Minnesota Power, said Friday it is asking state regulators to increase its annual operating revenue by $65.9 million by adjusting rates for electric customers. The investor-owned utility said its request reflects changes in customer demand, increasing operating expenses and recovery of costs associated with regulatory obligations since the company’s last rate case filed in 2016.

“We are pleased with the continued success of our EnergyForward strategy that ensures reliable and safe energy for customers as we transform the way energy is produced and delivered,” ALLETE President Bethany Owen said in a news release. “Minnesota Power is on pace to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2021, a remarkable accomplishment given that we currently offer the lowest average electric rates for residential customers in Minnesota.”

Minnesota Power proposes monthly rates for the average residential customer to

increase by $11.66 per month. Customers’ currently pay below state and national

averages, the firm said, with a total average residential bill of $89.82 per month.

The increase for the average small business customer would be $30.05 per month.

The company has requested an interim rate increase of 7.7 percent for all customers be implemented in early January 2020. The interim rate will remain in effect until a

decision is made on final rates.