Update: AG Nessel opposes UPPCO's rate increase request

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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesdsay that her office filed testimony in UPPCO's outstanding rate case, opposing most of its request to increase electricity rates by nearly $10 million.

In her testimony, Nessel urged the Michigan Public Service Commission to grant no more than $3.5 million of the $10 million the company requested.

"UPPCO's customers have been burdened by extremely high electric rates – some of the highest in Michigan," said Nessel. "UPPCO's case to increase rates by nearly $10 million is simply unsupportable," Nessel added. "As our state's chief consumer advocate, I plan to make affordable energy prices for consumers and businesses a priority while ensuring our office continues to champion energy programs that achieve reliability and sustainability for everyone in our state."

UPPCO filed to increase its electricity rates in September 2018, and its case has been going through the ratemaking process before the MPSC. The commission's order in the case is expected on or before mid-August 2019.

UPPCO provides electricity to 54,000 retail customers in 118 communities, including cities, villages and townships located in the counties of Alger, Baraga, Delta, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon and Schoolcraft.

In a statement, UPPCO says, "UPPCO is committed to providing its customers with reliable and affordable energy and to moving the Upper Peninsula’s communities and economy forward. We welcome the opportunity to work with our customers, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), AG Nessel and others to achieve this common goal. We anticipate the MPSC will announce its decision and issue its Order in August of this year. We respectfully will refrain from commenting further until the MPSC has decided the outcome in the case."

In Sept. 2018, UPPCO said if approved, a typical residential customer consuming 500 kilowatt hours of energy per month would see an increase of approximately $6.50 on their monthly bill. Residential customers that use more than 1,500 kilowatt hours per month will see a decrease.

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