Northwestern Energy is changing the way it does business in Missoula.

"We've opened up a walk-in office aimed at serving customers in Missoula," said Northwestern Energy spokesman Butch Larcombe. "It just allows people another way to interact with us. People can come in and ask questions about their bill, they can pay their bill. Some people like to pay their bill in cash and we can handle that there. They can come in and ask questions about some of our programs, or, if they are interested in becoming a customer, they can come in and deal with somebody face-to-face."

Although this service is new to Montana, it’s been around for years in South Dakota and Nebraska. Larcombe says it will soon expand across the state.

"We've found that our customers really like those things, especially in some of the smaller communities," Larcombe said. "So, we are planning to launch this one in Missoula, then we are planning to roll out walk-in offices across Montana, in the larger places. We'll be in Helena next, then we'll open in Great Falls, then Billings, Bozeman and Butte, and probably Kalispell and Havre."

A ribbon cutting for the walk-in office in Missoula will be held at noon on Friday. The office is located next to the Northwestern Energy division office on 1801 South Russell Street.