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The Office of Consumer Counsel told the Public Service Commission Tuesday NorthWestern Energy customers have been paying too much for power since July. It asked the utility regulators to dismiss the case that led to a rate hike because it changed the base rates NorthWestern agreed to in its last general rate case less than two years ago. NorthWestern argued base rates can be changed through cost adjustments without starting a general rates case which is what it requested in the spring and the PSC obliged with in the July 1st rate increase and asked the commission not to dismiss the case. Commissioners took Tuesday’s arguments under advisement.