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Electric rate increase coming for Consumers Energy customers

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A electric rate hike for Consumers Energy customers was approved on Wednesday as the company launches the state's first electric vehicle infrastructure pilot program. 

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the rate increase.

Under the new rate approved today, a residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will see their monthly bill increase by $1.62. The rates go into effect Jan. 10.

As part of the settlement agreement, Consumers will spend this year at least $200 million annually on its electric distribution reliability capital program and $53 million annually on clearing vegetation and trimming trees around distribution lines. The utility will provide Commission staff with regular updates on its spending and an annual report on investments in both areas.

Consumers will also launch its PowerMIDrive pilot program, a three-year, $10 million effort to support the growing electric vehicle (EV) market in Michigan through new rates, rebates and customer education. The program includes a Nighttime Savers Rate to encourage EV drivers to charge their vehicles between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Residential EV drivers who sign up for the nighttime rate will be offered a $500 rebate for each EV.

Consumers will also offer $5,000 rebates for chargers installed in public areas such as workplaces and multi-unit dwellings, and up to $70,000 in rebates for the installation of a DC Fast Charger.