Last month the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a request by Consumers Energy to increase their customer's natural gas rates.

How much will that rate increase bring into the coffers of Consumers; that would be an additional $143.5 million, starting this month.

According to a MLive article, those of us who use 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas originally were told our monthly bill will go up by $5.48.  Apparently the Michigan Public Service Commission calculated incorrectly and now we are told Consumers Energy customers will pay an extra $6.11 per month on 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

That's a hefty one time increase of approximately 8.5%.

Per the Michigan Public Service Commission that increase will pay for their:

infrastructure investments, speed up the removal of at-risk lines made of old materials and enhance technology to improve customer service

Here is the interesting part; the MPSC approved a $1.6 billion refund to Consumers Energy customers.  This refund came from President Trump and the Republicans Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Here is the part I have a question about, these refunds will be spread over 44 years.  

Why spread these refunds over 44 years and increase their customers natural gas cost by 8.5%.  Why not apply those refunds to the increased cost to their customers?