For Friday, Jan. 14, 2022
1 – Electric rates are going up for Consumers Energy customers.
The Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the state, approved a $27 million rate increase for the Consumer Energy company’s electric operations a few days before Christmas.
The commission calls it a “substantially reduced rate increase.” The $27 million approved for Consumers Energy electric operations is nearly an 88 percent reduction from what the company requested.
Officials say a typical residential customer will see an increase of 59 cents, or less than 1 percent, on their monthly bill, starting this month.
The rate increase will fund efforts by Consumers Energy to improve its reliability.
This is a priority, officials say, as Michigan utility customers have weathered significant outages from increasingly severe storms amid a changing climate. More money will be spent on tree trimming, line clearing and modernization of the electric distribution system.
Funding disallowed by the Commission included $49 million for the utility’s vehicle fleet.
2 – Calling all college students interested in environmental protection.
The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research has announced its 2022 Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program in partnership with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab.
The program exposes students to a broad range of disciplines and provides an opportunity to conduct research in the Great Lakes region under the mentorship of a scientist.
Eight full-time, 12-week positions are offered, running from May 16 to Aug. 5.
The program will be conducted in Ann Arbor or Alpena, or virtually, depending on COVID conditions.
Each chosen student will receive a $10,000 stipend, and financial support for travel.
The deadline for applications to the 2022 Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program is Feb. 18.
3 – The Great Lakes Protection Fund describes itself as more of an investor than a charity.
It doesn’t have specific funding programs or formal deadlines. But leaders say they’re always open to discuss ideas.
The Great Lakes Protection Fund provides grants for environmental projects, but compares the funding to seed capital or angel investments.
Governors of the Great Lakes states created the Great Lakes Protection fund in 1989 to help protect and restore their shared Great Lakes resources.
See GLPF.org for more.