PSC Approves Temporary Rate Hike for NorthWestern

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – State utility regulators have given NorthWestern Energy approval to temporarily increase its customers’ gas and electricity rates.

The Public Service Commission vote on Thursday was a reversal of their denial of the rate hike a week ago.

Commissioner Gail Gutsche of Missoula changed her vote and the commission passed the rate increase 3-2.

Once a final order is approved, rates will rise 2.7 percent for electricity and 1.75 percent for natural gas customers.

NorthWestern has more than 330,000 customers in Montana. The company is asking for a permanent rate increase of $15.5 million a year, to cover what it says are higher costs of delivering power and natural gas.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.