PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Montana-Dakota Utilities wants to charge more for electricity and natural gas and is asking the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for approval.
The Bismarck, N.D.-based company says in the filings that the new rates will allow it to “fully recover its costs” for natural gas and electricity and “earn a just and reasonable rate of return.”
The commission’s staff will analyze the company’s explanations in the coming months and then make its own recommendation.
MDU provides electricity to about 8,500 customers in 32 South Dakota communities and natural gas to about 64,600 customers in 26 South Dakota communities.
According to MDU president and CEO Nicole Kivisto, the company has been receiving less than the rates of return that the South Dakota Commission authorized.
She said the 2022 rate of return for electricity was 5.6%. The commission had approved a 7.216% rate of return in 2016, when MDU was allowed to raise electricity rates 9.9%.
For natural gas, the 2022 rate of return was 3.858%, according to Kivisto. The commission had approved a 7.216% rate of return in 2016, when MDU was allowed to raise natural gas rates 2.45%.
Kivisto said in the company’s electricity filing that, for an individual residential customer using approximately 900 kilowatt-hours per month, the proposed net increase will cost approximately $20 more per month.
For an individual residential natural-gas customer using 5.5 dekatherms per month, the proposed net increase will cost approximately $8.70 more per month, according to Kivisto in the company’s gas filing.
The South Dakota Commission has fielded requests from several other utilities for electricity rate increases in the past 15 months.
The commission in June approved a 5.85% increase in retail revenues for Northern States Power doing business as Xcel Energy. The company had sought a 19.75% hike for residential customers.
A week later, NorthWestern Energy asked for a 16.32% increase, which remains pending.