NorthWestern Energy power customers to see refund, rate cut

Thursday, April 1, 2021

HELENA (AP) — NorthWestern Energy power customers will see a refund and a reduction in monthly costs under a recent settlement over the cost of transmitting power, the Public Service Commission announced Wednesday.

The commission is requiring NorthWestern Energy to credit its customers for revenue the utility collects from other companies who use NorthWestern’s system to transmit energy used in interstate commerce. The transmission costs the energy companies pay are set by federal regulators.

The PSC on Wednesday gave interim approval to North-Western’s plans to comply with the commission’s order.

Under the settlement, customers will receive an $8.1 million refund for costs paid from July 1, 2019 through Wednesday, along with a rate reduction going forward.

The refund will be paid out over the next year at $1.10 per month for the average residential customer while the reduced rates will result in another 80-cent monthly reduction, said Lucas Hamilton, a staff attorney with the PSC.

NorthWestern Energy has about 379,000 residential electric customers in Montana.