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AG's Intervention in SEMCO Case Saves Utility Customers $3.6 Million

LANSING – Keeping with her commitment to reduce energy rates for Michigan’s residential utility customers, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced $3.6 million in savings for SEMCO customers through a recent settlement in the utility’s outstanding gas cost recovery plan case before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

In December 2018, SEMCO sought approval from the MPSC to build three new natural gas interconnections with pipeline companies and recover $5.8 million in costs from only its residential and small commercial customers over a two-year period.

Attorney General Nessel intervened in the case in January, challenging the costs of SEMCO’s plan, its recovery period and method, and the economic benefit for one of the three interconnections. Nessel argued it was unfair to recover $5.8 million in costs solely from residential and small commercial businesses and that industrial customers should bear their fair share of the cost.

“SEMCO’s plan unfairly shifted the costs of its natural gas system expansion onto the backs of its residential and small business customers,” Nessel said. “The Department of Michigan Attorney General will use every available resource to protect residential utility customers and their savings – especially as we head into the winter heating months.”

In addition to the $3.6 million in utility rate relief for SEMCO’s residential customers, the MPSC also agreed with the Attorney General’s arguments to extend the recovery period from two years to seven years and that the utility’s third project should be deferred until it has shown the economic benefit outweighs the cost.

Since January, Nessel has helped save Michigan utility ratepayers a combined $355,809,700.

SEMCO is headquartered in Port Huron and serves approximately 300,000 residents in Southeast Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.