WXYZ: Michigan Public Service Commission Approves $368M Rate Increase for DTE Electric Customers
On December 15, the Michigan Public Service Commission greenlit a rate increase for DTE Electric Company customers, aimed at financing infrastructure investments to enhance reliability and expedite the adoption of clean energy generation.
The approved $368 million rate increase is a reduction from the $622 million initially requested by the company in February. According to the MPSC, a typical residential customer consuming 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will witness a 6.38% increase, equivalent to $6.51, on their monthly bill.
DTE Energy responded to the rate hike by highlighting $300 million in cost savings that were announced in November and were supposed to be passed on to consumers. Vice Chairman and Group President, Trevor Layer, elaborated that the reduction in fuel charge amounts to $300 million, mitigating the overall financial impact on customers.
Despite DTE Energy’s explanation, some customers like Yolanda Bradford expressed skepticism, citing recurring power outages. However, Layer emphasized that the rate hike aimed to upgrade systems and reduce power outages for customers.
Additionally, the MPSC passed a series of measures related to DTE Electric, including financing approval and an investigation into tree trimming around power lines. The approval is subject to adjustment based on the findings of a distribution system audit expected in late summer 2024.
Furthermore, the commission granted an additional $2 million in funding for DTE Electric’s pilot project to provide rebates for income-eligible households to purchase electric vehicles. It also directed the company to collaborate on studying tree trimming on residential service drops, ultimately aiming for improved service and reliability.