Montana-Dakota Utilities files natural gas increase request in North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. – Feb. 9, 2015 – Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. filed a natural gas rate increase request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission Friday. If approved, it would increase residential customers’ monthly bill by an average of about $3.50 a month.
“We have some of the best employees in the business and they work extremely hard at watching our operating expenses and looking for ways to be more efficient each day. That is one facet of our business,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and chief executive officer of Montana-Dakota. “The other part is ensuring that our system is safe and reliable, which requires significant investments in our natural gas infrastructure.”
The main reason for the rate increase request is to recover the cost of the increased investment in natural gas facilities. Montana-Dakota’s total natural gas investment in North Dakota is projected to be $212 million by the end of 2015, a 15 percent increase over 2014.
The proposed increase is for $4.3 million annually over current rates, or a 3.4 percent overall increase. Montana-Dakota serves about 105,000 natural gas customers in 74 North Dakota communities.
The proposed increase for each rate class, which is based on rate class studies, is:
- Residential 5.8 percent
- Firm general 0 percent
- Air Force delivery 0 percent
- Small interruptible 6.8 percent
- Large interruptible 0 percent
The North Dakota PSC has up to seven months to issue a decision on the proposed increase request. Montana-Dakota has also filed a request for an interim rate increase of 3.4 percent, or $4.3 million over current rates, which, if approved, would be implemented while the PSC reviews the overall request. The interim increase would be $2.40 more per month for the average residential customer.
Montana-Dakota encourages customers to use energy wisely. Conservation tips, information on energy assistance and information on the company’s balanced billing program can be found on Montana-Dakota’s website: www.montana-dakota.com.
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