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Michigan AG opposes Consumers Energy's proposed $136 million gas rate increase

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(CBS DETROIT) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is opposing Consumers Energy's proposed $136 million natural gas rate increase and is pushing for a reduction.

If approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission, the increase would mean a 5.7% increase for residents and an 8.1% increase for small commercial businesses, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office. The utility company is also seeking a 37% increase in the residential monthly charge and an 18% increase in the small commercial monthly charge.

Instead of a $136 million hike, Nessel said a review of the company's proposed cost levels and capital projects showed the increase should be no more than $5.3 million.

"My staff and expert witness worked tirelessly reviewing this rate increase request from Consumers Energy," said Nessel in a statement. "For our efforts, we are able to present direct evidence to the Commission to refute the need for any rate hike for Consumers Energy at this time and argue Consumers' customers should instead see a rate decrease." 

Meanwhile, Nessel is also fighting against a $450 million rate increase proposed by DTE Energy. That increase would result in paying 37 cents a day, or about $11 a month, on average.

In response, Nessel filed a notice of intervention to the MPSC, which previously approved DTE's $368 million rate increase in December 2023.

Last week, the Mount Clemens City Commission approved a resolution opposing DTE's rate increase. The resolution argued that the increase would "result in serious hardship for Mount Clemens residents."

"For years, we have fought against DTE and Consumer's rate hikes, coming one right after the last and asking for more and more every time," Nessel said. "While Consumers Energy is once again begging the commission to let them squeeze their customers for even more on their gas bill, our experts can show that the customers are actually due a rate decrease." 

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