PSC Denies NorthWestern’s Rate Increase Request

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The state Public Service Commission has denied a request from NorthWestern Energy for a temporary increase to its gas and electricity rates.

NorthWestern serves more than 300,000 customers in Montana. It sought a temporary 2.7 percent electricity rate increase and a 1.75 percent gas rate increase while the commission considers an overall rate case for the utility.

The electricity increase would have been on top of a 5 percent rate hike that takes effect Thursday.

NorthWestern spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch says the increases would go toward the company’s infrastructure costs.

The commission rejected the request 3-2 on Tuesday. But Commission Chairman Greg Jergeson says the increase will come before the commission again, most likely next week.

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