LANSING – In her work to ensure energy remains affordable for residents across the state, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently filed testimony in Consumers Energy Co.’s electric rate case before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).  Nessel argued that the company’s requested $244 million increase, which would represent a 14 percent rate increase for residential customers, is excessive and unnecessary.

Consumers Energy filed its request to increase rates with the MPSC in February. Its request includes an annual increase in revenues of $244 million, which would result in a 14 percent increase for residential ratepayers, and a 6 percent increase overall when considering all ratepayer classes – residential, commercial and industrial.

The testimony provided by the Attorney General in this latest case argues that Consumers Energy should receive no more than a $20.7 million annual increase and that the cost should be more fairly distributed so that all customers are paying their fair share. Under the Attorney General’s filed testimony, residential customers would see less than a 1 percent rate increase versus Consumers Energy’s 14 percent request. Her testimony also includes recommendations for improving and expanding assistance programs for Consumers Energy’s low-income customers.

“A 14 percent rate increase during a time when people are struggling with job loss and economic hardships is too much,” said Nessel. “I am fighting this exorbitant rate increase request and asking the MPSC to significantly reduce it. Consumer protection is a strong focus for my office and I will continue this fight and work with other consumer advocate organizations to help all Michigan customers.”

Since taking office, the Attorney General has saved Michigan consumers more than $630 million by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC. This testimony reaffirms her commitment to affordable energy for consumers.

Consumers energy has about 1.8 million electric customers throughout Michigan and 1.8 million natural gas customers across the state.