The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has authorized Northern Minnesota Utilities, a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), to insulate shareholders from the effects of losing a large firm sales customer by reallocating associated demand costs among remaining firm customer classes. It allowed the LDC to pass the increased costs through its purchased adjustment clause, finding that the utility was now alerted to the problem and had taken action to protect itself and its ratepayers from stranded costs caused by customers switching to interruptible transport service. The PUC admonished the LDC to undertake a range of precautionary measures in the future, including a review to ensure that all tariffs and contracts include adequate safeguards such as exit fees. Re Northern Minnesota Utilities, Docket No. G-00/M-95-200, July 19, 1995 (Minn.P.S.C.). t
Phillip S. Cross is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
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