NorthWestern seeks propane fee increase for Townsend customers

Phil Drake

NorthWestern Energy has filed with the Montana Public Service Commission for an interim rate increase that could hit about 64% overall for propane for nearly 600 Townsend customers to go into effect after June 1, the utility has announced, noting it is due to a higher market cost.

NorthWestern filed with the PSC on April 29, including a fact sheet, exhibits and other information. The proposed rates reflect current propane supply costs associated with propane plant usage and carrying costs and the Unreflected Propane Supply Cost Account balance (UPSCA), officials said.

The utility is proposing an increase from $1.153 per therm to $1.766 per therm from June 1 to Sept. 30, and a 7% increase to $1.889 per therm Oct. 1 Feb. 28, 2023, and $1.555 per therm during the March 1, 2023 to May 31, 2023 tracker period, NorthWestern officials said.

Jo Dee Black, NorthWestern Energy spokeswoman, said 600 customers in Townsend will be impacted, adding it will add an average of $30.49 to bills. Townsend is the only place where the utility provides propane. She said the rate for delivery and service remains unchanged.

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