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Letter: Proposed bills could increase electric rates

Members of Itasca-Mantrap Co-op and Minnesota Power customers should be aware of bills in the Minnesota Legislature that if enacted will substantially increase electric rates. Mandates enacted in 2007 require public utilities to purchase a minimum of 20 percent renewable energy (which includes solar power) by the year 2020 and 25 percent by 2025.These are some of the most aggressive standards in the USA.

House File 956 and Senate File 901 would add an additional requirement of solar energy purchased, require purchase of excess solar electricity produced at a much higher cost, and also have an annual assessment on all utility sales to fund solar energy incentives. These mandates would require a raise in rates to cover the costs. Many new jobs may be created, but remember they will be paid for out of your pocket.

I fully support the continued development of cost competitive renewable energy resources. That is what the current mandates should accomplish. Now is the time to voice your concerns as the House bill has already passed out of two committees. Contact your Representative about HF 956, your Senator for SF 901, and the Governor about both.

Duane (Dewey) Goeden

Park Rapids