PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The questions that Chris Nelson had about whether Montana-Dakota Utilities was double-dipping on labor costs are no more.
Two weeks ago, Nelson, who chairs the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, held up a transmission recovery fee that MDU planned to charge its electricity customers in South Dakota.
An MDU official denied it and provided more information to the commission. Nelson now says he’s satisfied. The commission voted 3-0 Tuesday to let the company proceed on updating the extra fee, known as a rider.
“I had some significant questions,” Nelson acknowledged. “Let me just say I greatly appreciate the response they put forth.”
Responded Travis Jacobson, MDU’s director of regulatory affairs, “I’m glad this was helpful for you.”
With the approval, the rider takes effect June 1, one month later than planned. According to MDU, it will cost a typical residential customer using 853 kilowatt-hours $8.87 per month.
The rider will help pay for rebuilding lines between Greenway and Hague in North Dakota and between Hague and Herried, South Dakota.
Commissioner Kristie Fiegen said she reminds people that the PUC’s role is to “trust but verify.” Fiegen said riders will be filed more frequently by electricity providers because the power grid needs rebuilding.