Xcel's Rate Increase Public Hearing- interesting observations

    A public hearing about Xcel's 10.4% rate increase proposal was held at the Sabathani Center in South Minneapolis on the night of June 23rd. The public testimony by number of people speaking was overwhelmingly against Xcel's rate increase proposal as it stands. A robust presence by the Sierra Club was joined by an even greater number of speakers who were seniors or fixed income ratepayers.

As the testimony went on, a recurring point about the rate increase was emphasized. It is how the Mall of America and large corporations will get a lower rate than residential ratepayers who have a much tighter budget. Speaking of the Mall of America, one of the speakers testifying had observed lamps on the Mall of America running all day when they are totally not needed; making a point about easily preventable energy waste from commercial entities who can more easily pay for energy.

Click Here to see a TV news broadcast on the story saying that if the rate increase goes through 25% would be invested into existing power plants. There is additional coverage in the Star Tribune Here

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Green Building Tour highlights Need for New Utility Business Model

The Citizen's League, which co-hosted today's Best Practices Green Building Tour, echoes the same vision for a new Utility Business model which has inspired Minneapolis Energy Options. See their webpage Here.

What I saw on the Green Building Tour illustrates the imperative transitioning to a performance based utility business model as opposed to a clinging to model where the goal is to merely sell more Kilowatt Hours.


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Green Building Tour

Citizens League and Corcoran Neighborhood Organization will be co-hosting a Best Practices Green Building Tour on Saturday, June 21.

Starting at 9:00AM, community members & development stakeholders are invited to meet at the Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E Lake Street) to then car pool to three local green building locations:
  • 9:30 Hawthorne Eco-Village
    Innovative, sustainable neighborhood redevelopment.
    Presenter: Abbie Loosen, PPL

  • 10:30 The Rose – Hope Community / Aeon
    New, mixed-income rental housing based on the Living Building Challenge™ standards. 
    Presenters: Will Delaney, Hope Community; Paul C.N. Mellblom, MSR Design 

  • 11:15 Passivhaus near Lake Nokomis
    Superinsulated, retrofitted home with no furnace based on German technology. 
    Presenter: Paul Brazelton

  • 12:00 Lunch/discussion/implications

To register for the tour, visit <http://citizensleague.org/events/green-building-policy-tour/>. Also, help promote the event on facebook!

Include Community Input into the City-Utility Partnership

*** This blogpost is also printed in the June 2014 Edition of the Southside Pride.


Right now is a prime window of opportunity for energy sector labor unions, clean energy experts, advocates for low-income residents, businesses owners, building owners, environmental justice advocates, and other energy stakeholders to be asking city hall to include community input into the anticipated city-utility partnership. The City of Minneapolis is currently working to form an innovative, first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy by end of 2014, as recommended by the Energy Pathways Study that the City Council unanimously adopted in March.  

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Compromise Reached on Centerpoint's Rate Case

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has reached a decision on the Centerpoint Rate Increase docket that has been underway for 9 months. The PUC did approve of a permanent rate increase for the Centerpoint’s 823,000 Minnesota customers. But the increase will be lower the 4.9 percent interim increase the PUC authorized last October. Centerpoint initially requested a 10.2 percent return on equity, but the PUC approved only a 9.6 percent rate. Read More:

CenterPoint Energy rate increase approved by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune, May 8, 2014 

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