LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel continues to advocate for reasonable utility rates for Michigan consumers by participating in Consumers Energy Company’s recent electric rate case before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) (MPSC Case No. U-21224). This resulted in a settlement agreement that reduces the Company’s final requested rate increase by over $150 million. The settlement was approved by the MPSC in an order issued January 19, 2023.
Consumers Energy filed its request seeking an annual increase in revenues of approximately $272 million with the MPSC in April 2022. Unopposed, the Company’s request would result in an overall average rate increase of 6.5% including a 6.8% percent increase in rates for residential ratepayers.
The Attorney General filed testimony that based on current rates, Consumers Energy should only receive a rate increase of approximately $123.8 million. She also proposed changes in how rates are distributed among customer classes to lessen the unfair burden on residential customers. After testimony was filed by the Attorney General and other parties, the Company increased it requested rate increase to approximately $293 million and after further review the Attorney General argued for a rate increase of only $134.1 million.
The settlement agreement provides for:
- A rate increase of approximately 2.4% for residential ratepayers, or a total of $155 million, which provides Consumers Energy with sufficient revenues to provide its customers with safe and reliable electric service and to perform necessary repairs and upgrades to its infrastructure but at more reasonable rates than projected by the Company;
- A $15 million voluntary credit to ratepayers over the next twelve months; and
- A $10 million shareholder contribution to programs that provide bill paying assistance to low-income and other payment challenged customers.
It also provides for the inclusion of equity and environmental justice considerations in the Company’s decision making, approval of certain electric vehicle programs, and increased opportunities for the incorporation of distributive generation (such as, roof top solar) in Consumers’ service territory, among other things. This settlement is a continuation of the Attorney General’s efforts to seek and obtain significant rate relief for utility customers.
“I applaud the Michigan Public Service Commission and the parties in the case for taking these steps to save ratepayers money and help ensure residents don’t fall behind in these winter months,” said Nessel. “While we are seeing the cost of commodities rise across the nation, these programs to help low-income households and consumer protections are crucial.”
Since taking office, the Attorney General has saved Michigan consumers over $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 customers throughout Michigan and natural gas to 1.8 million customers across the state.