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MDU rate hearing, public input session slated for Friday

MDU rate hearing, public input session slated for Friday

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power lines (copy)

Towers and power lines are silhouetted against the morning sky in northeast Bismarck.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a hearing Friday on a proposed Montana-Dakota Utilities rate increase, followed by a public input session.

MDU seeks regulators' approval for an electric rate increase of $3.35 per month for the average household, or about $40 per year. The increase is to cover additional costs tied to transmission projects and a drop in transmission-related revenue received through regional grid operators.

The increase would apply to a rider, which appears as a line item on a customer's bill and is separate from the company's general rates.

AARP North Dakota has called the increase "unjust and unreasonable" amid the coronavirus pandemic and sought an opportunity for the public to weigh in on it before the PSC.

The informal hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. Central on Friday and will be held virtually. The public can watch at https://psc.nd.gov/public/meetings/live.php or listen by calling 1-888-585-9008 and entering room code 259-316-322. MDU representatives will make their case for the rate increase and answer commissioners' questions during the hearing.

The PSC will listen to public input at the end of the hearing. To speak, call 701-328-4081 to be placed on a list. The PSC will call those people back at the end of the hearing and allow each to testify.

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

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