PSC to hold public input session during an informal hearing on MDU's electric transmission rider
In a break with its common practice, the North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a public input session during an informal hearing about a significant increase in MDU electric customers’ bills.
That normally doesn't happen in an informal hearing.
MDU is proposing an increase in its Transmission Facility Cost Recovery rider. That would mean an average MDU customer would see another $3.35 per month, or about $40 per year. MDU has said it’s due to costs tied to electrical transmission projects, plus a drop in revenue it receives from regional electric grid operators.
AARP North Dakota sent a letter to the PSC, asking for a formal hearing on the increase. In that letter, AARP said the increase was “unfair,” especially in these uncertain times.
Commission chairman Brian Kroshus said he understands the public’s concern.
"The public looks, and they think, 'Wow -- this is a noticeable increase," Kroshus said. "And it is."
Kroshus proposed that the Commission take public comment at the end of the informal hearing. He said it gives the company a chance to make its case.
"I don't know if it changes the fact that people aren't going to like it," Krosus said. "We haven't made a decision, But what's presented, I'm assuming the public is not going to find it palatable and acceptable, in some instances."
The other commissioners said they didn’t have any objections doing a public input session after the informal hearing.
"This is bigger than most of our riders have been," said Commissioner Randy Christmann.
The informal hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 AM, Oct.16th.