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.
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approves Great Plains Natural Gas rate increase
On September 30, 2015, Great Plains Natural Gas filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission requesting authority to increase its natural gas rates in Minnesota. Several factors contributed to the company’s revenue deficiency including declining use per customer and significant investments in the new billing system, the automated meter reading system and transmission and distribution infrastructure. The proposed new rates would have resulted in an increase in natural gas revenues of $1.6 million or an overall increase of 6.4 percent.
On January 1, 2016, the company implemented an interim rate increase in the amount of $1,529,923 annually or an overall increase of 6.33 percent applicable to all customers in Minnesota, except those served under a flexible contract rate. The interim rate of 17.671 percent was applicable to the total dollars billed under the Basic Service Charge and the Distribution Delivery Charge.
On September 6, 2016, the PUC authorized the following changes effective January 1, 2017:
• Annual revenue increase of approcimately $1.1 million or 5.2 percent
• Three-year rate consolidation into one rate area for Minnesota
Phase 1 rates to be effective January 1, 2017. Increase by rate class and rate area:
- • North Rates:
- Residential = 6.11% (the average residential customer using 78.0 dk annually will see an average monthly increase of $3.07)
- Firm General = 5.12%
- Small IT Sales = 4.80%
- Large IT Sales = 4.00%
- Small IT Transport = 14.11%
- • South Rates:
- Residential = 5.71% (the average residential customer using 71.8 dk annually will see an average monthly increase of $2.21)
- Firm General = 4.54%
- Small IT Sales = 4.55%
- Large IT Sales = 1.87%
- Small IT Transport = 14.13%
- Large IT Transport = 14.32%
• Consolidation of the Cost of Gas into one rate area for Minnesota to be effective July 1, 2017. Effective January 1, 2017, interruptible sales customers will be assigned a pipeline capacity charge based on a 100 percent load factor allocation of pipeline demand costs.
• Implementation of a three-year Revenue Decoupling Mechanism (RDM) pilot program. The RDM separates the company’s revenues from changes in gas sales and reduces the company’s financial disincentive to the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. The PUC will review the RDM each year and adjust customer bills up or down. During 2017, customers will not see their bills adjusted for the RDM. Instead the company will track the changes in customers and sales from authorized for inclusion in a 2018 rate and report to the PUC.
• Since the final rate increase authorized was less than the interim rate increase implemented January 1, 2016, the company will refund the difference, with interest, in March 2017. A typical residential customer’s refund is estimated to be around $6.60.
• Returned check charge increasing from $12.00 to $18.25
• Seasonal Reconnect Charge will change from a flat $45.00 to the following:
• All customer bills will be due 22 days after billing.
• The Standby Service Charge for Residential and Firm General customers was eliminated.
The updated Minnesota gas tariffs have been posted to the Rates and Tariffs page.
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.