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Regulatory Achievements

ECC’s accomplishments from participation in proceedings before the MN Public Utilities Commission include:

  • Working in partnership with Xcel Energy, ECC proposed and secured PUC approval for Xcel’s Low-income/Low-usage discount rate. Under the program, residential customers making under 50% of state median income with energy usage under 300 kWh per month receive a 35% discount on their monthly utility bill. The $8.3 million program benefits roughly 87,000 residential customers. See Docket #23-476/#21-360

  • COVID Pandemic service disconnection moratorium, consumer protections, and payment assistance programs - See Docket Nos. 20-375 and 20-760 here

 

  • Limiting electric and gas rate increases for low-income residential ratepayers and securing discounted rates for low-usage, low-income customers - See Docket Nos. 16-664, 20-850, 21-335, 21-630

 

  • Establishing affordability programs for low-income Minnesota Power and Otter Tail Power customers - See Docket Nos. 11-409, 22-133

 

  • Creating the first low-income conservation program dedicated to low-income renters in 1-4 unit dwellings - See Docket #08-1075

 

  • Requiring utility companies to report on residential customer past-due bills, the number of residential and LIHEAP service disconnection, payment plans, and the number of customers restored to service - See Docket #20-375, 22-02, 23-02 (ongoing 2024 (year)24 – 02, etc.)

 

  • Establishment of a Medical Assistance Program to limit the amount of income participants with high electric bills due to necessary medical equipment are required to devote to electric bills - See Docket No. 17-629

 

  • Working to prohibit landlords from taking over tenant Xcel accounts, forcing tenants to lose access to utility consumer protections and Xcel Energy affordability programs and forcing tenants to participate in landlord-owned community solar gardens - See Docket Nos. 13-867 and 21-695

  • Worked with Xcel Energy to provide a Payment Plan Credit Program for customers with high past-due balances because of financial stress caused by COVID.  Customers entering payment agreements received a 75% credit toward their pre-program balance.

  • ECC negotiated a $429,000 increase to Minnesota Power’s Customer Affordability of Residential Electricity (CARE) program, doubling its budget to increase the program’s flat monthly discount and extend its affordability credit to low-income customers that are not enrolled in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program benefits roughly 11,000 ratepayers. The settlement also increased the amount of Minnesota Power’s existing low-income, usage-qualified discount from 35% to 40% of the standard Residential rate on the first 600 kilowatt-hours. See Docket E-015/GR-21-335

Please contact us at ecc@energycents.org or 651-774-9010 if you would like more information about any of the activities highlighted above.

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