Public Service Commission

Question: Do you support or oppose expanding programs that provide aid to low-income families who cannot afford to pay utility bills?  
  • PSC #2: Valerie McMurtry (D): Support
    • Customers of NorthWestern Energy pay some of the highest rates in the northwest.  No one should have to choose between food, heat, or medicine.  It is unconscionable that we, Montanans are supporting record profits of shareholders of NWE.
  • PSC #2: Tony O’Donnell (R): Did Not Respond
  • PSC #3: James Brown (R): Support
  • PSC #3: Tom Woods (D): Support
    • You bet I’m for expanding programs that provide aid to low income families who can not afford their utility bills. That’s why as a legislator I wrote and sponsored HB 737 . This bill would divert utility company profits in excess of 8.5% to fund these programs.  I think it’s sensible policy.
  • PSC #4: Jennifer Fielder (R): Support
    • I support expanding programs that provide aid to low-income families. Everybody should have enough energy to live comfortably and provide the basic necessities for their family. I especially support lowering the cost of energy and allowing people to generate their own energy, as well as educational programs which emphasize wise energy use.
  • PSC #4: Monica Tranel (D): Support
    • The Montana Commission has implemented a number of low income programs over the years. These programs should be continued. They should also be reviewed to determine how they are working and if they can be expanded. Additionally, I would work to make programs that reduce energy use, through conservation and on-site generation like rooftop solar panels, accessible to all Montanans regardless of income. 
Question: Do you support programs intended to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock for low-income Montanans through improvements such as insulation, windows, efficient heat, and more?  
  • PSC #2: Valerie McMurtry (D): Yes
    • All people should not be at risk for freezing or suffering in their homes due to inadequate insulation or leaking windows.
  • PSC #2: Tony O’Donnell (R): Did Not Respond
  • PSC #3: James Brown (R): Yes
  • PSC #3: Tom Woods (D): Yes
    • Of course we should make housing more energy efficient.  We should make ALL homes more efficient. Wasting energy is a bad idea no matter what your income level may be.
  • PSC #4: Jennifer Fielder (R): Yes
    • Yes, very much so! It is not that difficult to include energy efficient measures into homes, especially new buildings as they are being constructed. Energy efficient insulation, windows, heating and cooling systems can make a world of difference in the cost of energy, the livability of a home, and the health and happiness of a family.
  • PSC #4: Monica Tranel (D): Yes
    • Programs to help low income families conserve energy or generate their own energy can help families reduce costs and make ends meet. When Montana families conserve energy, they will save money and have more funds to help meet other basic needs. Those programs need to be made stronger and more comprehensive, and the PSC can and should work across sectors, including with energy businesses and the MT Legislature to lead that effort. For example, right now, Montana families can get a tax credit for the investments they make in conservation or in-home generation. But the way the credits work means that only families with higher incomes can take full advantage of them. I support reforming those credits so that they have the same value to low income families as they do to everyone else.