Minneapolis eyes way to push utilities to be greener

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 23, 2012 - 11:33 PM

Minneapolis has renewable energy in mind as it debates Xcel and CenterPoint deals.

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highlife75Sep. 23, 12 8:55 PM

Federal and State mandates, controls, laws, regulations and rules, along with various utility taxes, all of them equal higher energy costs to the consumers. Now the City of Minneapolis wants special rules and mandates? Well, guess the price of electricity just went up again? The city should just be happy they extort $16 million from rate payers already.

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ranger78Sep. 23, 12 9:09 PM

Put another way, the city of Mpls wants to raise electricity rates for the entire metro area.

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jhb8426Sep. 23, 1210:31 PM

Yep, let's all work to turn MN into another California!!! Go MPLS :(

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edkohlerSep. 23, 1211:34 PM

If the city ran the grid, city rate payers wouldn't have to pay rates that satisfy a public trade company's shareholders. Instead, it could be run at a break even basis. And, as the article points out, residents may prefer to have the option to buy the city's energy from greener sources (which is something they have very little control over under the current and potentially future contract).

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edkohlerSep. 23, 1211:38 PM

@jhb8426, I think you should look at the differences between what was done in CA and what Boulder did to understand the potential here. @ranger78, incorrect. @highlife75, energy would certainly be cheaper if we had no mandates, controls, laws, regulations, rules, or taxes. If you're suggesting that the city should sit down and shut up, it makes me wonder who's signing your checks.

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jhb8426Sep. 24, 1212:30 AM

"If the city ran the grid, city rate payers wouldn't have to pay rates that satisfy a public trade company's shareholders..." They still have to buy it from the generators. Grid costs are minimal.

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jhb8426Sep. 24, 1212:33 AM

Disclosure - I worked in the electric utilities industry for 16 years.

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samiamSep. 24, 12 7:08 AM

Oh Lord, Citizens of Minneapolis. Hang on to your wallets its gonna be a bumpy ride.

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swmnguySep. 24, 12 7:20 AM

For all the sentiment opposed to government involvement in utilities, when California was being extorted by Enron in 2000 - 2001, the only parts of the state that didn't see skyrocketing and incredibly volatile electricity rates, and brownouts and rolling blackouts, were those areas served by municipal utilities. Whether or not they generated their own electricity or bought it from generators across the grid, the munies were the only utilities whose customers did not get ripped off by Enron's giggling manipulators. Maybe privatization of things everyone needs, and for which a customer cannot select or change a provider, is a questionable notion?

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solarnowSep. 24, 12 7:39 AM

If the rates go up, so be it. Folks will find a way to save electricity. Plus, fossil fuels are subsidized utterly by tax breaks, and by external costs that get passed on to all of us. Time to flip this perverse situation.

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