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We all want to see a brighter future for Montana. That’s why we need to make sure that clean power is affordable and accessible to all Montanans.

Unfortunately, there is an effort underway by NorthWestern Energy to ensure that “going solar” is no longer affordable for Montanans. In their current and ongoing rate case proceedings, NorthWestern Energy is proposing to place an unfair demand charge on future homeowners that wish to generate some of their power from a solar array, known as net metering customers. This proposed demand charge will make it impossible for net metering customers to save money on their utility bills by going solar and without that incentive Montana’s brighter clean energy future will disappear.

Going solar affords customers smaller utility bills and a degree of energy independence, so why does NorthWestern Energy want to take away these options away from customers? Because they want to ensure maximum profits for their shareholders, even if it’s by gouging those customers that choose to generate some of their power themselves.

The Montana Public Service Commission will begin deliberating on the proposal from NorthWestern Energy this May, and will reach a decision sometime this summer. I urge all those who hope to install solar in the future to contact the Montana Public Service Commission, tell them to stand with solar and reject this proposal.

Julie Holzer

Red Lodge

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