AG Nessel reaches settlement with MI utility company

Michigan

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 16: Dana Nessel, attorney for plaintiffs April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, talks to the news media about U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s decision today to send a case that could possibly have overturned Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriages to trial instead of making an immediate ruling on the matter in a hearing at the U.S. Courthouse October 16, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The lawsuit was brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a gay couple who are raising three adopted children together. Michigan passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Following Attorney General Dana Nessel’s intervention in a rate case with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), a settlement approximately 40% lower than the requested increase rate.

I’m pleased with this settlement outcome, which both reduces the burden consumers will ultimately feel while implementing new assistance options. My office will continue to advocate for consumers in a way that prioritizes utility customers over company shareholders.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

The $9.25 million settlement was approved by the MPSC last week.

According to a release from AG Nessel, the rate increase is 4.9% higher for residential customers rather than 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 this month. 

In March, the Michigan Gas Utility Company filed its application for a natural gas rate increase before the MPSC. MGUC provides natural gas service to roughly 181,000 customers across areas of the southern and western Lower Peninsula. 

The utility’s last rate increase was in 2015, meaning much of the increase is based on inflation and increases in labor force costs. 

This settlement is Nessel’s latest advocacy before the MPSC, which regulates the state’s utility companies.  

Last month, Nessel presented a feedback form that has focused on power companies amid the outages that occured last month. As of now, the form has more than 4,200 responses.

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