- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan regulators have authorized DTE Energy to increase electricity rates by 4 percent.

The Public Service Commission approved a $184 million annual rate hike Tuesday, effective Feb. 7. It’s less than what the Detroit-based utility self-implemented in August, so customers will initially get a refund covering the last six months.

DTE had sought a $344 million annual rate increase and had self-implemented a $245 million increase.

The final rate is 4 percent above what was set in DTE’s last electric case in December 2015.

Commission Chairwoman Sally Talberg said in a statement that DTE will spend money to upgrade its distribution infrastructure. She says a primary reason for power outages is the lack of maintenance and the age of distribution equipment.

DTE has 2.2 million power customers in southeastern Michigan.

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