Great Plains Natural Gas Co. rate cases
Great Plains Natural Gas (GPNG) Co. is a regulated utility under the jurisdiction of regulatory commissions in the states it serves. The rates customers pay are approved by each state’s regulatory commission. When the costs of providing safe and reliable natural gas service exceed what customers are paying in rates, GPNG files a rate increase request with the applicable state regulatory commission.
Requested increases are the result of additional costs necessary to maintain a safe and reliable system; upgrade aging infrastructure and technology; meet growing demand; and compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, such as environmental mandates.
The company does not have authority to change rates without approval by a state regulatory commission. Click on your state below to review information about recently approved or pending rate case filings.
UPDATE: On January 1, 2020, Great Plains implemented an interim rate increase. The net impact of the interim rate increase is approximately 11% over current rates, or $2.6 million annually applicable to all customers in Minnesota except those served under a flexible contract rate. The actual interim increase is an increase of $3.6 million offset by a $790,153 reduction in the Gas Utility Infrastructure Cost (GUIC) Adjustment rates effective January 1, 2020. The GUIC revenue requirement was rolled into interim rates.
- Interim Rate Increase – Using the Company’s current rate structure, an interim rate of 34.293% is now applicable to the amounts billed under the Basic Service charge and Distribution Charge. The amount billed will be shown as a separate line item on customers’ bills and labeled “Interim Increase (total billed under Basic Service Charge and Distribution Charge) x 34.293% = $xx.xx. A typical residential customer using 81 dk annually will see an average increase of approximately $4.72 per month.
- Gas Utility Infrastructure Cost Adjustment – Gas Utility Infrastructure Cost Adjustment rates per dk will be set to $0.00 effective with the implementation of interim rates.
The interim rates will remain in effect until final rates are implemented following a Commission decision in the rate case which is expected in Summer 2020. A bill insert regarding the interim increase was included with customers’ bill starting January 2.
Great Plains Natural Gas has filed a natural gas price increase request with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. If approved, it would increase a residential customer’s monthly bill by an average of about $7 a month.
The rate increase is driven primarily by the need to recover investments made in infrastructure necessary to safely and reliably serve customers. The company has worked hard to keep costs as low as possible, but has made significant and needed investments in our facilities and need to recover those costs, as well as the associated increase in depreciation, taxes, and operation and maintenance expenses.
The proposed increase is for $2.8 million annually over current prices, or a 12% overall increase. Great Plains serves about 21,400 customers in 18 western Minnesota communities.
The investment by Great Plains Natural Gas in its Minnesota operations has increased by $20 million, or approximately 42%, from 2016 to the 2020 projected levels included in this request.
The proposed increase for each customer group, which is based on studies that calculate the cost to serve each customer group, is:
- Residential 15.7%
- Firm general 12.5%
- Grain drying 12.2%
- Small interruptible 3.3%
- Large interruptible 3.7%
The company’s last natural gas price increase, which was filed in September 2015, was an overall 5.2% increase, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
The Minnesota PUC has up to 10 months to issue a decision on the proposed increase request. Great Plains also filed a request for an interim price increase of 11%, or $2.6 million over current prices, which, if approved, would be implemented while the PUC reviews the overall request. The interim increase would be $5 per month for the average residential customer. The revenues collected on an interim basis are subject to refund depending on the PUC’s final decision.
Great Plains encourages customers to use energy wisely. Conservation tips, information on energy assistance and information on the company’s balanced billing program can be found on the Great Plains Natural Gas website: www.gpng.com.
Great Plains Natural Gas files for updated natural gas tariffs in North Dakota
Great Plains Natural Gas on Feb. 3, 2017, filed a request with the North Dakota Public Service Commission to update the company’s natural gas tariffs and rate schedules for its North Dakota customers. Most of Great Plains’ North Dakota customers are in Wahpeton.
The filing does not seek an increase in revenues, but rather a change to the rate structure. The filing also looks to update the company’s line extension and meter testing policies. One rate structure change is for residential customers to pay a basic service charge of $0.23 per day, or $6.90 a month, which is an increase of $3.40 per month over the current monthly charge. That increase would be offset by a decrease in the volumetric charge.
The PSC has up to seven months to consider the application.
Please see this bill insert for more information.