MPSC schedules second plug-in EV technical conference, sets IRP filing schedule, orders review of DTE billing practices

Contact: Nick Assendelft
517-284-8300 (office)
517-388-3135 (cell)

December 20, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today announced a follow-up plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) conference to address developing pilot programs and their impact on charging infrastructure, utility rates and the electrical grid.

The public meeting will be in February 2018 at the Commission’s Lansing offices. A specific date and time will be announced later. Representatives of the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research will assist the Commission with facilitating the discussion.

The Commission in October (Case No. U-18368) called for public input on Michigan’s future deployment of PEV infrastructure and technology support. Twenty-five comments were submitted from individuals, organizations and businesses including DTE Electric Co., Consumers Energy Co., Michigan Petroleum Association, Michigan Association of Convenience Stores, Ford Motor Co., General Motors LLC, Michigan Electric and Gas Association, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club.

Several stakeholders filed joint comments as part of a new organization that reflects the diversity of the groups that are calling for future PEV programs.

The request for comments was made following August’s successful Technical Conference on Alternative Fuel Vehicles, hosted by the MPSC and the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE). (Listen to podcasts of August’s panel discussions.)

The pilot programs provide input to the MPSC in establishing its role in developing regulatory policy for plug-in vehicle advancement. Among the topics to be addressed are the responsibility of regulated utilities in deploying charging and fueling stations, customer education, rate design and smart charging, grid impact, and a cost-benefit analysis of PEV programs.

Targeted pilot program parameters should be submitted by Jan. 15, 2018, to Al Freeman at 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI 48917, or freemana5@michigan.gov.

For an issue brief on the MPSC and plug-in electric vehicles, click here.

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Integrated resource plan filing requirements, schedule

The Commission approved changes to integrated resource plan (IRP) filing parameters (Case No. U-18461) and instructions for certificate of necessity alternative proposals (Case No. U-15896). Regulated utilities will use the IRP process to look ahead at how they will meet electric needs in their service areas. The plans must be filed by April 2019 with the MPSC, based on its updated schedule:

  • Consumers Energy Co.: June 15, 2018 (or earlier, if requested, and at least 21 days from other IRP filings).

  • Upper Peninsula Power Co.: Oct. 1, 2018.

  • Indiana Michigan Power Co.: 45 days after the Nov. 1, 2018, deadline to submit its plan in the state of Indiana.

  • Northern States Power Co. Wisconsin (Xcel): Jan. 25, 2019, (or to align with Minnesota’s filing deadline).

  • Alpena Power Co.:Feb. 15, 2019.

  • Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp.: March 8, 2019.

  • DTE Electric Co.:March 29, 2019 (or earlier, if requested, and at least 21 days from other IRP filings).

  • Wisconsin Electric Power Co.: April 19, 2019.

For an issue brief on IRPs, click here.

Other MPSC decisions

Report ordered on DTE billing issues: The Commission ordered DTE Electric and DTE Gas Co. to file by Jan. 22, 2018, a report with the MPSC about billing and shutoff issues that have arisen since DTE’s transition in April to a new billing system. The MPSC staff has received numerous complaints from DTE customers about service disruptions that are believed to be in violation of the rules that govern shutoffs and billing practices.

Affected customers fall into three groups: Those who didn’t receive bills for up to six months and were given a shut-off notice; customers who, despite holds on their accounts, had their service disconnected; and those who set up an appointment for meter replacement but had service shut off before the work was performed.

The report (Case No. U-18486) must include information about the transition to SAP C360, the number of monthly shutoffs, its verification process before shutting off service, customer communication efforts, and a plan to address improper shutoffs.

PURPA avoided cost rates on hold: The MPSC suspended implementation of the avoided cost calculation methods in Consumers Energy’s Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) docket (Case No. 18090). In anticipation of parties filing petitions for rehearing, the Commission put on hold the new rates and the effective date of the Standard Offer tariff until issues in the petitions are addressed. For an issue brief on PURPA, click here.

Voluntary green pricing questions raised: The Commission clarified questions regarding voluntary green pricing (VGP) programs (Case No. U-18349). If a utility intends to continue its VGP but didn’t file the requisite information about the program, it must do so by Jan. 16, 2018. The MPSC also opened contested cases for Consumers Energy (Case No. U-18351) and DTE Electric (Case No. U-18352) to address concerns about their VGP efforts raised by outside parties.

Utilities to submit data privacy policies: Regulated utilities were ordered to file data privacy tariffs for review by the MPSC by June 8, 2018 (Case No. U-18485). Policies must include details on all customer information or data collected or maintained by the utility; how customer information or data collected for the utility is protected from unauthorized use or disclosure by the utility, its affiliates, or contractors; and how the utility will ensure that, for secondary purposes, customer usage data, personally identifiable information, and other customer information is only disclosed to third parties with a customer's written consent. The privacy rules are part of the updated billing rules which the Commission adopted in November. For an issue brief on the billing rules, click here.

UMERC energy waste reduction surcharge: Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp.’s energy waste reduction plan for 2018 and 2019 was approved (Case No. U-18266). Under the settlement agreement, UMERC’s residential gas customers will see a 4-cent increase in their bills, Wisconsin Electric Power Co. rate zone residential customers will see a 26-cent decrease, and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. rate zone residential customers will see no change. The adjustments will be affective on monthly bills beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

DTE Gas energy optimization plan OK’d: DTE Gas Co.’s energy optimization plan (EO) for 2016 was approved (Case No. U-18338). DTE Gas reported net energy savings of 1.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Under a settlement agreement, residential customers will see an increase of 25 cents on their monthly bills, beginning in Jan. 1, 2018.

Consumers Energy EO plans OK’d: The Commission approved Consumers Energy’s 2016 gas and electric energy optimization (EO) plans. Under a settlement agreement, gas customers will see an increase of 3 cents on their monthly bills beginning in January 2018, while electric customers will see no change in their bills.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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