BILLINGS Mont. (AP) — Montana regulators say they will review a 21-percent electricity rate increase proposed by Montana-Dakota Utilities for almost 26,000 eastern Montana customers.
Spokesman Eric Sell said Tuesday the five-member Public Service Commission will closely examine the proposal in coming months to make sure consumers are not getting gouged.
MDU says it would increase residential electricity bills on average by $14.80 a month, or $178 a year.
The Bismarck, N.D.-based utility says the increase is needed to pay for pollution controls and new generation and transmission services to keep up with growing demand.
Sell says MDU's last rate increase was just over 6 percent in 2011. Since then, the company says spending on its electrical operations in Montana by $126 million, or about 60 percent.