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A Moorhead Business Owner Says Power Company Is Ripping Him Off - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

A Moorhead Business Owner Says Power Company Is Ripping Him Off

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Customers of some area power companies are feeling the sting of higher bills. Some people in Moorhead say their bills are higher than they should be.

Tom’s Shoe Repair in Moorhead is using natural gas at the store front. But, at the warehouse they heat with electricity from Moorhead Public Service.

Tom Anderson, owner of Tom’s Shoe Repair has a problem shelling out around $700.00 a month.

That's double what he's paying at the store front.

"If I had someone down there 5-6 days a week, and had all the lights on and had the furnace turned up to 70 then I could understand a larger bill. But, not when there is no one there, furnace is turned down to 50, just seems like a lot of money I have to pay," says Tom.

Such a high bill that he's switching to natural gas at the warehouse.

"I asked the furnace man and he said it should go down to a dollar and a quarter," says Tom.

The reason Moorhead Public Service says it's a new way they are classifying businesses.

"It's a different way of looking at things, and we are just trying to make sure it works," says Dennis Eisenbraun, Energy Services Manager.

"Okay, because it's tough for them?" reporter asks.

"It can be, yes," says Eisenbraun.

This is tough for Tom’s because, instead of charging for usage they are now charging for demand.

"Part of the problem is that you can have a customer who has low energy use, and once a week they you know fire up their fryers, and it drives the demand up for a short amount of time," says Eisenbraun.

"You know if it's 20 bucks more that's 20 dollars I can't go to the movies, can't go to a trip here, not even a tank of gas anymore, but you know it all adds up,” says Paul Bannerman, a homeowner that’s unhappy with Moorhead Public Service.

"Right, you shouldn't have to cut out your basics, just to pay your heating bills or your electricity bills," says Paul.

Rates in Moorhead went up 3% in January, but they don't expect any significant increases this year.

They are encouraging businesses and homeowners to consider energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.

Those who do can qualify for rebates and have lower monthly bills.
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