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Michigan Gas Utilities seeks rate hike for 2014

MONROE, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan Gas Utilities has asked the state to allow it to pass on a 6 percent rate increase to customers beginning Jan. 1.

The Monroe-based utility says in a release Friday that it filed the request for new natural gas distribution rates with the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Its last increase was in 2010.

The utility serves 168,000 customers in nearly 150 communities, including Grand Haven, Otsego, Benton Harbor, Coldwater and Monroe.

It says the rate increase is needed to offset the cost of upgrades to transmission and distribution systems, decreased revenues, higher costs for customer service and general inflation.

Michigan Gas Utilities says residential natural gas customers will see about $2.34 added to their monthly bills if the increase is approved.