Energy Costs Going Up

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Consumers Energy Co.'s average residential gas customer will pay $2.52 more per month under new rates approved Tuesday by state regulators.

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the rate increase to help the utility cover the rising cost of natural gas operations.

"My fellow commissioners and I kept increases to a minimum, significantly below what the utility requested, in this time of rising energy costs," Commission Chairman J. Peter Lark said in a statement.

The utility filed an application on July 1, 2005, seeking to raise rates by $132 million a year. The commission agreed to let rates increase by $62 million.

Besides covering the cost of natural gas operations, the extra revenue will cover employee pensions, retirees' health care and the low-income energy efficiency fund, which helps low-income customers pay their bills and take steps to improve energy efficiency.

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