NorthWestern Energy rate hike on customers denied by Montana Supreme Court

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld the state’s Public Service Commission’s decision to deny a $1.4 million rate increase requested by NorthWestern Energy.

An outage at a plant in January 2012 forced the company to buy power from third parties, but the PSC had ruled that even with the outage, NorthWestern Energy was allowed to collect $8.3 million for the plant’s costs.

The utility had asked for another $1.4 million to make up for what it had to pay to buy the extra power during the outage.

But the PSC ruled – and the Montana Supreme Court has upheld – that NorthWestern Energy could not pass those unforeseen costs on to customers.