Michigan Public Service Commission approves rate hikes for Michigan DTE customers

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a rate increase for DTE Electric Company customers Friday to fund infrastructure investments designed to enhance reliability and accelerate the deployment of clean energy generation.

The $368 million increase represents an overall reduction from the $622 million the company initially requested in February.

The new prices will take effect on December 15.

According to MPSC,A typical residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month will see an increase of $6.51, or 6.38%, on his monthly bill.

In response, DTE Energy said that while the MPSC number is accurate, it does not take into account the $300 million in cost savings it announced in November that will be passed on to consumers. DTE says when these cost savings and rate increases are combined, it means a net impact to customers of less than $3 per month.

“The electric bill actually has two parts, what I will call the base rate and then the fuel surcharge,” explained DTE Energy Vice Chairman and Group President Trevor Lair. “We have reduced our fuel excise duty…as of today by $300 million.”

Clients like Yolanda Bradford say another rate hike is too generous for the company.

“I don’t feel like it’s justified,” she said. “We had another power outage, and the next year, and then just in August, we had two power outages in a row.”

That’s exactly why a rate hike will help, says Lair, as they look to upgrade their systems with the money.

“I guarantee you our team is working every day to minimize power outages for every customer. And when you have a power outage, we want the power outage to be shorter than it was before,” he said.

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The interest rate hike was among a number of measures related to DTE Electric approved by the MPSC. Other measures include approval of financing measures, including an investment recovery mechanism. The approval included a time limit that could be amended to include the results of the distribution system audit currently underway.

A final report on this audit is expected by late summer 2024.

The committee also approved an additional $2 million in funding for DTE Electric’s pilot project to provide $1,500 rebates to income-eligible households for purchasing electric vehicles costing $50,000 or less, as well as a request for the company to expedite the utility’s ongoing tree trimming process to remove trees and branches from around power lines. electricity.

In addition, the authority also directed DTE to work with them to study tree trimming in residential service drops — electrical lines between utility poles and homes — and directed the company to develop a proposal to pilot tree trimming in residential service in its next plenum rate case.

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