The Montana Public Service Commission voted to approve Montana Dakota Utilities request to raise their rates for natural gas after the proposed increase was reduced by about fifty percent.
“We’ve asked all utility companies to account for how they’re going to pass on the savings from last December’s tax cuts to the ratepayers,” said Commissioner Roger Koopman. “In this case, it resulted in MDU cutting their rate increase almost in half.”
MDU’s original rate case requested increased revenue of $2.8 million dollars, resulting in an increase in the monthly bill of 4.1% for an average user. The revised request now asks for only $1.497 million. They first submitted the application to raise rates on September 25, 2017. The Commission held the first public hearing on the case on April 26, 2018, and will now vote up or down on approving the new rates. The Montana Consumer Counsel, which advocates on behalf of ratepayers, intervened in the case. The MCC and MDU reached a stipulation modifying the rate increase downward. The vote today accepted that stipulation.
Commissioner Tony O’Donnell, who moved for acceptance of the stipulation, said, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 exerts a downward pressure on the rates consumers pay for natural gas. My compliments to MDU on the transparency of their request.”