The Montana Public Service Commission issued an order Friday approving an electricity rate settlement with Montana-Dakota Utilities. PSC Communications Director Eric Sell explains:

“We had a hearing in February and right before the hearing, the Montana Consumer Counsel, The Large Customer Group, and Montana-Dakota Utilities reached a stipulation to decrease that electricity rate increase request down to 13.3% and that equals approximately 7.4 million dollars to be spread across all of their customers,” said Sell.

Sell says this increase will be a two year process starting this Friday.

“The ratings increase will go into affect in two phases,” Sell said. “The first phase goes into affect April 1st of this year and the next phase will go into affect April 1st of next year. That first phase is $3 million and the second phase is $4.4 million.”

The final vote was four to one with Commissioner Kirk Bushman being the lone vote opposed.