Frequently Asked Questions

 

ELECTRIC CUSTOMER CHOICE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FOR CUSTOMERS

The following questions and answers were prepared based on the current status of electric customer choice in Michigan. Answers are subject to change based on future MPSC orders and any new state and/or federal legislation.

 FAQ's for SUPPLIERS   glossary of terms 

 

If you have any additional questions or need more clarification, contact MPSC Customer Choice Staff below:

Heather Cantin
Direct - (517) 284-8266
Financial Analysis & Audit Division - (517) 284-8250
cantinh@@michigan.gov

Stephanie Haney
Direct - (517) 284-8267
Financial Analysis & Audit Division - (517) 284-8250
haneys1@michigan.gov

 

General (for All Customers)

What is the Electric Customer Choice Program?

The Michigan Electric Customer Choice program allows electric customers to choose an alternative electric supplier to supply their electricity from a diverse market of suppliers. Customers may choose an alternative electric supplier or may continue to get their electric supply from their current electric utility under existing regulated rates. However, under state law, no more than 10 percent of an electric utility’s average weather-adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year may take service from an alternative electric supplier at any time. If your utility’s 10 percent cap is fully subscribed, you will be placed in their queue, per the procedures established in Case No. U-15801.

What is an Alternative Electric Supplier?

An alternative electric supplier (commonly known as an AES or supplier) is a licensed third party company who sells electricity at unregulated rates to customers located in Michigan. An AES is required to be licensed by the Michigan Public Service Commission and is a separate entity from your electric utility company.

As a residential customer, do I have the option to choose and AES?

Currently, no licensed alternative electric suppliers are marketing or enrolling residential customers.

If I am a customer of an electric cooperative or municipality, do I have the option to choose an AES?

Each electric cooperative company maintains an electric customer choice program. Only customers with a demand of at least 1MW may take electric choice service under an electric cooperative utility. Please refer to your specific electric cooperative for more information.

The Michigan Public Service Commission does not regulate municipal electric utilities.

Do I have to choose an AES?

No, as a customer, you have the choice to switch to an AES for your electric supply as long as there is space available within your utility's 10 percent cap or continue to receive it from your utility company. The choice is yours.

If I choose an AES, will I save money?

There is no guarantee that you will save money if you switch to an AES.

Are AES rates regulated and approved by the MPSC?

No. The rates offered by AESs are not regulated or approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Are the utility rates regulated and approved by the MPSC?

Yes. Investor Owned Electric utility rates are regulated and approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

What is the regulated and approved power supply cost recovery (PSCR) rate?

The PSCR charge is the actual cost of fuel a company uses to get electricity, along with the cost of the electricity. This includes the cost to transport the electricity from generating plans to the company delivery system.

Who will deliver my electric supply?

Your electric utility will continue to deliver the electricity to your home or business. Neither power lines nor maintenance will change.

Who will bill me?

You will continue to receive a bill from you current electric utility company for the services they will continue to provide such as distribution. Bills for alternative electric supply could be included on the utility bill or be sent separately by your AES.

If I switch to an AES, who do I call during service disruption?

You will still call your current electric utility company for any service problem, outage or emergency, just as you do now.

Are there switching fees?

Yes. A nominal switching fee may apply for each switch from one AES to another.

What happens if I cancel my contract eary?

It is important to understand your AESs early termination fee policy prior to signing a contract. If you choose to end your contract early, a termination fee may apply. Additionally, if you choose to return to the utility a 12-month stay may apply.

What happens at the end of my contract?

For non-residential customers, a customer must remain on electric choice for a minimum of two years. Upon completion of the initial term of a contract, electric choice service shall continue on a month-to-month basis until terminated. These provisions are subject to your specific contract with the AES and the Terms and Conditions of Service and Return to Company Full Service sections of each utility’s tariff.

For residential customers, a customer shall commence electric choice service in accordance with their billing cycle and shall be required to remain on electric choice service for a minimum of one full billing cycle. These provisions are subject to your specific contract with the AES and the Terms and Conditions of Service and Return to Company Full Service sections of each utility’s tariff.

If I cancel my contract and return to the utiliy, can I re-enroll into the electric customer choice program at a future date?

It depends on your utility and whether or not they have space available within their 10 percent cap. If they don’t, you will be placed in their queue. For more information.

If I sign up with an AES, will I be treated differently by my current electric utility company?

No.

If I already receive my electric supply from an AES how do I switch to a different AES or return to my utility?

Customers are permitted to switch from one AES to another. The change will be submitted by your new AES to your electric utility and your utility will notify your previous AES. A utility switching fee may apply. Please see your AES and/or utility to determine your specific return to company fully service requirements.

Questions to ask the AES?

  • Are you licensed by the Michigan Public Service Commission?
  • What is the rate that I will be charged?
  • Is the rate fixed or will it change from month to month?
  • What is the length of the contract?
  • What happens when my contract expires?
  • Is there a termination fee if I cancel the contract early? If so, how much is the termination fee?
  • How do I cancel?
  • How long does it take to return to the utility once I have cancelled?
  • If I decide to cancel, can I re-enroll into the electric customer choice program?
  • Will I receive two bills?
  • Who do I contact regarding billing issues?

How can I keep up with news about Electric Customer Choice in Michigan?

You can subscribe to various MPSC email distributions lists through the E-mail Subscriptions icon on the main page of the MPSC website.

Where can I learn more about the Electric Customer Choice Program?

Learn more about Michigan's Electric Customer Choice program at http://www.michigan.gov/electricchoice, which has links to many MPSC documents and other important sources.