Energy Corporation and delivers natural gas service to over 230,000 customers in 52 counties and 184 communities in Minnesota.

The Commerce Department’s analysis of the proposed rate increase concluded that MERC overstated its costs and a reduction by $8.9 million would still fully allow the company to provide safe, reliable service.

After written testimony, public hearings and evidentiary hearings are completed, Administrative Law Jeanne M. Cochran will present her recommendations to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to make a decision this year.

Four public hearings on MERC’s rate increase proposal will be held at the following locations:

Cloquet

Monday, March 28, 7:00 p.m.
Cloquet Chamber of Commerce
225 Sunnyside Drive

Rochester

Tuesday, March 29, 12:30 p.m.
Rochester City Hall, Room 10
201 4th Street SE

Albert Lea

Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 p.m.
Albert Lea City Hall, Council Chambers
221 Clark Street

Rosemount

Wednesday, March 30, 12:30 p.m.
Dakota County Technical College
Dakota Room (Room 1-520)
1300 145th Street East
(Parking is available in the West Parking Lot.)
Campus Map

For details and to view all of the documents filed in this proceeding, go to the eDockets website.  Select 15 as the year and type 736 as the number.

Media Contact:

Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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