A tax adjustment for Montana’s regulated utilities will save Montana Dakota Utilities and NorthWestern Energy customers savings.
Residential MDU electricity customers are expected to see a reduction of $ 10.81 for 2022, at least in the part of their bill regarding taxes and charges. Monthly, the reduction is approximately 1%. MDU’s gas customers will benefit from a reduction of 0.8% per month, or $ 7.47 for the year related to taxes. The rate adjustment, which begins Jan. 1, was approved by the Montana Civil Service Commission in early December. The PSC announced the reduction on Tuesday.
NorthWestern Energy residential electricity customers will see a reduction of $ 21.12 for the coming year on the tax and charge portion of their bill. The monthly reduction is 1.9%. NorthWestern residential natural gas customers will see an average reduction of $ 13.56 for the year, or 1.3% per month for the same reason.
Taxes and utility charges are passed directly to customers. When those taxes and fees are lower than expected, consumers’ bills show the difference.
Utilities prices generally increase as higher natural gas prices increase home heating bills in the winter. In November, the PSC warned natural gas utility customers to expect bill increases of up to 62%.
NorthWestern Energy expects Montana customers to pay 47% more for heating costs this winter than they did a year ago.
Montana Dakota Utilities, forecasting a 52% increase for natural gas customers in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, said much of the increased demand for gas is related to U.S. gas sales to the abroad, while domestic gas drilling has not increased despite better payments to producers.
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