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Proposed settlement reached in MDU electric rate case

A settlement has been reached in an MDU electric rate case.

The settlement was worked out between the utility, Public Service Commission staff and interveners.

As part of the original rate filing, MDU had proposed an overall 12.3 percent rate increase, or $25 million per year. For an average residential customer, using 800 kilowatts per month, it would mean an extra $15 on their monthly bills.

The monthly service charge would have gone from around $14 per month to $20 per month. But under the settlement, that monthly charge would be $15.24 – which is the current interim rate the PSC approved.

"That's really significant," said AARP North Dakota's Janelle Moos. "Most of the charges were going under that fixed rate, and customers don't have the ability to control that."

Moos said the rest of the proposed increase will go toward the piece where customers can look at other ways to conserve energy, and that rate isn't going to be as burdensome on residential customers.

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson said the compromise was something every party could agree with. He said it means a $10 million decrease.

"The impact to the customer is now about a 7.4 percent increase," Hanson said. "The net impact to the customer, if this is approved, is about $8.30 a month."

The PSC still has to vote on it.

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