BUTTE, Mont., April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) today announced that it has reached stipulated agreements with intervenors to settle its natural gas rate case in Montana. The agreements have been filed with the Montana Public Service Commission.
Under the agreement with the Montana Consumer Counsel and the Large Customer Group, NorthWestern Energy would be allowed to increase its natural gas delivery service rates by $11.5 million or about $1.7 million less than authorized by the Commission's interim order last month and $4.2 million less than was originally requested by NorthWestern. The stipulated agreement includes a return of equity calculated at 9.8%.
Additionally, the company reached agreement with these and the remaining participating intervenors in the case on how to allocate the revenue requirement among different types of customer classes. Natural gas rates were adjusted by interim order beginning in April and will decrease slightly as a result of this agreement if approved by the MPSC. The difference between the interim order approved last month and the final order would be refunded to customers with interest. A final order is expected on or before June 30, 2013.
The company filed last fall requesting an increase of $15.7 million to account for investments in its natural gas transmission, distribution and storage systems and to implement pipeline integrity and infrastructure improvements, as well as cover increased expenses. Natural gas supply costs are tracked and adjusted separately. Even with this agreement, typical bills remain lower than the ten-year average due to declining supply costs.
About NorthWestern Energy NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 673,200 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at www.northwesternenergy.com.
SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation