PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Going forward, new residential customers won’t be required to pay connection fees to get natural gas from NorthWestern Energy in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved the company’s request to eliminate connection fees of $90 for residential homes and $75 for mobile homes.

NorthWestern official Jeff Decker said the change would provide consistency between residential and commercial customers. It takes effect Wednesday, March 15.

The commission gave unanimous approval.

“Obviously when we can reduce a rate that’s a good thing,” said commissioner Chris Nelson.

Among the various reasons given by the company, Nelson said he found most interesting that NorthWestern wants to be more competitive. He said eliminating the fees removes “a little bit of the thumb on the scale” and lets customers decide on gas or electric service.

NorthWestern provides natural gas in Aberdeen, Alexandria, Altamont, Arlington, Avon, Big Stone City, Bristol, Brookings, Bryant, Canistota, Castlewood, Clark, Clear Lake, Conde, DeSmet, Dimock, Doland, Estelline, Ethan, Ferney, Frankfort, Freeman, Goodwin, Groton, Hayti, Hazel, Holmquist, Howard, Huron, Kranzburg, Labolt, Lake Norden, Lake Preston, Madison, Marion, Mellette, Menno, Milbank, Mitchell, Mount Vernon, Oldham, Olivet, Parker, Parkston, Raymond, Redfield, Revillo, Scotland, Spencer, Tripp, Turton, Verdon, Vienna, Volga, Warner, Webster, Willow Lake, Wolsey and Yale.