Cox getting involved in four rate increase cases

John O'Brien Mar. 5, 2009, 3:35pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is intervening in four utility rate increase cases, unhappy with the combined $658 million in increases the propositions represent.

Cox made the announcement last month and said the increases would affect an estimated 4 million state customers. Two of the cases involve Detroit Edison, which filed a renewable energy plan with the state's Public Service Commission Thursday.

Cox is upset at the two previous DTE rate increase proposals, which totaled $560 million in increased costs.

"With Michigan's families and small businesses struggling to keep afloat, any rate increase must be closely scrutinized," Cox said.

"I will continue to fight for lower rates and a fair playing field for all Michigan families and businesses."

DTE's Thursday filing said it would add 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy, most of it coming from wind power. The company is proposing a renewable energy surcharge of $3 per month for residential customers.

"These ambitious proposals represent a significant investment in Michigan's energy future," said Anthony F. Earley, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of DTE Energy.

"Comprehensive energy legislation enacted last year has provided a framework for us to move forward with the development of renewable energy, as well as efficiency programs that will enable customers to save energy and money."

The other cases Cox is opposing are a $52.3 million increase proposal from Consumers Energy and an approximately $40 million increase proposal from Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.

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