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Cloverland Electric Cooperative Increases Electricity Rates

Many in the Upper Peninsula can expect an increase starting with January’s electricity bill.

As part of a 10 year plan, Cloverland Electric Cooperative increased their rates starting this month.

Big power users will see the largest hike.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Erin Malone have more details about how this affects Cloverland customers.

"When they get their first bill, it depends on their residential rate class, it could be anywhere from $2.45 up to about $3.94 a month," Cloverland Electric Cooperative communications manager Todd Chapman said.

Cloverland Electric customers can expect to see an increase in their electric bill on their January statement.

Essentially Cloverland was authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission to increase rates by about $1.9 million, or in other words, around 3%.

This is part of a 10 year plan, so every year that rate will be reevaluated.

"We had to turn around and file this rate request to make sure that we’re meeting our financial obligations," Chapman said. "Obviously, the last three years a lot of expenses have gone up: our material costs, the operating costs, the payroll, the health insurances." 

While the increase is only a few dollars a month for most, it can really affect places that use more energy, like Lake Superior State University.

"Any increase to our operations affects everyone," Lake Superior State University director of public relations Tom Pink said. "It affects our students especially, but there are things that we can do on campus to lower our energy consumption."

The university could see a rate hike of up to $36,000 a year, so they’ve been doing things like switching to more energy efficient light bulbs.

"We’re looking at some really great energy efficient lights for our overall outside lighting," Pink said. "It’s being done all around campus, but we look at anything that takes energy consumption."

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