LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators have approved a $30.5 million increase in electric rates for DTE Energy customers, less than 10% of the increase the utility had requested.

The change will take effect Nov. 25 and will result in an increase of about 71 cents a month for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours, the Michigan Public Service Commission said Friday. DTE Electric has approximately 2.3 million customers in southeast Michigan.

The rate hike is just a fraction of a $388 million increase the utility requested in January as part of efforts to modernize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid and power storage and generation system. Detroit News informed.

The commission said a critical factor in its decision to approve the rate cut was controversial projections in DTE Energy’s sales forecast “based on changing residential electricity patterns as Michigan moved beyond early restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The commission found that, despite DTE Electric’s previous projections of a decline in customer electricity use, residential electricity sales rose in 2020 and increased again in 2021, even as many Michiganders returned to work from their jobs and resumed pre-COVID-19 operations. “, the commission says.

DTE Energy said Friday that the utility is reviewing the commission’s order and that its efforts remain focused on improving reliability and maintaining availability for customers.

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