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Michiganders May See Relief On Energy Bills

Jan 5, 2016

Electricity Meter
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A federal judge says energy customers across the Midwest should get refunds and a break on their future bills.  


A recent ruling could mean lower rates and refunds for Michigan energy customers.  The initial decision from a federal administrative judge says companies that own transmission lines in several states are overcharging customers.  

In Michigan, that could mean customers will see total savings of about $40 million a year, according to an estimate from the group Michigan Citizens Against Rate Excess (CARE).   “Everybody’s going to benefit,” said attorney Robert Strong, who represents industrial customers in Michigan.  “If you use more electricity – which the industrial customers tend to do – then they’re going to actually get more of a refund and more of an ongoing benefit.”   The ruling was first reported by the Star Tribune.

Strong, who practices with Clark Hill PLC in Birmingham, notes that there is still a lengthy appeals process ahead.  “It really is difficult to tell how long that process is going to take, but it could take up to a year,” he said.  Strong says his group will challenge the ruling to try to get an even larger rate decrease.  Transmission line owners are also likely to appeal.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org