MTPR

Montana Consumer Counsel


NorthWestern Energy is asking state utility regulators to sign off on the company’s request to increase their customers’ electric bills by $23.8 million for one year. This surcharge is in addition to a $6.5 million rate increase commissioners approved late last month.

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

A rewritten Republican plan aimed at protecting the future of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip is moving forward. But concerns remain about its potential impact on Montanans’ electric bills.

When the so-called Montana Energy Security Act of 2019 was first introduced it drew comparisons to the deregulation of the Montana Power Company in the late 1990s, which skyrocketed electric bills across the state.

NorthWestern Energy truck.
Sue Ginn / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — NorthWestern Energy customers will soon be seeing a credit on their bills due to the utility's savings under the federal tax cut enacted last December.

The Montana Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved an agreement reached between NorthWestern and consumer groups that calls for a total one-time credit of $20.5 million.

NorthWestern estimates average customers will receive a credit of $24 on their power bills and $3.50 on their natural gas bills within the next 30 days.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

It took the Montana Public Service Commission less than 10 minutes Monday to approve a $1.1 million rate reduction for Missoula’s Mountain Water Company.

Rainbow Dam
Dan Boyce

The chairman of the agency that regulates Montana's public utilities says he supports Northwestern Energy's $870-million-dollar proposal to purchase 11 hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana.

The PSC board is scheduled to cast a vote on the purchase tomorrow.

Public Service Commission Chairman Bill Gallagher says there's … risk... associated with an acquisition of this size, but adds the potential benefits are substantial.  

Gallagher says not only would the purchase stabilize rates but bring diversity to power production in Montana:

Montana Politics Week In Review

Jul 18, 2014

NorthWestern Energy Dam Buyback

Dan Boyce

 

NorthWestern Energy is rolling out the major phase of a seven-year, $375 million infrastructure upgrade project this year, and it has already led to an increase in some utility rates with more potentially on the way.