The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) held a Special Planning Meeting to launch an investigation into the economic impact of the natural gas price spike that occurred during last week’s arctic blast.  The PUC voted 5-0 to open a formal investigation to examine the impact of the national spike in prices on customers and the state’s gas utilities.

While Minnesotans had reliable power to keep their lights on and stay warm, the Commission learned that some utilities had to buy gas at prices that were at least fifty times higher than average between February 12 and February 17. The formal investigation will examine the impact and look for ways to mitigate the impact on utility customers.  At the hearing, regulated gas utilities, which serve the majority of Minnesotans, reported that unexpected gas costs in mid-February will not show up in customer bills immediately, but may be delayed by several months pending approval by the PUC.