Utility fee increase in Minneapolis could help fund efficiency, outreach

Midwest Energy News: A small fee increase in a proposed Minneapolis city budget would raise millions to promote energy efficiency — and pay for itself many times over, according to advocates.

Released this week, the budget calls for a 0.5 percent franchise fee increase for all customers — residential, commercial and industrial — that would raise roughly $3 million annually, according to John Farrell, director of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Farrell, who is among those who proposed the idea, serves on the board of the Clean Energy Partnership, a unique collaboration between city officials and the two utilities which serve Minneapolis: Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy.

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