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MDU, Xcel granted interim rate increases


The North Dakota Public Service Commission has granted interm rate increases for two investor-owned utillities -- something state law says they're entitled to, when they have rate cases pending.

Foe Xcel Energy, it on electric rates. For MDU, it's natual gas.

In November, Xcel filed for a general rate increase, that would increase an average customer’s bill by $8.37 per month in winter, and $8.53 per month in summer.  That’s based on 750 kilowatt hours of electricity.

The interim rate increase will be $6.63 a month, effective on customers’ January bills – and $7.99 per month in summer.

"All rate cases are met with a critical eye, especially when they're as aggressive as this one, at a time like this," said Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "You simply can't ignore the impact of a permanent increase, if it would occur to this magnitude. This is a very significant ask."

Xcel has not filed a rate case in North Dakota since 2012.

The increase will take effect Jan. 1.

Natural gas customers of MDU and its Wahpeton subsidiary, Great Plains Natural Gas will see an increase on their bills, starting in January.

MDU filed for an overall rate increase of $6.26 per month for the average customer. For Great Plains, it would be $4.10 per month. The interim rate increases will be $3.57 per month for an average MDU customer, and $1.77 per month for a Great Plains customer.

The PSC will hold hearings on the MDU rate case this spring.

If the PSC decides on rates lower than the interim rates, customers would be entitled to a refund.

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