LANSING, Mich. — Intervention by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in a rate case before the Michigan Public Service Commission resulted in a settlement roughly 40% lower than the rate increase requested by the Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation.
The agreement also includes assistance programs that will benefit customers,” Nessel’s office said in a news release Monday.
MPSC approved the $9.24 million settlement last week, $6 million less than the original $15.1 million request.
That means a rate increase of about 4.9% for residential customers compared to the requested 8.2% increase.
The approved settlement also includes:
- Implementation of a new low-income senior bill assistance program that will provide bill credits of $6.50 a month
- A residential income allowance of $13 a month
- A low-income allowance credit of $30 a month
- A $100,000 shareholder donation to give grants to customers at 150% of the federal poverty level to eliminate outstanding debt, which will be set up by the end of September
“I’m pleased with this settlement outcome, which both reduces the burden consumers will ultimately feel while implementing new assistance options,” Nessel said. “My office will continue to advocate for consumers in a way that prioritizes utility customer over company shareholders.”
MGUC filed its application for a natural gas rate increase before the Michigan Public Service Commission back in March.
The utility’s last rate increase was in 2015, which Nessel’s office says means much of the rate increase is based on inflation and increases in labor force costs.