The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved Otter Tail Power Company’s request to implement interim rates on Jan. 1, 2021, as part of the company’s current Minnesota rate review.

The commission took the action on Dec. 4.

In November, Otter Tail Power Company requested permission to increase revenue by approximately $14.5 million, or 6.77 percent, which would have increased a typical residential customer’s bill by about $7.75 a month, and a typical business customer’s bill would increase by approximately $26 a month. The increase would have been more for some customers and less for others depending on the rates on which they are served and the amount of energy they use.

The company later reduced its interim rate request by about half, to $6.9 million or 3.2 percent, after recognizing the economic impact to its customers during the ongoing pandemic and receiving input from the commission’s staff. The company also cited extending depreciation on its wind farms and deferring depreciation costs for its retiring 1950s-era coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant as part of the reduced interim rate request.

“We appreciate the commission’s input on our initial request and their decision to approve our updated interim rate request as filed,” said Otter Tail Power Company President Tim Rogelstad in a Dec. 4 news release. “With this decision, we’re able to recover on our prudent investments in necessary infrastructure and technology to provide our customers with electric service that’s increasingly clean, safe, and reliable while maintaining rates among the lowest in the nation.”

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In January, customers will receive information with their electric service statements showing the requested overall rate increase and example interim monthly bill impacts for various customer types. The interim rates would remain in effect until early 2022. If final rates are lower than interim rates, the company will refund customers the difference with interest. If final rates are higher than interim rates, the company will not collect the difference.

The commission will hold a public hearing related to the filing and will post the hearing schedule on its website. Otter Tail Power Company also will post the hearing schedule and provides additional details about its rate review request at otpco.com/MNRateReview.

Otter Tail Power Company is headquartered in Fergus Falls and provides electricity and energy services to approximately 230,000 people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company, visit otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation, visit ottertail.com.