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Michiganders could get a break on energy bills under transmission rates ruling

Around 218,000 customers lost power in Monday's storms.
Christoper Sessums
Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM
Around 218,000 customers lost power in Monday's storms.

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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