Michigan approves Consumers Energy rate increase 88% lower than original request

(Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

The 2022 Consumers Energy rate increase approved last week by the Michigan Public Service Commission is 88% lower than what the company originally requested.

In March, Consumers requested a $225 million increase. The commission approved a $27,118,00 electric rate increase on Dec. 22.

After the initial request, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel argued that rate hike was excessive and unnecessary. It would have led to an 8.8% increase for residential ratepayers and a 5.5% increase overall when considering all ratepayer classes – residential, commercial and industrial. 

The approved rate increase will equate to about a 0.64%, or $0.59, increase per month for the average residential customer, Nessel said. The new rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

About 1.9 million customers in Michigan get their power from Consumers. 

"I commend the MPSC for recognizing Consumers' request was excessive and providing an order that properly addresses customer interests," Nessel said. "I will continue to advocate on behalf of Michigan consumers in cases where our utility companies seek to increase rates." 

The rate approval order also directs Consumers Energy to file additional information and support for areas of increased costs in future rate cases. 

Additionally, the outcome from Consumers Energy's standalone electric and common utility plant depreciation case is included in the order. Consumers sought an increase in depreciation rates of $42.9 million. Nessel intervened in the case and found that depreciation rates should be decreased. A settlement was reached resulting in a decrease in depreciation rates of approximately $27.2 million.