Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)s
When are on-peak hours?
On-peak hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. During those hours the standard electric rate will be increased by $0.04870 per kWh (about 5 cents).
When are off-peak hours?
Off-peak hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday-Friday and all day on weekends and nationally designated holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day). During those hours, the standard electric rate will be discounted by $0.0299 per kWh (about 3 cents).
What is peak?
Peak refers to the time of day that our system has the highest energy demand from customers.
What is Critical Peak Pricing (CPP)?
Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) is an increased rate that will be charged for energy use during the announced Critical Peak Pricing events when demand for electricity gets particularly high. During these events you will be charged an additional $0.77 per kWh.
When can Critical Peak Pricing events occur?
Generally, a CPP event can be up to 3 hours; 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the summer and 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the winter. There is a maximum of 50 CPP hours per year. However, emergency events could be declared by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) at any time of day with a maximum duration of 8 hours.
Will I be notified of a Critical Peak Pricing event?
Yes. Minnesota Power will make a reasonable effort to notify customers of a Critical Peak Pricing event by 8 p.m. the day prior to a planned CPP event and at least 4 hours prior to an emergency event. It is the customer’s responsibility to be aware of and check for notifications.
How will I be notified of a Critical Peak Pricing event?
Participants will be notified by phone, email, and messaging on the website. If you need to update your notification preferences please fill out this form or call 877-707-5771.
What is MISO?
MISO is a Regional Transmission Organization that assures consumers of unbiased regional grid management and open access to the transmission facilities under MISO’s functional supervision.
What is advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and why do I need it?
Infrastructure is updated constantly in order to best serve our customers. AMI allows us to automatically and more frequently collect consumption, diagnostic and status data from your electric meter.
Will Minnesota Power shut off or restrict my electricity during peak hours?
No. Minnesota Power will not restrict any electric use during peak hours, but rates will be increased.
What are the participation requirements?
Participants must be a residential customer in the Duluth/Hermantown area. Participants must be enrolled in the rate for a minimum of 12 months. Customers who already receive a reduced rate cannot participate in the Time-of-Day Rate. Participation may require that your meter be upgraded by Minnesota Power (at no cost to you).
What happens if I move during the time of the pilot?
You can continue to participate in the Time-of-Day Rate pilot as long as you move within the Duluth and Hermantown service area.
Can I get more information about the intent and development of the Time-of-Day Rate Pilot and Customer Behavioral Study?
Yes. You can access Department of Energy guidance and report documents and view the Minnesota Public Utility Commission Case Files related to the project by following links and instructions below:
Department of Energy Consumer Behavior Studies
MN Public Utilities Commission Case Files
This will take you to eDocket search home. To view Minnesota Time-of-Day Rate Pilot case files:
- Enter the year: 12 and the Docket Number: 233
- Select Search. The list of documents will appear on the next page
Rate Details and Billing
What is a watt?
A watt is the amount of energy a device uses in performing its function. Example: a 100 watt light bulb uses 100 watts.
What is a kilowatt?
A kilowatt is 1,000 watts.
What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)?
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the term used to measure the amount of electrical power used in one hour. Kilowatt-hours are what the electric meter on the side of your house measures. This is the basis for calculating your monthly electric bill.
How am I currently charged for electricity through Minnesota Power?
There are two major components to your standard electric bill:
- Service charge: This is the minimum monthly fee which covers the cost of connection to our system.
- Tiered rates: Minnesota Power has a tiered rate system. This means that the amount you are charged per kWh varies depending on your monthly usage. There are five separate rate tiers; the more electricity you use, the more you pay per kWh. See Customer Service Residential Rates for more information.
How much could I potentially save by using the Time-of-Day Rate?
Every house is different and your savings will depend on how much you are able to reduce your usage during on-peak hours and/or shift it to off-peak hours.
Is it possible for my bill to go up?
Yes. If you do not shift the time of day that you use energy or you consume energy during CPP events, your bill may go up.
Will I know how much my appliances cost to operate?
You can use the appliance calculator to help estimate how much each appliance could cost to run.
Will I be able to track my energy usage?
Yes. When you enroll in the Time-of-Day Rate Pilot you will have access to an enhanced portal (MyAccount) where you will be able to see your hourly usage..
If I join this plan and decide that it is not for me, can I still go back to my standard rate?
You may be removed from the Time-of-Day Rate at any time. To go back to the standard customer rate, fill out the request for removal form.
Privacy and Reporting
What are the data reporting requirements?
This voluntary rate is being offered as part of a Department of Energy (DOE) grant. Reporting of certain data, along with customer usage information, is required of Minnesota Power under the terms of the grant.
Who will see my energy usage information?
Minnesota Power is required to report certain data, along with customer usage information to the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Individual customer names, account numbers and addresses will not be included in the reporting to DOE.
Will there be any feedback required of me?
Participants will be asked to provide feedback periodically through the course of the year through online surveys.