A settlement between the Michigan Public Service Commission has agreed with Consumers Energy to provide “one-time voluntary refunds” to almost 2 million consumers. But, with the approval of a $155 million price increase, customers will expect a monthly price increase.
The voluntary refund came from last year’s revenue of $15 million. The refund distribution is done through a 12-month bill credit that will start as soon as the new base rates are implemented.
The settlement deal also permits the company to recoup $6 million for 2021 distribution deferral. The utility company is also allowed tack on a surcharge to collect the money. Meanwhile, the utility company committed another $10 million in shareholder-funded donations to help its low-income consumers, including some programs that could help low-income residents on paying energy bills.
According to The U.S. Sun, the price hike has been effective since last January 19. Customers of Consumers Energy typically use 500 kilowatt hours per month. This indicates that those consumers will receive the anticipated increase of $2.10 per month, or a raise of 2.06%.
The rate will decrease by $1.33 a month after a year as the surcharge and credit are expected to expire at that time. After that, monthly bills for customers would rise to a total of 0.75 percent or 77 cents a month.
On the other hand, the settlement agreement also includes that the utility company must agree to include customers for public input after submitting its next rate case.