NorthWestern Energy proposes first general electric rate increase since 2009

Published on October 02, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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NorthWestern Energy recently filed a general electric rate review request with the Montana Public Service Commission, the first such request since 2009, to support continued investments in its electric transmission and distribution system, customer-service initiatives and electricity sources.

The company, which provides electricity and natural gas to customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, has invested more than $850 million in its electric delivery system since 2009.

The proposed increase would result in an average monthly bill increase of $6.37 per month, or about 7.4 percent, for the typical residential customer.

“Since 2009, we have worked to reshape NorthWestern to meet the current and future needs of our customers,” NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe said. “We have made significant investments in safe, reliable and even smarter energy infrastructure and developed a diverse portfolio of electric generation to increasingly provide clean, reliable and affordable energy. We are striving to give customers more choice and control over their energy service. We are asking for these rate changes to help us continue to position NorthWestern to provide the services and reliability that our customers expect.”

NorthWestern also requested approval to include electricity generated at the Two Dot wind project, which the company bought earlier this year for $18.5 million, in its portfolio used to serve Montana customers. The company also proposed a demand charge for residential customers who generate some of their own electricity and sell it to NorthWestern.

NorthWestern also requested that the PSC grant interim, or temporary, prices that reflect part of the overall requested increase. Under the proposed interim rates, a residential customer using 750 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of 2 percent or approximately $1.75 per month.