NorthWestern Energy is a regulated utility. This means that our rates can only be changed – increased or decreased – with approval from state public utility commissions.
Utility commissions in Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota oversee our rate structure and set rates it believes serve the public interest. This means the rates must be – and are – reasonable and fair for customers while allowing NorthWestern Energy the opportunity to be a viable, healthy business and earn a fair return for shareholders so we can continue delivering safe, reliable energy.
We’re investing in the future. The cost of delivering safe, reliable energy includes maintaining a vast assemblage of pipelines, power poles and towers, substations and gate stations and the equipment needed to operate and maintain these systems. Some components of our infrastructure are the original and although still functional and safe, they might be decades old.
Just like you work to maintain the value and usefulness of your home, we work to ensure our system will meet your growing energy needs today and in the future. You may replace the roof on a building before it leaks and causes damage. We are replacing hundreds of power poles before they cause a significant issue in energy delivery. We incur the same kind of expenses you do in maintaining your property.
We are investing millions of dollars in our system every year so we can provide safe, reliable service for customers now and in the future. While we work hard to keep costs as low as possible, we have a legal commitment to do our best to ensure that your lights and heat come on when you need them.