In September of 2018, NorthWestern Energy filed a general electric rate case with the Montana Public Service Commission. A rate case proceeding is how utilities update their rates and charges for all of their customers [learn more about setting rates here]. In it's proposal for new rates, NorthWestern Energy proposed significant and drastic changes to how net metering customers will be treated that could devastate rooftop solar and the solar industry. MREA has intervened in the docket in order to protect Montana's net metering policies. The five Public Service Commissioners may end up deciding solar's future in Montana, and we will be working to ensure solar still has a bright future under the Big Sky.
We put together a document that explains the proposal and its potential impacts on current and future net metering customers and the solar industry. It also shares next steps and when to expect a decision in the case.
>> READ THE FAQ (last updated: 9/3/19) <<
MREA needs the resources to ensure we can do this work successfully. Engaging in a docket at the Public Service Commission is an expensive task. Intervening in dockets is not a typical activity for MREA, but this rate case could have profound impacts on whether or not Montanans can produce their own energy and it will have profound impacts on the solar industry in Montana. No support is too small, and all support is greatly appreciate.
>> HELP DEFEND NET METERING <<
Post-hearing Briefs addressing Net Metering
- NWE opening brief (see pages 16-30)
- MREA and Vote Solar brief
- Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality brief (see pages 5-11)
- Montana Consumer Counsel brief (see pages 22-24)
- NWE closing brief (see pages 25-52)
In the news
- NW Energy rate-change could devastate rooftop solar installation in MT (MTN News via the Missoula Current, March 14)
- Solar advocates balk at NorthWestern Energy's plan to create charge (Billings Gazette, February 26)
- Missoula residents blast NorthWestern Energy’s requested rooftop solar rate hike (Missoula Current, May 9)
- Solar customers angered by NorthWestern rate increase (Billings Gazette, May 9)
- Consumers blast NW Energy’s proposed rate change for rooftop solar systems (KTVH, May 23)
- Rooftop Solar Customers Could See Higher Rates Under NorthWestern Plan (MTPR, May 23)
- PSC ruling on NorthWestern rates a few months off (Billings Gazette, June 4)
>> Learn how net metering works