HB 314, by Rep. Tom Woods (D-Bozeman), allows the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) to initiate a “rate case” when it deems prudent. The bill does not require rate cases to be initiated at any specific interval, it just grants the PSC the option to do so.
Rate cases are important because they make sure the rates utility customer pay are not higher than necessary for the utility to recover its costs of providing its service.
This bill is necessary because there is uncertainty about whether the PSC has the authority to initiate rate cases. The bill would clarify the PSC’s authority.
Heard in the House Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee on February 4th. Passed that committee on a 12-0 vote. Passed the House Floor on a 94-2 vote. Heard in the Senate Energy Committee on March 21st. HB 314 was tabled in that committee.