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    Michigan utilities have spoken out about a recent report that was commissioned by a coalition made up of the Michigan Retailers Association, the Michigan Agri-Business Association and companies that hope to compete with utilities DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.

    According to the Detroit Free Press, the report noted that retail energy customers in Michigan cannot benefit from the slim competitive electricity market because businesses quickly filled up the 10 percent cap implemented in 2008. What's more, the state's residential electricity rates have been above the national average since 2009.

    Dan Bishop, a Consumers Energy spokesman, said the company has acknowledged the rate increases, but said they are for the good of the ratepayers.

    "Consumers Energy’s electric rates are at about the national average," Bishop said. "Increases in recent years pay for cleaner air in Michigan. For example, we’re investing more than $1.5 billion at our power plants on emission control equipment to comply with clean air regulations."

    Still, advocates of competitive energy markets are pointing to the lower electricity rates seen prior to the law as evidence that the measure is ultimately hurting electric customers.

    The report found that between 2008 and 2012, business electricity rates increased 30 percent for Consumers Energy customers.