NorthWestern Disputes Overcharge Ruling

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — NorthWestern Energy says it will look for ways to challenge a ruling by federal regulators that the utility must repay large customers in Montana millions of dollars in overcharges.

The utility said Friday it disagrees with an April 17 ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it charged large industrial plants, electric co-ops and other big customers too much to transmit power over NorthWestern Lines.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports that NorthWestern Energy spokesman Butch Larcombe says the case shouldn’t affect retail electric customers such as homeowners and commercial businesses.

But a lawyer for the large customers says they have argued that NorthWestern’s retail customers should pay a larger share of the disputed power-transmission costs.

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