High electricity rates going higher for thousands in UP

Sep 9, 2016

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Electricity rates are going up for Upper Peninsula residents who already pay the highest rates in Michigan.

Regulators on Thursday approved an annual rate increase of $4.6 million for Upper Peninsula Power.

It means a residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours a month will pay $7.63 more per month, an increase of 6.8 percent.

Before the rate increase, Upper Peninsula Power customers were paying about 67 percent more than the Michigan average.

The utility says its service region is large, sparsely populated and full of dense forests. It has 54,000 customers.

The Public Service Commission says the annual rate increase was 30 percent less than what the company wanted.

Commission member Norm Saari says customers are "angered and frustrated" by their bills. He says the utility needs to improve communications.