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PSC Wants MDU To Lower Price Its Rates

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The staff of the North Dakota Public Service Commission says Montana Dakota Utilities is making too much money in its electric division...and wants MDU to lower its rates by 11-percent.

The staff report says MDU has exceeded its agreed-to rate of return on electricity. MDU spokesman Dan Sharp says the utility made more money than expected - because it's been able to sell power on the spot market.

"That's enabled us to hold the line on our expenses and keep our prices stable for our customers since 1987. That pool market is starting to dry up because companies we've sold power to have been building new power plants. Those power plants are coming on-line and what it amounts to is if our prices are decreased this year, I'll be standing here a year from now telling you why we need a price increase."

Sharp says the utility plans to file a formal response with the PSC -- explaining this. The PSC could hold hearings on the proposed rate cuts after that.