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AARP calls for hearing on MDU rate hike

AARP calls for hearing on MDU rate hike

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AARP North Dakota is calling for a public hearing on Montana-Dakota Utilities' proposed rate increase.

MDU is seeking to raise electricity rates by about $3.35 per month or $40 per year for the average household to recover additional costs tied to transmission projects and a drop in transmission-related revenue received through regional grid operators.

In a letter to the North Dakota Public Service Commission, AARP called the increase "unjust and unreasonable" amid poor economic conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The PSC needs to hear from MDU customers before deciding whether to allow the rate increase, the group said.

"This is a pocketbook issue for seniors and their families, many of whom struggle to balance paying utility bills and other household expenses along with buying food and medicine," AARP North Dakota State Director Josh Askvig said in a statement.

The PSC will decide whether to hold a hearing after its window for hearing requests closes Sept. 19.

Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.

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