LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved a nearly $65.8 million electric rate increase for Consumers Energy Co. that will be effective April 1.
The rate increase is roughly 38 percent of the original $173 million increase the Jackson-based utility sought on March 31, 2017 (Case No. U-18322). Consumers later lowered its request to $148 million and on Oct. 1, 2017, self-implemented a $130 million rate increase, which it was legally allowed to do while awaiting an MPSC decision.
The approval of a lower total means a residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a month will see their monthly bills increase by $1.87 compared to previously approved rates. But since the utility self-implemented a higher monthly amount in October ($2.46), customers will actually see their bills decrease by 59 cents.
“The order reflects the Commission’s commitment to system improvements through increased utility investment in tree trimming and grid reliability,” said Sally Talberg, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The Commission order approved the utility to spend roughly $22.2 million on system reliability, enhanced technology, and environmental compliance. Grid modernization efforts include system communications, substation automation, and distribution management programs to improve reliability, power quality, and service to customers, the company said.
The MPSC’s decision allows for increased investment of $51.8 million in its line-clearing vegetation management program to try to keep trees and other vegetation from causing power outages during weather events.
The company’s most recent rate increase of nearly $113.3 million was approved Feb. 28, 2017 (Case No. U-17990). Today’s approval is 1.6 percent higher than rates set in that case.
The Commission decided to address the impact of the federal tax law changes in a separate proceeding (Case No. U-18494), which will begin in 30 days.
Consumers Energy Co. Case No. U18322 Fact Sheet
DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.
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