Electrical rates for many Copper Country residents will be going up.
Upper Peninsula Power Company says the increase granted last week by the Michigan Public Service Commission will boost the average residential electric bill by 10.1 percent. The increase will take effect July 1st, and is the first that UPPCO has been granted in nearly four years.
Company officials say the monthly bill for a residential customer that consumes 500 kilowatt hours of energy will increase from $121.08 to $133.38.
As part of the agreement, UPPCO will establish a residential income assistance credit that will be applied toward the monthly bills of low-income customers. The company will donate $200,000 to non-profit organizations that serve low-income citizens.
UPPCO will also increase the cap for customer-owned distributed generation from 3% to 4.5%, opening the door for installation of more residential solar and wind generators.
Electric customers who lose power for extended periods of time will get more compensation, under an order released Friday by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The new rules will require a $35 per day credit for lost power. The previous allowance was a one-time payment of $25. Utility providers will be required to apply the credit automatically. Previously, customers had to ask for the credit.
The power outage credit kicks in after 96 hours during catastrophic conditions, after 48 hours during moderate stress conditions, and after 16 hours during normal conditions. The outage credits will be indexed to the rate of inflation.