Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
LANSING - Signing a joint litigation agreement with the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan (CUB) to streamline and maximize savings for Michigan utility ratepayers, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel last week filed testimony in SEMCO’s $38 million rate hike request before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
In late May, SEMCO filed a request to raise its customers’ rates by 14% and increase its monthly service fee by $6. Nessel subsequently filed a notice of intervention in the case in June and joined CUB last week in filing testimony urging the MPSC to reject all but $8.4 million of SEMCO’s request and eliminate its service charge increase.
“Protecting the pocketbooks of Michigan ratepayers is a top priority for the Michigan Department of Attorney General,” Nessel said. “That is precisely why I have joined with our partners at CUB – to make certain we do everything within our power to ensure affordable and reliable energy for all SEMCO customers and Michigan utility ratepayers.
“Our Department will continue to fight against exorbitant utility rate hikes, especially those that disproportionately affect low-income families as we head toward the winter months,” Nessel added.
CUB – an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization – works to educate and engage Michigan consumers in support of cost-effective investments in energy efficiency and renewability. Like Nessel, CUB also works hard to protect residents from unfair rate increase requests by utilities.
“Attorney General Nessel’s extensive and thorough testimony is incredibly helpful for our joint efforts to protect not only SEMCO ratepayers, but all Michigan residential ratepayers,” CUB Executive Director Amy Bandyk said. “SEMCO’s proposed monthly ‘customer charge’ disproportionately affects low-income customers and would set a bad precedent for the state.”
SEMCO is headquartered in Port Huron and serves approximately 300,000 residents in Southeast Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.