Xcel natural gas customers will see higher bills, temporarily, because of Feb. cold spell
Xcel Energy natural gas customers in North Dakota will see an increase in their monthly bills starting in July.
That’s a “pass-through” cost of the natural gas, brought on by the cold snap in Texas, which caused price spikes.
The impact to the consumer is about $200, spread out over 15 months. That was the compromise reached by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, after a “work session” on the issue.
"The benefit of starting it in July is we can start spreading those costs out over a longer period of time," said PSC member Brian Kroshus. "July is not a high-cost month in terms of heating a home."
Kroshus said that would help mitigate the impact to low-income households and small businesses, in particular. He said low-income households are his biggest concern.
"They live paycheck-to-paycheck," Kroshus said. "That's the reality."
The charge will be in effect through September, 2022. The PSC still has to formally approve the plan. And the Commission will hold a special meeting on it next week.
MDU started collecting the cost in June. MDU Spokesman Mark Hanson says the average MDU customer is seeing a $3.87 per month charge on the bill through December, and from January through September, that will go up to $4.48 per month.