DTE gets OK to raise electric rates starting Friday

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LANSING — Michigan’s biggest power utility can raise customer bills starting Friday after regulators approved a rate hike that is about half of what was sought.

The $188 million increase by DTE Electric, which has 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan, is $3.93 a month for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity. The state Public Service Commission said the impact will be softened temporarily in June and July when the utility passes along $30 million to $40 million in relief because it is spending less on fuel to generate electricity.

In a decision late last week, regulators rejected more than $160 million in spending at coal-fired plants. Environmentalists applauded the agency.

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