SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE:NWE) announced that the South Dakota Public Utility Commission has formally approved its stipulated settlement agreement with staff and intervening parties. The approval is the final step in the company's first general rate adjustment request in 34 years.
Under the agreement, NorthWestern will be allowed to increase base rates by $20.2 million annually compared to the original request of $26.5 million and includes recovery for the recently acquired Beethoven wind project. The Beethoven project was not submitted in the original rate filing made in December.
"We commend the commission staff for their hard work throughout this process," said Bob Rowe, president and CEO. "Rate cases are complex. The commission staff never lost sight of this proceeding's importance to our customers now, and to our ability to continue investing in providing them great service in the future. We also commend the commissioners for their thoughtful and deliberative review of the settlement."
Rates were adjusted on an interim basis on July 1, 2015, and the new, lower rate will be implemented beginning January 1, 2016. NorthWestern will refund, with interest, the difference between the interim rate and the final approved rate no later than April 16, 2016. The average residential customer rate refund will be approximately $54 which will appear as a credit on the bill. The actual refund will depend on the individual customers' use.
Today's approval includes a moratorium that prevents NorthWestern Energy from filing a request to increase base rates that would go into effect prior to July 1, 2018.
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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 692,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.
SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation