MPSC Proposes Funding Factor for New Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund, Directs Michigan Electric Utilities to File Information
Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-241-3323
Agency: Michigan Public Service Commission
July 11, 2013 - The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today proposed a funding factor for the new Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund. It also directed all Michigan electric utilities, municipally-owned electric utilities and cooperative electric utilities to file information by July 24 showing the number of retail billing meters the utility serves that are subject to the low-income energy assistance factor or to file a notice that the utility intends to opt out of collecting the low-income energy assistance funding factor.
On July 1, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 95 of 2013, which creates the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) within the State Treasury. The Act provides that the MPSC, after an opportunity for public comment, may annually approve a low-income energy assistance funding factor no later than July 31 of each year for the subsequent fiscal year.
The funding factor is a non-bypassable surcharge to be added to each retail billing meter (but no more than one residential meter per residential site), payable monthly by every customer receiving retail distribution service from an electric utility, regardless of the identity of the customer's electric generation supplier. The funding factor is to be the same across all customer classes; will appear on a separate line item on each customer's bill; and will not exceed $1.
In today's order, the MPSC proposed a funding factor of 91 cents per meter per month, based on the assumption that all utilities that have filed nothing yet with the Commission will opt in, and in reliance on information that has been filed in this docket or is publically available in renewable energy plan filings. Comments on the proposed funding factor, which could rise or fall slightly based on the yet to be submitted data, must be received at the Commission no later than 5 p.m. on July 24. Any person may submit written and electronic comments regarding the funding factor. Comments should reference Case No. U-17377. Written comments should be mailed to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909. Electronic comments should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All information submitted to the Commission in this matter will become public information available on the commission's website and subject to disclosure.
The Act provides that electric utilities may elect not to collect the funding factor by annually filing a notice with the MPSC; however, utilities that do not collect the funding factor shall not shut off service to any residential customer from Nov. 1 to April 15 for nonpayment of a delinquent account.
Several utilities filed the required reports on or before July 1. Upper Peninsula Power Company, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, Wisconsin Electric Power Company, (We Energies), Alpena Power Company, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, and Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association have all filed notice of their intent to opt out. Northern States Power Company and DTE Electric Company have filed notice of their intent to participate and have included their meter count.
The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Case No. U-17377