As NorthWestern Energy’s first full rate case in ten years kicks off with the Montana Public Service Commission, the PSC announced a special email list for those interested in following developments in the docket. People can sign up at http://psc.mt.gov/home/D2018212-signup.
“At the PSC, we pride ourselves in the highest possible level of transparency,” said Commission Chairman Brad Johnson. “We wanted to create one more way for the people of Montana to stay informed on the biggest development in Utility regulation in a decade.”
Almost all documents filed with the Commission are already publicly searchable online. This new list, however, offers an opportunity for Montanans to receive developments related to NorthWestern’s rate case directly in their inboxes.
There is a process whereby parties to the rate case can request confidentiality for proprietary corporate secrets and similar data. However, such “protective orders” require commission approval. Without one, every document filed in the rate case is accessible to the public.
NorthWestern’s general rate case includes a request to include power from their Two Dot wind project in the rate base for which they’re allowed to bill Montana consumers, a new pricing structure for net metering for private solar panels, and more than $34 million more in revenue. For an individual consumer using 750kwh of power per month, that works out to approximately $6.37 per month. The Commission must approve the rate case before any potential increase happens.
“We created this list because of the public interest,” Johnson said. “The people of Montana want to know what’s happening with NorthWestern’s application to raise their rates, and the PSC is committed to making that information as transparent as humanly possible.”