PUC meets today, will discuss natural gas futures hedging program

NEW ULM – The Public Utilities Commission will consider whether to continue the natural gas futures hedging program during its meeting today.

The PUC, which has authorized the hedging since 2004, locks 70 percent base load from November through March. The program serves as insurance to keep consistent pricing on natural gas. With the current fluctuation in natural gas prices, there is concern for the future.

The NUPUC assistance finance director will provide an overview on the program. The commission’s options are to discontinue the current hedging program, continue it without changes, increase the percentage during the December through February heating months or increase the period of locked gas from seven to more than nine years.

In other action, utilities staff is recommending the continuation of the agreement with Heartland Consumers Power District on the Growth Incentive Programs. If approved, cash incentives could be provided to help with startup expenses for new and expanding businesses.

In other business the electric distribution supervisor will deliver a report on New Ulm’s electric system reliability standards. The standard includes information on the average system interruption frequency, the duration of the interruption and the time of interruption per customers.

The PUC meets at 5 p.m. at New Ulm City Hall.

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