Montana-Dakota Utilities files natural gas price increase request in North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. – July 21, 2017 – Capital investment in pipeline replacement projects enhancing the safety and integrity of the natural gas system, as well as increased cost to operate and maintain that system, are the main drivers in Montana-Dakota Utilities filing a request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to increase prices. If approved, the request would increase a residential customer’s bill by an average of about $2.98 a month.
“Our customers expect safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service, as do we. To meet those expectations, we have invested, and will continue to invest, in our infrastructure, which includes replacing dated pipelines,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota. “Our talented employees work hard every day to provide the most efficient and cost-effective service to our customers.”
The company has implemented a proactive pipeline replacement plan that, including investments since the last rate case in 2015 and projected investments through 2018, is 18 percent higher than investments through 2015. The PSC approved in the last case an increase of 2 percent, or $2 a month for the average residential customer.
The current proposed increase is for $5.9 million over current annual revenues, or a 5.4 percent overall increase. Montana-Dakota serves about 109,000 natural gas customers in 74 North Dakota communities.
The proposed increase for each customer group, taking into consideration studies to determine the full cost to serve each customer group, is:
- Residential 5.9 percent
- Firm general 5.5 percent
Increases are not proposed for the other customer groups because they are adequately covering the cost to provide service under current prices.
The PSC has up to seven months to issue a decision on the proposed increase request. Montana-Dakota also has filed a request for an interim rate increase of 4.2 percent, or $4.6 million over current annual revenues, which, if approved, would be implemented while the PSC reviews the overall request. The interim increase would be $2.44 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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