LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Customers of Consumers Energy electricity will soon experience an increase in their electric bills after the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a $155 million hike and a $6 million surcharge.
More than half of Michiganders get their electricity from the company according to Consumers Energy. A typical residential customer of the Jackson-based utility using 500 kilowatt hours a month will see an increase of $2.10, or 2.06%, on their monthly bill, according to the Detroit News. After a year, the price will decrease by $1.33 because of a surcharge and credit expiring, meaning the overall hike then will be 0.75%.
The new rates will begin Friday amidst winter weather and high inflation costs across the country.
“Consumers Energy cares about Michigan and our customers, and we consider it our mission to look out for the households and businesses that count on us every day,” Consumers Energy’s president and CEO Garrick Rochow said in a statement. “We are putting dollars directly in the hands of our customers, particularly for those who need help staying warm and safe in their homes this winter.”
Consumer Energy also announced it will issue customers $25 million to back to homes and businesses through $15 million automatic bill credits to all Consumers Energy electric customers and another $10 million in assistance for financially vulnerable households. Those receiving the automatic credits do not need to do anything to receive this discount- the refund is included in the MPSC’s estimate for the hike increase. For assistance with payment of energy bills, customers can call 800-477-5050.
“We understand many Michiganders are facing challenging times, and no one wants to see rising energy bills ― especially our most vulnerable customers,” Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler said. “We are working to manage the increasing costs of energy supply as we continue to help customers manage their monthly bills and provide payment assistance programs to customers in need.”
The company has several projects in the works as it attempts to make Michigan run fully on electric power by 2030. One includes buying out several natural gas plants, and eventually phasing them and others into fully electric facilities.