LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The average residential customer of Consumers Energy will pay $1.28 a month more for electricity under a new rate increase.

The Michigan Public Service Commission Thursday authorized Consumers to raise power rates by $130 million annually, effective Dec. 1, less than $199 million the utility sought.

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Average customers will pay $1.28 more, until the utility buys a natural gas-fired plant in Jackson. Then monthly bills will be $1.88 higher.

When the utility retires seven coal-fired units in April, the net increase will be $1.25.

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Because Consumers self-implemented a $2.02 residential rate hike while awaiting the ruling, the total increase is 4.5 percent over rates approved in 2013 – or a 3.2 percent hike once coal plants close.

Commercial rates will rise 4.4 percent and industrial rates 0.1 percent.

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