For Release: 09/30/2013
Rosemount, MN – Minnesota Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), today filed a request with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a 5.52% overall increase in natural gas rates. Minnesota Energy projects that the monthly bill for a typical residential customer will rise by about $4.70.
The rate increase could begin January 1, 2014 on an interim basis, pending Commission approval of final rates.
"This modest request to increase rates is a result of investing in our infrastructure to increase the reliability of our system and to enhance our focus on public safety, while we hold the line on costs," said Barb Nick, president of Minnesota Energy. "We're doing more with less people and have increased employee contributions for medical benefits, for example. In addition, we're asking employees to continually look for better and more efficient ways to do their jobs. We always ask ourselves 'what would our customers want.'"
Minnesota Energy Resources indicates that the increase is due to general inflation, property taxes, improvements to customer service programs, efforts to expand the customer base which would have a positive rate effect in the future, and operations/maintenance projects to ensure reliability and safety for customers.
As part of cost reduction efforts, Minnesota Energy Resources reports that it has reduced expenditures for certain employee financial and medical benefits.
These changes result in typical residential natural gas customers paying less per month than they did in 2007 due, in large part, to lower natural gas market prices which Minnesota Energy Resources passes along to customers. Even with the proposed natural gas rate increase, typical residential customers will pay less than six years ago.