Some Minoters cry foul over spike in electric bills

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – Some Minot Xcel customers are saying they’ve noticed an increase in their electric bills.

A recent post in the Minot Whiners and Complainers Facebook group drew attention to the issue, and others spoke out on spikes in their electric bills in the new year.

Your News Leader spoke with members of the community and Xcel energy to learn more about the increase.

After making a post on a local Facebook page, Collin Bedecs, a local resident, realized he was not the only one with extremely high electric bill.

“I have never paid a single bill this high. Granted I am only 23, but I have had a fair amount of expenses,” said Bedecs.

Bedecs added that he tried to be more energy efficient.

“We took steps to try to lower our power bill, like anyone would. Turning off computers, that sort of thing, lowering the heat, but it still went up. Up to $290,” he said.

Another local resident, Lisa Krane, explained she has lived in her apartment for more than three years and knows her average energy bill.

“Typically my power bills are around the $45 mark and this month is was $118,” said Krane.

Krane explained she was worried that the increase in bills could have extreme impacts on the community.

“You’ve got people that are making choices between paying the exorbitant rates of their new electric bill and buying food for their kids because seriously is comes down to that for some people,” said Krane.

Xcel Energy released the following statement to Your News Leader:

“Xcel Energy’s electric and natural gas rates are reviewed and approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission. While new electric rates are currently under review by the Commission, that review would not have led to the significant bill increases you mentioned. Interim rates of about 8% went into effect in early January and would lead to an increase of about $7 per month for an average North Dakota residential electric customer (natural gas rates haven’t changed)... If any of our customers are concerned about a higher than normal bill, we encourage them to contact our customer care department at 1-800-895-4999. We also want to hear from our customers if they’re having trouble paying their bills. We will always work with them to arrange payment plans that meet their circumstances.”

The energy company noted that they will be checking meters in the community to ensure that they are properly working.

To contact Xcel’s customer care department or information on energy saving tips visit their website.

Your News Leader will be following this story for more developments.

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