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Great Plains Natural Gas customers in Wahpeton to see a temporary $11 to $12 increase in their monthly bills

Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann (l), Julie Fedorchak and Brian Kroishus

Great Plains Natural Gas customers in the Wahpeton area will see their monthly bills increase by between $11 and $12, starting in August.

It’s a temporary increase, brought on because of the February cold spell in Texas and other parts of the southwestern United States.

"Prices spiked, as we know, during that February cold weather event," said Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus. "Especially over a seven day period."

Kroshus said there were several reasons for that spike.

"Texas produces 26 percent of the nation's natural gas," Kroshus said. "Half of that production was curtailed, because wellheads were freezing."

Kroshus called that a significant impact.

"When you essentially take 13 percent of the natural gas supply out of the equation, pricing is going to go up," Kroshus said.

Kroshus said utilities do not make money from the natural gas itself. He said they only pass along the cost to the customer.

The increase will be in effect for a 14-month period.