Update: Victory! On November 25th, the Montana Public Service Commission ruled in favor of MREA and Vote Solar, preserving rooftop solar and unanimously rejecting Northwestern Energy's proposal! Read about the decision here.
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 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.
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. Please help us defend net metering by making a contribution to MREA today. No amount is too small, and all amounts are greatly appreciate.
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)
- MT PSC approves 1.23 percent electric rate increase for NorthWestern Energy (KTVH, November 7)
- Our state law shouldn’t limit solar (Bozeman Chronicle, November 10)
- PSC pulls plug on proposed changes for net metering (Great Falls Tribune, November 25)
- PSC says ‘no’ to higher electric rates for homeowners with solar panels (Missoula Current, November 26)
>> Learn how net metering works