Consumers Energy OK’d to raise natural gas rates by 7.6%


LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan utility Consumers Energy has received regulatory approval to increase natural gas rates by 7.6%.

The state Public Service Commission OK’d the $143.5 million hike Thursday. The panel says an average residential customer will pay an additional $5.48 a month, starting in October.

The increase is less than the $229 million hike sought by the Jackson-based utility, which provides natural gas service to 4.1 million people. Regulators lowered the size of the rate increase in part by accounting for the 2017 federal corporate tax cut.

Also Thursday, the commission approved tax cut-related refunds for Consumers Energy electric customers. A residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours a month will pay 68 cents less beginning in October.

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