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Nessel to intervene in Consumers Energy rate increase case

power lines
AB Electrical & Communications Ltd

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday that she filed a notice of intervention in response to a rate increase request by Consumers Energy.

According to a spokesperson for Consumers, the $325 million request would increase average household bills by $10 a month. Consumers filed the request before the Michigan Public Service Commission late in May.

Consumers said the request would help improve the electric grid, making it more resilient. The plan would bury 35 miles of power lines and address potential wildfire risks. The company plans to respond to power outages within 24 hours.

The increases to customer bills would take effect in 2025. According to the Consumers filing, Residential rates would increase by 8.1%, Small business rates would see an increase of 7.9% and industrial companies would see an increase of 1.4%.

Nessel intervened before the commission, as in many prior utility rate cases. Nessel said in a statement that her efforts were intended to address “efforts to stuff unjustifiable costs into their rate hike requests.” She also said her office was “working diligently to hold the utilities accountable and keep unjustified expenses off the monthly bills of ratepayers.”

In March, Consumers Energy was granted a $92 million rate increase, which was less than half of the $216 million that the company originally asked for. Nessel intervened in that case, arguing the increase was “excessive and not supported on the record.”

Her office says it’s helped save ratepayers over $3 billion.

Consumers Energy is one of Michigan Public’s corporate sponsors

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
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