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MDU Files For Rate Increase

Area residents who are served by Montana-Dakota Utilities should brace themselves for higher electric bills.

MDU filed with the Montana Public Service Commission on Nov. 4, a request to increase electric prices. If the request is approved, the monthly bill for a typical non-space heating residential customer would increase by about $17.

MDU officials report the primary reason for the request is because of increased investments since 2018. Projects have included an 88 megawatt simple cycle combustion turbine. “We recognize prices have increased for many dayto- day necessities because of inflation increasing in mid-2021 and exceeding 8 percent in early 2022; however, a good portion of the investments that are part of this regulatory request were made before rising inflation,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana- Dakota Utilities. “We believe the investments are prudent to ensure safe and reliable electric service to our customers. Current prices do not reflect the cost of providing electric service to our Montana customers, which is why we are requesting this increase.”

MDU’s proposed increase is for $10.5 million or about 15 percent annually over current prices. The last increase in electric prices was 14.7 percent and implemented in two phases, September 2019 and September 2020.

Montana-Dakota also filed a request with the PSC to implement an interim price increase of $1.7 million, or 2.7 percent. For a typical non-space heating residential customer, the monthly impact would be about $2.33. The interim increase is subject to refund if the final increase authorized by the PSC is less than the interim.

Montana-Dakota serves about 25,600 electric customers in 30 Montana communities.

The Montana PSC has up to 10 months to issue a decision on the proposed increase request.

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