Valerie McMurtry

Put the PUBLIC back in the Public Service Commission


I am running for the Public Service Commission, District 2 because the current commissioners have failed the voters of Montana.   They have not protected the ratepayers form unfair rate increases. 
We pay among the highest electrical rates in the West.  That is not right!  I will stand up for you.  I will put the ‘Public’ back in the PSC.

Endorsed by:


Over the next weeks, I’m going to post one question each week about the PSC for 8 weeks.  If you have questions about the PSC, email me your questions at

What is the PSC?

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) is a regulatory agency that strives to ensure that ratepayers have continued access to utility services that are affordable, reliable, and sustainable for the long-term. 

Who serves on the PSC?

The PSC consists of 5 elected commissioners from 5 districts.  They are elected to a 4 year term; they are able to serve 8 years maximum.  Every 2 years there is an election for either 2 or 3 commissioners.

How long has there been a PSC?

The original PSC was established in 1907. It expanded from the railroad commission to include utilities for the purpose of representing and protecting ratepayers from control by Montana Power & others. It began as 3 person open to, in 1974, 5 person with assigned districts.

What is meant by pre-approval?

Pre-approval is the process in which a utility asks the state regulatory body for assurance that the utility’s costs will be covered by ratepayers before the utility acquires an energy resource.  (Like the 12.5% NWE wants to buy for $.50). The ratepayer assumes all the risk attached to an acquisition & not the shareholders.
It is my understanding that NWE is the only Montana utility that has this advantage.