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As owners of a large home solar system, we strongly oppose NorthWestern Energy's proposed rate hikes. Our system produces more electricity than we use most of the year, and NorthWestern takes that excess energy and sells it to others. They argue that we don't pay our fair share for their infrastructure, even though we pay the same connection fee as everyone else, even in the months we don't buy their electricity. We have a sizable investment in our system, financed by MBAC, and make monthly payments on it. We feel that in the months that NorthWestern sells our electricity to others, they are using our infrastructure. Of course, they don't propose to pay us a fee for that, but they're happy to increase our fees when we use their infrastructure.

To increase fees on solar investors is contrary to the policy that provides tax incentives to combat the increasing threat of global climate change by encouraging us to invest in safe and pollution free energy. This policy shift would be especially egregious at a time when the need for alternatives to coal fired electricity generation is increasing daily. Please encourage the PSC to deny rate increases on solar investors.

Cliff Caughron

Helena

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