June 3, 2021
LANSING - A successful acquisition of an Upper Peninsula electric company has resulted in additional benefits for thousands of customers after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel intervened.
At a meeting last week, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement that allowed Axium UP Holding (Axium) to acquire ownership of the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO).
In its initial application for acquisition, Axium committed that:
The Department intervened in the case and worked with the MPSC staff and Axium to create additional benefits for UPPCO customers and protect them from acquisition premiums or other rate impacts.
After lengthy discovery and negotiations, the parties agreed, in addition to the above benefits, to the following:
Thus, above and beyond just making sure the acquisition would have no impact on customers, the settlement negotiated by the Department and approved by the MPSC brings added rate relief, benefits, and protections for all UPPCO customers.
The agreement on no future base rate increase until 2023 alone is an excellent benefit, and coupled with the rest of the settlement terms, this settlement shows great potential for the new UPPCO owners.
"With all acquisitions, it is important we ensure consumer protections are front and center," Nessel said. "I'm proud of the work my team did alongside the involved parties to obtain this added relief and benefits for UPPCO customers."
UPPCO serves about 52,000 customers located in 10 of the Upper Peninsula's 15 counties.
A copy of the May 26 order can be found on the MPSC website.