Consumers Energy announces rate hike to pay for plant - WNEM TV 5

Consumers Energy announces rate hike to pay for plant

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Pam Griffin will have to pay an extra $1.28 a month for her electric bill. Consumers Energy said the increase is to help the company buy another plant.

"I'm used to my Consumers Energy bill being high. So the fact that they have done yet another increase is not really shocking to me," Griffin said.

The increase, set to kick in Dec. 1, was just approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

"I mean what can I do? It's a monopoly. I can't say OK am I going to do Consumers Energy or go to another company? I'm stuck," Griffin said.

TV5 is asking the tough questions: at a time when gas and oil prices are low, why is the price of electricity going up?

Judy Palnau is spokeswoman for the MPSC.

"Some of those reasons for increases are environmental regulation they have no control over that," Palnau said.

Palnau said despite the fact the Consumers Energy customers will be paying more, things could've been a lot worse had the company gotten the rate increase they really wanted.

"This is 36 percent below what the utility requested," Palnau said.

Palnau said a lot of that money will go towards investments that will actually benefit all us in the long run.

She also wants anyone who is having a hard time paying for utilities to call 211. She said there's money out there to help.

"$90 million worth of grants to a number on non-profit organizations and some other places as well that have this money on hand. And if they meet the eligibility requirements they'll be able to get some assistance," Palnau said.

Griffin said no matter how much the bill is, she knows there is only one thing she can do about it: pay it.

"Where else are we going to go? We have to deal with it," Griffin said.

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