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NorthWestern helps provide low-income heating help


From NorthWestern Energy

BUTTE — NorthWestern Energy reported that more than $815,000 is being provided for special home weatherization measures for low income Montanans and to Energy Share of Montana, which provides assistance for Montanans with energy emergencies.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed in December 2017 resulted in a $20.5 million benefit to be directed to NorthWestern Energy customers. The Montana Public Service Commission approved a settlement reached by NorthWestern Energy, the Montana Consumer Counsel, Montana Large Customer Group, Human Resource Council, District XI and the Natural Resources Defense Council, Montana Environmental Information Center and the Northwest Energy Coalition as to how this benefit would be applied.

The settlement, reached in November 2018 provided a one-time bill credit to eligible electric and natural gas customers. After that credit was satisfied, more than $815,000 remained.  Of the remaining funds, $81,500 will go to Energy Share of Montana to meet the needs of NorthWestern Energy customers who are ineligible under the normal Energy Share guidelines, and $734,100 will go to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services for disbursement to the low income service agencies — Human Resource Council, Human Resource Development Council, or Community Action Partnership — that operate in NorthWestern Energy’s service area.

The $734,100 will be used by the agencies to address health, safety, and structural issues in residences served by NorthWestern Energy that prevent those residences from receiving the free weatherization services that they would otherwise receive if the issues did not exist.

“February 2019 hit Montana hard, and these funds will address some of the issues our low-income neighbors face when trying to keep their homes warm efficiently,” said Bobbi Schroeppel, NorthWestern Energy vice president customer care, communications and human resources. “This funding comes at an ideal time to help Montanans.”

Eligible NorthWestern Energy customers in Montana received the credit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act settlement on their January electric and natural gas bills.

In addition to eligible customers receiving a one-time bill credit, the settlement also reduces rates for all natural gas customers by approximately $1.3 million annually beginning Jan. 1.


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