LANSING – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved a settlement in Consumers Energy Company’s natural gas rate case in which the company sought a rate increase. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel intervened in the case and helped secure a 55 percent reduction in the final requested rate increase from $175 million to $95 million and an elimination of an initially requested $2-per-month increased service charge for all residential and some commercial customers.
Consumers Energy filed its request seeking an annual increase in revenues of approximately $212 million with the MPSC in December 2022. Unopposed, the company’s request would result in a 7.8 percent increase in rates for all ratepayers including the company’s residential customers.
The attorney general filed testimony arguing that, based on current rates, Consumers Energy should only receive a rate increase of approximately $52.3 million, adjusted to $52.7 million after further review. Attorney General Nessel also opposed the company’s proposed $2 increases to monthly service charges for residential and small commercial customers. In response to issues raised in testimony by other parties including the attorney general, the company reduced its requested rate increase to $175 million.
The settlement provides the utility with sufficient revenues to provide its customers with safe and reliable natural gas service and to perform necessary repairs and upgrades to its infrastructure at more reasonable rates than projected by the company. Consumers Energy abandoned the proposed increase in monthly service charges as part of the settlement. The settlement results in an overall rate increase of 4 percent, but only an average rate increase of 3.9 percent for residential ratepayers. This settlement is a continuation of the attorney general’s efforts to seek and obtain significant rate relief for utility customers.
“My office takes very seriously its commitment to defend Michigan consumers, and often that means defending utility customers from exorbitant and constant rate hike requests before the state,” Nessel said. “We are defending the pocketbooks and household ledgers of Michigan consumers throughout the year from our largest energy providers. The settlement announced today saves ratepayers millions, slashes the rate hike demand in half and completely blocked an unnecessary intended service fee increase that otherwise would have landed on the utility bills of every residential Consumers Energy natural gas customer in Michigan.”
Since taking office, the attorney general has saved Michigan consumers more than $2.4 billion by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC.
Consumers Energy provides electricity to approximately 1.9 million customers throughout Michigan and natural gas to 1.8 million customers across the state.