North Dakota customers of Otter Tail Power Company will see their monthly electric bills rise in January.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission granted Otter Tail an interim rate increase, while it considers a permanent rate hike. Otter Tail filed for a $13.1 million dollar increase, which is 8.7 percent. That would mean an average residential customer would pay another $11.50 a month. The interim increase means a customer’s bill would go up $8.86 a month.
"The costs they (Otter Tail) have incurred providing electric service have gone up," said Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "They've made investments in stronger, cleaner infrastructure."
Kroshus said Otter Tail is also using smarter technology.
"The intent is to provide reliable and affordable energy to their customer base," Kroshus said. "Those are the factors Otter Tail Power is citing in terms of a reason for the increase."
Otter Tail said it hasn’t asked for a rate increase since it was granted one in 2009.
State law allows a utility to be granted an interim rate increase. Should the PSC approve a permanent rate lower than the interim increase, customers could receive a bill credit or a refund.