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AARP AARP States North Dakota Advocacy

AARP ND Opposes Latest Xcel Natural Gas Rate Hike for Residents

Senior couple using laptop at home

On May 30, 2024 AARP filed to intervene on behalf of residential customers in Xcel Energy’s proposal to increase residential natural gas rates in 2024. The proposed rate increase, filed today with the North Dakota Public Service Commission (NDPSC), would raise monthly bills by 12.5% or $6.75 per month for all residential customers in the Fargo and Grand Forks area. As part of its request, Xcel Energy also seeks to raise the residential customer charge (the charge before any natural gas is used) from $22.25 to $25 per month and add an additional $4 monthly distribution charge.

 Utility rate increases are an escalating concern for North Dakotans – especially those with low or fixed incomes – many of whom struggle to pay their utility bills along with other critical household expenses. AARP North Dakota opposes this proposed rate increase on behalf of its 83,000 members and North Dakota residents, aged 50-plus.

“Xcel Energy’s proposed 12.5% increase is well above the national average, and we encourage the NDPSC to reject this unreasonable increase. Many of our AARP members have low or fixed incomes, so even small increases can be detrimental. AARP has a long history of successfully opposing such increases in North Dakota,” said Josh Askvig, AARP ND State Director.

AARP intervention in previous Xcel cases focused on keeping the monthly fixed charge down and ensuring customers can control their utility bills by adjusting their natural gas usage.

“With this rate increase request, Xcel is placing too much burden on the residential customers it serves,” continued Askvig. “At a time when so many older North Dakotans are already struggling with rising costs of essentials like groceries and medicine, AARP is proud to be at the table fighting to keep utility costs affordable.”

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