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AG Nessel Saves Money for Consumers Energy’s Natural Gas Customers

LANSING – In her continuing advocacy to ensure that energy remains affordable for residents across the state and that utility customers are only charged their fair share for service, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel entered into a settlement with Consumers Energy Company in its gas utility plant depreciation case which was approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) last week.  

Consumers Energy filed a request to change its depreciation rates for its gas utility assets with the MPSC in December 2021. Its request in Case No. U-21176 included an annual decrease in depreciation expense of approximately $900,000 based on a study performed by the company.  

The Department of Attorney General sought additional information from Consumers and based on the analysis of her expert, determined that Consumers’ proposal did not reduce depreciation rates enough and that if approved, would result in ratepayers continuing to pay excessive depreciation expense.  Michigan Public Service Commission staff also participated in the settlement agreement, which results in a reduction in annual depreciation expense of $29.26 million, and saves gas customers $28 million more than the less than $1 million reduction proposed by the utility.  The new depreciation rates will be incorporated into rates in Consumers Energy’s next gas rate case although a part of the change in depreciation rates related to renewable gas accounts will take effect immediately.  

"My department is vigilant in ensuring the maximum savings for utility customers,” said Nessel. “Michigan households deserve all the savings we can help pass on to ensure their costs do not increase.”

So far this year, the Attorney General has saved Michigan consumers about $2 billion by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC. This settlement reaffirms her commitment to affordable energy for consumers.

Consumers Energy provides electricity to approximately 1.9 million throughout Michigan and natural gas to 1.8 million customers across the state.

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