Intermountain Gas Company files for an overall decrease to its prices

BOISE, IDAHO – August 12, 2016 – Intermountain Gas Company made two filings with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission that, if approved, will affect the rate customers pay for natural gas. The company filed its annual Purchase Gas Adjustment (PGA) and an additional application requesting an increase to its general base rates. If both applications are approved, the net effect to its customers is an overall average decrease of 3.05 percent or $7 million less annually as compared to the company’s current rates.

“Intermountain Gas prides itself on keeping expenses low and finding the best options possible in acquiring natural gas to ensure our customers have safe and reliable service at the lowest price possible,” said Scott Madison, executive vice president of Intermountain Gas. “We are happy to provide a significant discount in our natural gas prices as outlined in our PGA. We also believe our general rate request is reasonable in order to continue to provide a safe and reliable distribution system for our growing customer base. We have been able to hold our underlying rates stable for more than 30 years but our investment in and replacement of infrastructure, combined with costs associated with mandated federal regulations, is driving the need for our requested general rate increase.”

The PGA request is an overall decrease in prices of 7.11 percent or $17.2 million in annual revenues. The primary reason for the proposed decrease is a decline in the price of natural gas that Intermountain purchases for its customers. The cost of natural gas makes up the largest segment of a customer’s bill and is a straight pass-through cost to customers. Intermountain Gas does not make a return on the cost of gas.

If the PGA is approved residential customers using natural gas for space heating and water heating will save an average of $3.48 or 7.55 percent per month, while customers using natural gas only for space heating will see an average decrease of $2.31 or 6.5 percent per month, based on average weather and usage. Commercial customers, on average, would see a decrease of $14.23 per month or 7.34 percent.

Intermountain’s request for a general rate increase is seeking $10.2 million annually over current rates, or 4.06 percent. This is the first general rate case filing by Intermountain Gas since 1985. Over the past 31 years, Intermountain has worked diligently to keep customers’ rates at the lowest levels in the region while continuing to provide quality service.

If approved, customers using natural gas for space and water heating will experience an average increase of $2.31 per month, or 4.93 percent; customers using natural gas for space heating only will realize an increase of $1.16 per month, or 3.26 percent. Commercial customers, on average, would see an increase of $12.16 per month or 6.29 percent.

“Since the acquisition by MDU Resources Group, Intermountain has found synergistic savings in a number of areas,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Intermountain Gas, as well as its three sister utility companies, all of which are under the MDU Resources Group umbrella. “We have found savings in joint senior management, a combined customer service center located in Meridian, as well as joint billing and payment processing, also located in Idaho.

“Even with these savings, however, Intermountain’s customer growth and related expenses over the last 31 years necessitates the requested general rate increase.”

If both of the company’s applications are approved, residential customers using natural gas for space heating and water heating will save an average of $1.17 or 2.62 percent per month, while customers using natural gas only for space heating will save an average of $1.15 or 3.24 percent per month, based on average weather and usage. Commercial customers, on average, would see a decrease of $2.07 per month or 1.05 percent.

Intermountain continues to urge all its customers to use energy wisely. As part of the general rate case application, the company is proposing to implement several “Demand Side Management” (DSM) programs to better enable its customers to conserve energy. Conservation tips and information on government payment energy assistance are provided through bill inserts and on the company’s website www.intgas.com. The website also outlines a number of programs and tips to help our customers’ level out their energy bills over the year, and stabilize the potential impact that cold weather will have during periods of higher natural gas usage.

A Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment application is filed each year to reflect the gas costs Intermountain incurs on behalf of its customers in its sales prices. A general rate change application is filed as needed to recover changes in the cost of delivering natural gas to the customer’s home or business. Both requests are subject to public review and approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. A copy of the applications are available for review at the commission, the company’s website at www.intgas.com as well as the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov . Written comments regarding the application may be filed with the commission.  Customers may also subscribe to the commission’s RSS feed to receive periodic updates via email.

PGA - Full Filing Document - INT-G-16-03 - August 12, 2016

General Rate Case Full Filing Document - INT-G-16-02 - August 12, 2016

Aug. 11 (8/11) a reminder to always call 811 before digging

BOISE, IDAHO – August 9, 2016 – With August 11 almost here, Intermountain Gas Co. hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. This is a free service.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. After all, calling before you dig is the law.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Hart Gilchrist, vice president of operations at Intermountain Gas. “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Visit www.call811.com for more information about safe digging practices.

Intermountain Gas a founding partner in EPA’s Methane Challenge Program

BOISE, IDAHO – March 30, 2016 – Intermountain Gas, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc., is one of the founding partners in the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Methane Challenge Program provides a mechanism through which oil and natural gas companies can make and track ambitious commitments to reduce methane emissions. The program officially launched today at the Global Methane Forum in Washington, D.C.

The Methane Challenge Program provides a platform for partners to showcase their efforts to reduce methane emissions, improve air quality, and capture and monetize natural gas. 

Intermountain Gas and its sister utility companies will focus on excavation damages.

“Excavation damage to our natural gas pipelines by third parties is a significant cause of our emissions and the main reason we are placing our focus on this area,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Intermountain Gas. “Calling for locates before you dig will be a big part of our continued education and promotion in this area. We believe it’s important to be a founding partner in this voluntary program.”

Intermountain Gas Company files annual PGA

BOISE, IDAHO August 7, 2015Intermountain Gas Company filed its annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to change its prices by an overall average decrease of 5.69%, or $15.3 million. If approved, the decrease would be effective Oct.1, 2015. The primary reason behind the proposed decrease is a decline in the price of natural gas that Intermountain purchases for its customers. With this proposed decrease, Intermountain’s combined residential and commercial prices would be 35% lower as compared to 2005. Intermountain’s earnings will not decrease as a result of the proposed change in prices and revenues.

If approved, residential customers using natural gas for space and water heating will see an average decrease of 6.11%, or $3.12 per month. Customers using natural gas for space heating only will see an average decrease of $1.36 per month, or 3.56%, based on average weather and usage. Commercial customers, on average, would see a decrease of $12.15 per month or 5.66%.
 

The company is also proposing to eliminate the temporary surcharges and credits that have been included in its current prices during the past year. Newer temporary surcharges and credits will be included going forward.

Scott Madison, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intermountain said, “The decrease in the cost of natural gas is mainly a supply and demand issue, and natural gas supplies remain plentiful. Additionally, last winter’s warm weather in the western U.S reduced demand on natural gas storage levels in our region, adding to the availability of natural gas heading into next winter. We continue to see increased domestic natural gas production, and we anticipate prices will remain fairly stable in the coming year.”

Even with this proposed price decrease, Intermountain continues to urge all its customers to use energy wisely. Conservation tips, information on government payment energy assistance, and programs to help customers level out their energy bills over the year can be found on the company’s website, www.intgas.com.

A Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment application is filed each year to ensure the costs Intermountain incurs on behalf of its customers are reflected in its sales prices. The request is a proposal, and is subject to public review and approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. A copy of the application is available at the Commission’s office and on its homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov as well as at the bottom of this article via the link titled "Rate Case - Full Filling Document - August 07, 2014". Written comments regarding the application may be filed with the Commission. Customers may also subscribe to the Commission’s RSS feed to receive periodic updates via email.

Rate Case - Full Filing Document - August 07, 2014


Intermountain Gas names Gilchrist vice president of operations

May 13, 2015Intermountain Gas announced today that Hart Gilchrist has been named vice president of operations, effective July 1, 2015.

Gilchrist began his career with Intermountain Gas in June 1994 and has held positions of increasing responsibilities over his career. He most recently was director of operation services for Intermountain, based in Boise. 
 

“Hart has shown great leadership ability in his previous positions with the company and I look forward to his continued success in this new role,” said Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager for Intermountain Gas. “His extensive natural gas operational experience will be a great fit on our executive team.”

Gilchrist has a finance degree from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in business administration from Boise State University. He also is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s Utility Executive Course.

 

Kivisto named President and CEO of MDU Resource Group's utility companies

January 8, 2015MDU Resources Group, Inc. today announced that Nicole Kivisto has been named president and CEO of the corporation’s utility group, which includes Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Great Plains Natural Gas Co., Cascade Natural Gas Corp. and Intermountain Gas Company. The utility group serves more than 1 million electric and natural gas customers in eight states.

Kivisto’s new role will be effective Jan. 9. She replaces K. Frank Morehouse, who has resigned.
 
“Nicole is an outstanding leader who is widely respected across our utility group’s management team,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “With her broad financial expertise and success in her operational role, Nicole is ideally suited to lead the utility group’s continuing growth.”

Kivisto has been vice president of operations for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Great Plains Natural Gas Co. since January of 2014. Prior to that she was vice president, controller and chief accounting officer for MDU Resources Group. Kivisto joined the company in 1995 and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including controller.

Kivisto is a native of Beulah, N.D. She has a degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota-Moorhead and is also a graduate of the Carlson School of Management Minnesota Executive Program and the University of Idaho’s Utility Executive Course. She is a certified public accountant.

For the complete news release, visit http://www.mdu.com/News/2015/01/08/kivisto-named-president-and-ceo-of-mdu-resources-group-s-utility-companies.

 

Intermountain Gas Company files to Increase Prices

BOISE, IDAHO – August 8, 2014 -- Intermountain Gas Company filed its annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to change prices by an overall average increase of 2.64%, or $6.7 million, and if approved, would be effective October 1, 2014.  The main reason for the filing is an increase in the price of natural gas that Intermountain purchases for its customers.  Intermountain’s earnings will not increase as a result of the proposed change in prices and revenues.

If approved, residential customers using natural gas for space and water heating will see an average increase of 3.81%, or $1.89 per month.  Customers using natural gas for space heating only will see an average increase of $1.40 per month, or 3.64%, based on average weather and usage.  Commercial customers, on average, would see an increase of $0.31 per month or 0.15%.

The company is also proposing to eliminate the temporary surcharges and credits that have been included in its current prices during the past year.  Newer temporary surcharges and credits will be included going forward.  Even with this requested increase, the aforementioned gas-cost portion of Intermountain’s prices will be 50% lower than in 2005. 

Scott Madison, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intermountain said, “The slight increase in the cost of natural gas is mainly a supply and demand issue.  Last winter’s cold weather in the eastern U.S. put an upward pressure on prices, and also put a significant dent into natural gas storage levels across the country.  There also continues to be an increase in demand from natural gas-fired electric generation.  Fortunately, we continue to see increased domestic natural gas production, and we anticipate prices will remain fairly stable in the coming years.”

Intermountain continues to urge all its customers to use energy wisely.  Conservation tips, information on government payment energy assistance, and programs to help customers level out their energy bills over the year can be found on the company’s website, www.intgas.com

A Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment application is filed each year to ensure the costs Intermountain incurs on behalf of its customers are reflected in its sales prices. The request is a proposal, and is subject to public review and approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. A copy of the application is available at the Commission’s office and on its homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov  and Intermountain’s website at www.intgas.com . Written comments regarding the application may be filed with the Commission.  Customers may also subscribe to the Commission’s RSS feed to receive periodic updates via email.

Rate Case - Full Filing Document – 08/08/14

Northwest Gas Association Releases 2014 Gas Outlook

Source: Northwest Gas Association Website - March 24, 2014
This week the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) released the 2014 edition of the annual Natural Gas Outlook Study, a regional look at natural gas supply, demand and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.


 J.D. Power recognizes Intermountain Gas for outstanding customer satisfaction for fourth straight year

BOISE, IDAHOSept. 18, 2013 – For the fourth straight year, Intermountain Gas Company received the highest ranking in satisfaction among residential natural gas customers in the midsize natural gas utilities segment of the West Region in a tie, according to a national study.

The 2013 J.D. Power Gas Utility Residential Customers Satisfaction StudySM was released today. Intermountain Gas received a score of 655, which tied for the highest among midsize natural gas utilities in the West Region. The regional average score was 646. The study looks at six survey areas: billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, field service and customer service.

“For the fourth year in a row, this is an outstanding recognition for our employees, who make it their highest priority every day to provide safe and reliable natural gas service,” said Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager of Intermountain Gas. “Intermountain takes great pride in serving our more than 312,000 customers in southern Idaho.”

In its 12th year, the study surveys customer satisfaction across a number of factors, including billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, customer service and field service.

Intermountain Gas Company is a natural gas distribution company serving approximately 312,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 74 communities in southern Idaho. Intermountain is a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc., a multidimensional natural resources enterprise traded on the New York Stock Exchange as “MDU.” For more information about MDU Resources, visit the company’s Web site at www.mdu.com. For more information about Intermountain, visit www.intgas.com.

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Media Contact: Mark Hanson at 701-530-1093 or mark.hanson@mduresources.com

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