Montana Public Service Commission

Mountain Water Company.
Cherie Trusler

The private company that owns Missoula’s city water system got slapped with a financial penalty today.

Our Capitol reporter has details on that, as well as efforts to change how much renewable energy companies can charge customers. Reporter Corin Cates-Carney followed the action and joins us now to fill us in.

FLS Energy, Inc. has asked Montana’s Public Service Commission to re-hear an issue they voted on in June. That vote suspended the state’s current favorable rate for renewable energy companies. Many expect a new rate to be set much lower.
(PD)

A North Carolina solar energy company says it’s prepared to sue Montana if state utility regulators stick by their decision on how much they can charge for electricity.

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Montana’s utility regulators took unprecedented action Thursday when they suspended price rates for solar energy. It's a win for NorthWestern Energy, but it could slow growth in Montana’s solar energy industry.

A federal law from the 1970s is pushing Montana’s Public Service Commission to act as mediator between large utility companies and small renewable energy providers as they debate the price of electricity.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

It took the Montana Public Service Commission less than 10 minutes Monday to approve a $1.1 million rate reduction for Missoula’s Mountain Water Company.

The City of Missoula says the recent sale of the city’s water utility company should mean lower rates, but instead, city residents are being overcharged for water.
(PD)

The City of Missoula says the recent sale of the city’s water utility company should mean lower rates, but instead, city residents are being overcharged for water.

CenturyLink building in Butte.
Eric Whitney

CenturyLink representatives gave the Montana Public Service Commission an update today on their work to improve inadequate phone service in several Montana communities.

Last fall the PSC and CenturyLink settled a lawsuit over the quality of their phone service in Wibaux and Wolf Creek.

A Montana judge has rejected a telephone company's claim that its executives' pay is a confidential trade secret.

WA Utility Denies It's Seeking Fast Track Closure Of Colstrip Units 1 & 2

Mar 31, 2016
Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

One of the owners of Colstrip Units 1 and 2 denies his company is angling for a fast-track closure of the coal-fired power plants. Steve Secrist, general council for Puget Sound Energy (PSE) told attendees at the Montana Energy Conference the utility is looking to the long-term.

NorthWestern Energy Ordered To Refund Montana Customers $8.2M

Mar 29, 2016
NorthWestern Energy Ordered To Refund Montana Customers $8.2M
Sue Ginn

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana regulators on Tuesday ordered NorthWestern Energy to refund customers $8.24 million that the state's largest power company charged when it had to buy electricity on the open market following a 2013 outage of the Colstrip coal plant.

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