LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Friday announced the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a settlement to return $3.5 million more to SEMCO customers than the company originally planned. The settlement was agreed to between the Attorney General on behalf of the People and SEMCO Energy Gas Company (SEMCO).
As a public utility, SEMCO is required to pass back tax savings to its consumers through a reduction in its current rates as a result of the federal tax cut in 2018. The company claimed it had approximately $48.4 million in savings, which equated to a $1.5 million reduction in rates annually over 32 years. However, after the Attorney General intervened, conducted discovery and hired an expert to review the application, her team determined more was owed to customers. The parties agreed to a total refund of $51.9 million over this same time frame.
The settlement also requires SEMCO to return $13.3 million of the total $51.9 million refund to customers over five years beginning in 2020, providing some of this needed rate relief to customers sooner.
“As the state’s chief consumer advocate, we have a responsibility and obligation to intervene in cases to protect Michigan consumers,” Nessel said. “Today’s settlement is part of our responsibility and that commitment to all Michigan consumers. Today we saved consumers millions of dollars in one fell swoop.”
SEMCO is headquartered in Port Huron and serves approximately 300,000 residents in Southeast Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.