Montana-Dakota Utilities files natural gas increase request in Wyoming
BISMARCK, N.D. – Oct. 3, 2014 – Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. filed a natural gas rate increase request with the Wyoming Public Service Commission Friday. The request represents an overall increase in revenues of 4.13 percent. Montana-Dakota’s last natural gas rate increase was filed in 2002 and became effective in January 2003. That increase was 3.95 percent.
“We have made significant investments in our natural gas infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable service to our customers, as well as investments in technology to provide better service,” said Frank Morehouse, president and chief executive officer of Montana-Dakota. “Our investment in Wyoming gas operations has increased by $17.6 million, or approximately 120 percent, since 2002.
“Aside from our investments, we have worked, and continue to work, extremely hard at watching our operating expenses and looking for ways to be more efficient each day.”
The main reason for the rate increase request is to recover the cost of the increased investment in natural gas facilities. In addition to the ongoing investment for new customers and replacing existing facilities, the company has invested in an automated meter reading system, a new customer billing system and a new mobile dispatch system since the last rate increase request.
The proposed increase is for $788,160 annually over current rates, or a 4.13 percent overall increase. Residential customers’ monthly bills would increase by an average of about $3.24 a month. Montana-Dakota has about 17,900 natural gas customers in 10 Wyoming communities.
Despite the investments, the average operation and maintenance cost per customer is lower today than in 2004.
The proposed increase for each rate class, which is based on rate class studies, is:
- Residential 5.17 percent
- Firm general 2.45 percent
- Small interruptible – no change
- Large interruptible – no change
The Wyoming PSC has up to 10 months to issue a decision on the proposed increase request.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. distributes natural gas and generates, transmits and distributes electricity and provides related services in the northern Great Plains. The company serves approximately 130,000 electric customers and 245,000 natural gas customers in 262 communities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Montana-Dakota is a division of MDU Resources Group, Inc., a multidimensional natural resources enterprise traded on the New York Stock Exchange as “MDU.” For more information about MDU Resources, visit the company’s Web site at www.mdu.com. For more information about Montana-Dakota, visit www.montana-dakota.com.
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