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Utilities Regulation in Minnesota: An AARP Survey of Minnesotans

With a bill to deregulate Minnesota's electric utilities pending in the state legislature, AARP conducted a telephone survey of 1,003 randomly selected Minnesotans age 18 and older to explore their opinions about the impact of electric utility deregulation on consumers.

The survey found Minnesotans almost equally divided as to whether utilities deregulation would help (38%) or hurt (34%) them, and many are uncertain (25%). While also divided on how strongly they support or oppose electric utility deregulation, more Minnesota residents strongly oppose (19%) than strongly support (15%) it.

Among supporters of electric utility deregulation, most would shift to opposing it if it resulted in less reliable service (81%) or additional costs to consumers (62%). However, 75 percent think that it is very important to retain their current consumer protections if they were to switch electric companies.

In June 2002, Woelfel Research, Inc. conducted a random telephone survey of 1,003 age 18+ Minnesota adults, including an oversample of 200 age 50+ respondents, the majority of whom are AARP members whose opinions are compared to those of the general population. Mildred DePallo of SunCoast Analysis and Joanne Binette of AARP Knowledge Management analyzed the data and wrote the report. For more information, please, contact Joanne Binette at 202/434-6303. (15 pages)

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