AARP Intervenes in potential natural gas rate increase

Bismarck, N.D. - Montana Dakota Utilities is looking to increase the cost of natural gas.

A-A-R-P says this increase is unfair and hurts North Dakotans on a fixed income.

They say over the last four years Montana Dakota Utilities natural gas rates have more than doubled.  

Four years ago, the rate was nine dollars a month, two years ago that went up to over 19 dollars. 

This latest increase of 2 dollars and 98 cents would bring the total to over twenty dollars. 

For those over 65 -- social security makes up 50 percent of North Dakotans income -- which is why AARP says they're intervening.

"A majority of the increase falls on the backs of residential consumers and they're not spreading it around to other costumer classes, it's just residential consumers that are seeing the full brunt of the proposed increase and that's not ok," said Josh Askvig, the State Director for AARP North Dakota. 

Askvig added. 

"We have seen increases reduced because of our participation and in fact in the last case we intervened, the public service commission members commented about the importance of having the consumer voice, which is why again our members have asked us to take a look at how utility rates affect their pocketbook and affect their ability to safe and independent in their homes," Askvig said. 

Next week the Public Service Commission will host public hearings to determine whether or not they will improve the increase. 

The Public Service Commission must approve the request. They will hold public input session October 24th and 25th at the below locations. The public will also be able to listen to the sessions through webcast and can submit questions through e-mail.

Tuesday, Oct. 24th – 5:00 p.m. CST                   Wednesday, Oct. 25th – 5:00 p.m. CST

Public Service Commission                                  Public Service Commission
Hearing Room, 12th Floor State Capitol                  Hearing Room, 12th Floor State Capitol
*Enter at the South Entrance                                  *Enter at the South Entrance
600 E. Boulevard Ave.                                            600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505                                               Bismarck, ND 58505

Williston State College                                          Williston State College
Stevens Hall, Room #108                                       Steven’s Hall, Room #108
1410 University Ave.                                               1410 University Ave.
Williston, ND 58801                                                 Williston, ND 58801

Dickinson State University                                    Dickinson State University
Klinefelter, Beck Auditorium                                    Murphy Hall, Thompson Auditorium Room #155
291 Campus Drive                                                  291 Campus Drive
Dickinson, ND 58601                                              Dickinson, ND 58601

Lake Region State College                                    Lake Region State College
Admin. Building, Room #171                                   Admin. Building, Room #171
1801 College Drive N.                                             1801 College Drive N.
Devils Lake, ND 58301                                            Devils Lake, ND 58301

Minot State University                                           Minot State University
Admin. Building, Room #359                                   Admin. Building, Room #362
500 University Ave. W                                             500 University Ave. W
Minot, ND 58707                                                      Minot, ND 58707

Valley City State University                                 Valley City State University
Rhoades, Room #338                                             Rhoades, Room #101
101 College Drive SW                                            101 College Drive SW
Valley City, ND 58072                                             Valley City, ND 58072

To listen via webstream:

Password: psc

  • Questions can be submitted via e-mail during the session to vschock@nd.gov

Public input sessions are not considered part of the formal technical hearing, but the PSC Commissioners will be attending and using the information gathered at the sessions to identify areas of concern that may require further investigation during the formal technical hearing, which is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2018.


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