AG calls on state board to limit Consumers rate increase

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Your Consumers Energy electric bill could be going up, but not as much as requested by the company if the Michigan Attorney General’s Office’s bid to intervene is successful.

In February, the company asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve a revenue increase of $244 million in 2021. Under the request, residential ratepayers would see a 14% hike next year. 

On Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel pushed back, saying Consumers’ request is “excessive and unnecessary.” Her rebuttal to the commission asked that the increase be no more than $20.7 million, a less than 1% increase on bills. 

“Obviously we want reliable power for people, but it’s got to be reliable and it’s got to be reasonable and during this time frame where we’re all suffering from the pandemic and the stay-home orders and everything else’s that’s going on, the company should look at its bottom line and decide what are critical features that need to be done now? What can be pushed off to be done later?” Michael Moody, the division chief of the Attorney General’s Special Litigation Division, told News 8. “(Nessel) sees the burden that people are feeling, understands the pain they’re going through. That’s why we’ve devoted so many resources into this case.”

Consumers Energy sent News 8 the following statement Friday afternoon:

“Consumers Energy is committed to strengthening our electric system for the 1.8 million Michigan homes and businesses we serve. Our request to the MPSC will allow us to replace poles, lines and electrical equipment, clear trees from electric lines, and reduce the length of power outages by nearly 15% by 2025. Our electric rates last changed in January 2019. We project the average household we serve will continue paying below the national average – less than $4 a day – for electricity in 2021.”

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