That’s what will happen if the $54 million utility rate increase approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commissions on Tuesday passes its final hurdles in the next two months.
That $54 million figures out to be an 11.6 percent overall rate increase. But commissioners directed the Duluth-based utility to go easy on residential customers because times are tough. So rate increases will vary among customer categories.
Residential customers will see only a 4 percent rate increase, while Minnesota Power’s large industrial customers — mining plants and paper mills — will be hit with a 16 percent boost in rates.
For the average residential customer, that 4 percent hike amounts to $2.50 more per month. Because it will replace a temporary increase of $7 per month, average bills will actually drop $4.50 per month.