Regulators approve Consumers Energy electric rate increase

Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 19:36:05-05

Michigan regulators have authorized Consumers Energy to raise its electricity rates effective next week.

The rates approved Tuesday are less than what the utility "self-implemented" in September, so customers will see a refund plus interest. But the rates are 2.8 percent, or $113 million, more than those set in Consumers Energy's last rate case in November 2015.

The utility had sought a rate increase of $225 million and had self-implemented a $170 million hike.

The state Public Service Commission says it approved $40 million to be spent deploying innovative grid technology and nearly $25 million for unpaid bills.

Regulators denied the utility's request to increase the cost for customers to opt out of using "smart" meters that some think pose health and privacy risks.