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Montana Dakota Utilities requests a further tariff rise



North Dakota – Montana Dakota Utilities representatives urged state officials to approve a rate increase for customers on Tuesday.

MDU previously increased rates last summer, when clients paid an extra $5.09 a month on average. In response, the public service commission started holding public hearings to explore the necessity of rate increases.

The business reached a settlement with the public service commission, but it now intends to raise charges once more. Customers could anticipate an additional $3.18 in monthly costs this time.

“Explaining this to somebody in the grocery store who’s asking why I approved this ROE,” asked Public Service Commissioner, Julie Fedorchak, “what do I say to them? Why should ratepayers accept that you guys want a higher ROE so your shareholders or so you can attract debt?”

“Because what I would say is reflected in that ROE is an interest rate environment we haven’t seen in a decade,” answered MDU President and CEO, Nicole Kivisto. “Most people, I think are familiar that interest rates have risen that substantially so that’s really being reflected in our overall cost of capital.”

Currently, MDU provides services to over 93,000 residents of 119 North Dakotan towns. With the increase, the business expects to bring in an additional $25 million in annual revenue to pay costs.

The PSC hasn’t taken a vote on the request as of yet.