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Q&A: Mission Valley Power rate adjustments

by Lake County Leader
| May 5, 2022 12:15 AM

Lake County energy provider Mission Valley Power instituted changes to its usage rates and certain fees, effective April 1. The adjustments are based on a recent study on the best way to distribute service costs to the company’s range of customers while keeping Mission Valley Power financially healthy.

Today we publish a short interview with General Manager Jean Matt regarding the changes.

Additional information and annual reports are available online at www.missionvalleypower.org.

Question: So, what exactly has changed regarding Mission Valley Power rates as of April 1?

Jean Matt: We assessed power usage and properly adjusted how each rate class uses the distribution system. Demand was assessed as part of usage in the system. We still maintain the lowest overall rates in Montana.

Q: Roughly how many customers does Mission Valley Power serve? Are there any other providers in Lake County?

Matt: MVP has 20,000 customers, 23,000 meters. There are no other providers in our service area, on the reservation or within Lake County.

Q: When was your most recent rate adjustment?

Matt: The last rate adjustment was approved in 2014. It addressed rates over a five-year period.

Q: Can you estimate how the latest adjustment might affect power bills for your different types of customers (residential, irrigators and net metering)?

Matt: This depends on how they as individual homes use the system. This adjustment encourages and incentivizes conservation. Residential customers now have tiered rates. Irrigators no longer have a horsepower charge. Net metering uses the system differently; they now will pay a rate for how they use the system.

Q: Is another rate adjustment likely in the near future?

Matt: We will review the rates with a third party again in 2023; this will evaluate all rate classes. There will always be rate adjustments as we distribute power. MVP has to buy power, and is subject to volatility of the energy market.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Matt: Late fees were also adjusted at this time, and service fees were also adjusted lower. This is in the operation manual. MVP is a nonprofit, federally owned utility, operated and maintained by CSKT under a 93-638 contract authorized in 1988.