Michigan regulators OK Consumers Energy electric rate increase

Michigan regulators have authorized Consumers Energy to raise its electricity rates effective next week

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators have authorized Consumers Energy to raise its electricity rates effective next week.

The rates approved Tuesday are less than what the utility "self-implemented" in September, so customers will see a refund plus interest. But the rates are 2.8 percent, or $113 million, more than those set in Consumers Energy's last rate case in November 2015.

The utility had sought a rate increase of $225 million and had self-implemented a $170 million hike.

The state Public Service Commission says it approved $40 million to be spent deploying power grid technology and nearly $25 million for unpaid bills.

Regulators denied the utility's request to increase the cost for customers to opt out of using smart meters that some think pose health and privacy risks.

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