Michigan attorney general says he's challenging utility rate hikes in Upper Peninsula

Michigan's attorney general says he is challenging two utility companies' requests to increase electric rates in the Upper Peninsula.

Attorney General Bill Schuette said Thursday he intervened in two cases on rate hikes before the Michigan Public Service Commission. He says he is asking the commission to closely examine the companies' requests because residents already have enough rising costs to worry about this winter.

Schuette says Wisconsin Public Service Corp. has requested to increase electric rates for residential customers by 28 percent, or about $25 per month. He says Northern State power Co. would raise rates by 8 percent, or $5.70 per month. Each company serves over 9,000 customers in the Upper Peninsula.

Schuette says he has also challenged merger requests by two Upper Peninsula utilities, which he says would also boost rates.