SB 188 improves transparency in planning and procurement processes conducted by utilities.
The bill protects utility customers by reducing the likelihood of for-profit utilities (i.e. NorthWestern Energy) making unnecessary investments. It makes the long-term electricity resource planning process open to all parties (not just those invited by the utility), it requires a competitive bidding process for new resources, and it requires a draft and public comment on Requests for Proposals for new resources. This increased transparency will protect customers from utilities making investments that help the company’s bottom line more than consumers.
SB 188 was heard in the Senate Energy Committee on February 14th; it is awaiting a vote in that committee.