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Environmental groups, others file for reconsideration of NorthWestern Energy fee increases

A close up of an energy rate case
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
A close up of an energy rate case

Several groups including environmental organizations and an energy storage company appealed regulators’ decision in filings this week and last that challenge the reasonableness of the fee increases, allege issues like lack of due process and highlight the effect of increased electricity prices on lower-income customers.

The groups asking for reconsideration as of Tuesday afternoon are 350 Montana, Broad Reach Power, the Human Resource Council District Eleven, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Northwest Energy Coalition.

All were non-settling participants in the regulatory settlement process that resulted in the fee increase amounts. In that process, NorthWestern Energy and stakeholder groups settle on terms that regulators on the Montana Public Service Commission may accept or deny.

According to estimates from NorthWestern Energy filings, the settlement’s impact on the average electric household equals a 28 percent increase from fees last August, or an approximately $25 dollar average increase monthly.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.