MDU Files Natural Gas Increase Request - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

MDU Files Natural Gas Increase Request

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We might be paying more for heat this winter. Montana-Dakota Utilities asked the Public Service Commission today to increase the natural gas rate. The company requested to raise the rate by 6.4 percent.

If the increased rate is approved, about 99 thousand North Dakotans will be paying more for natural gas. MDU says the increase is needed to cover improvements the company has made.

"It's for a number of different investments, we've made investments in infrastructure so pipeline, in town water stations, anything that deals with delivering the natural gas to the customer, and also to meet new growth in demand and also to replace any type of aging infrastructure, over the last 10 years as well," says public relations director Mark Hanson, MDU.

Residential customers can expect to see their monthly bills raise about five dollars.

"It's what I expected, over time prices increase, I don't think it's a big deal," says customer Pete Tevens.

Another MDU customer says she feels the same way.

"I don't think it's a problem, it's not going to affect me  or my spending habits," says Darcy Schmidt.

The last natural gas rate increase was back in 2004, and Hanson says, it is still the cheapest way to heat your house.

"Yeah, even with the increased rate, it will still be the most cost effective way to keep your home warm," says Hanson.

The PSC has to approve MDU's request first. It has up to seven months to make the decision.

The data also shows the one thing that has yet change is the earnings difference between men and women. Men in North Dakota are still making about ten-thousand more dollars than women per year.

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