BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved a rate hike settlement that reduces the size of an electric rate hike plan by Montana-Dakota Utilities.

In May 2022, MDU requested a 17 percent increase in residential electric rates, among other increases affecting larger customers and services. MDU argued at the time in its filing with the Public Service Commission that the increase was primarily due to, “the increased investment in production, transmission and distribution facilities and the associated depreciation, operation and maintenance expenses and taxes associated with the increased investment.”

A number of groups challenged the hike, resulting in a series of discussions and proposals.

Under the approved settlement, residential electric rates will still go up, but not as much as originally proposed.

The fixed electric rate for a residential customer prior to MDU’s request was $13.99 per month.

MDU wanted that rate to go up to $20.38 per month.

With the recently approved settlement, the fixed electric rate for a residential customer will go up to $15.24 per month, and increase of $1.25 per month over the old rate.

“This is a real pocketbook issue for older North Dakotans, and that’s why we worked to mitigate the impact when rate hikes are proposed. With this settlement, residential customers have control over their monthly energy costs and their budget bottom line,” said AARP North Dakota Advocacy Director Janelle Moos.

There’s no word yet on when the rate hike will go into effect.