Michigan Gas Utilities seek rate increase 5.21

Written by David Green.

Citing inflationary increases to costs, Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation (MGUC), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, today applied for an overall increase of 5.8 percent in its natural gas rates. The increase, if approved, would result in a monthly increase of about $6 for the typical residential customer using 92 MCF of natural gas annually.

Additionally, MGUC is asking for a 4.4 percent interim increase, subject to refund, while the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) considers the overall request.

The commodity cost of natural gas is not affected by this rate request.

“Due to inflation, our costs have risen over the past five years, so we need this increase to recover those increased costs,” said MGUC President Gary Erickson. “We are sensitive to our customers’ frustration at rising energy costs and we have tried to hold our request to a minimum. For example, all MGUC employees are now bearing more of the costs of employee benefits.”

Erickson said that natural gas commodity prices continue to be volatile and current indications are that prices could be higher next winter.  MGUC does not profit from the price of natural gas commodity. It simply passes the cost of the natural gas commodity through to its customers, under the oversight of the MPSC.

“The rate increase is only related with the delivery of the gas commodity,” Erickson said. “That makes up about 27 percent of the total bill for a typical residential customer.  The rest of the bill is the cost of the natural gas commodity itself.”

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