Consumers natural gas rate increase will be shaved


Consumers Energy will have to refund a portion of an interim natural gas rate increase.

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Monday authorized a rate increase for the Jackson-based utility. But the increase isn't as big as the utility requested.

The natural gas rate increase, which took effect in November, raised the average residential customer's bill by about $3.50 a month. The company has until mid-August to file a refund proposal with state regulators.

The refund could be reflected on bills as a credit.

As allowed by state law, Consumers Energy was self-implementing an interim rate increase worth about $89 million. State regulators approved a rate increase of around $66 million annually, so Consumers Energy must pay back the extra collected.