Before the end of the month, the Montana Public Service Commission is expected to analyze the rates that Mountain Water Company is charging customers, and there are signals that those rates may decline. Although a drop in rates isn’t certain, Montana Public Service Commission Spokesman, Eric Sell says changes could be on the way.

"We received testimony from Dr. John Wilson," says Sell. "He is a consultant contracted by the Montana Consumer Counsel. He suggested that the previous owners had higher cost equity that they were using to fund their ownership of the water system. When [ownership] transferred to Liberty Utilities, they have a larger portion of lower cost debt."

Now that Liberty has Mountain Water Company, and Liberty’s debt interest is lower, those savings may come back to consumers, and it may not take that long.

"Right now the commissioners are shooting to have an interim rate put into effect by February 28th I believe," says Sell. "I am not sure if that timeline is still going to work, but that's what the commission had hoped for a few weeks ago."

The interim rate has potential to change depending on the results of the larger rate case. This case could last up to several months.



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