Even as the cold start to our winter season in the Northland settles down, comes news that most Superior utility customers don't want to hear:  Rates for electric and gas are going up as of January 1, 2023. Superior Water Light and Power disclosed the news that the Public Service Commision gave the nod to their projected rate increases on December 20.

While most customers anticipated rate increases - especially when looking at the rising cost of most other commodities, the rate increase request from Superior Water Light and Power included a couple of specific items that drove those rates up; it also included some specific situations that helped to keep costs low.

One of those items that drove up costs is the construction project for the Superior Solar Project that will power 120 homes once it comes on online next year.  According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], that solar garden is projected to cost $1.23 million.  That outlay of capital is expected to provide returns after it's operating.

Another project that added to the rate increase for electric utilities is the rebuild on the Stinson Cap Bank substation and the Nemadji Switching Station.  Those upgrades are being made to provide better service to the Husky Energy Refinery - which is expected to be back online next year.  Total cost for this work is estimated to be around $20.46 million.

So how much are rates going up on January 1?  Using the new rate schedule approved by the Public Service Commision - shared by the Telegram - here are the expected rate increases:

  • Electric:  up 6.3%
  • Natural Gas:  up 8.7%

While electric and gas rates are going up, SWLP customers can anticipate a rate decrease for their water usage.  Using the new approved rates, the average Superior utility customer will see their water bill rate decrease by 8.74%.

That article in the Telegram provides a calculated look at what an typical Superior utility customer - using average electric, gas, and water amounts can expect to see on their bill.  That estimate suggests "residential customers can expect a $6 increase on their combined monthly utility bills".

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