Let's be honest, the last couple of years have been really tough for a whole lot of Montanans. First, there was the pandemic, then there were all of the post-pandemic issues like businesses having a really hard time finding folks to work.

Of course, that's not all. Housing costs have skyrocketed here in Montana, grocery prices are at all-time highs, and then there was the gas situation that happened over the summer where we were paying darn near 5 bucks a gallon for a bit, and it's still over 4 dollars a gallon currently.

At least it can't get much worse, right? I mean, there has to be some sort of relief in sight, doesn't there?  Yea, maybe not.

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Northwestern Energy recently announced that they are planning on a price hike for their Montana customers. What does that mean? Well, it looks like it means that if you're a customer of Northwestern Energy, you can expect to pay more for energy and natural gas.

According to NBC Montana, the company is looking to raise prices right around the beginning of October. So, how much are we talking about? How much more will Montanans have to pay per month?

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According to the report, the average customer with the usage of 750-kilowatt hours will see an increase of around 15 dollars a month for electricity.  If passed, natural gas users can expect to see an increase as well. So what is the reason for the increase?  In a statement from Northwestern Energy, the following reason is given:

"Since that time, NorthWestern Energy has made more than a billion dollars of investments in the infrastructure that serves our customers here in Montana to make sure that we continue to provide reliable service safely, what our customers need when they need it the most. That's the reason for this,"

I'm a Northwestern Energy customer and I can't make heads or tails of my bill. There are a whole lot of delivery and service fees attached and even though I might only use 20 bucks in electricity, my bill is easily 3 times that.

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So here is my question, if they raise our rates as far as electricity and natural gas go, does that mean all the other fees and add-on costs go up as well? I can't be the only one that is looking for answers.

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