June 26, 2019
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced her office’s progress in providing better protections for Michigan utility consumers and the state’s environment through intervention in key utility cases before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Since January 1, 2019, Nessel’s office has saved utility consumers a combined $306,309,944.
Nessel's office intervened in a DTE Energy case, filing briefs and testimony supporting the disallowance of more than $13 million in rate increases to DTE consumers. On June 7, MPSC reaffirmed its disallowance in the three-year case, which resulted in $29.5 million in savings for DTE consumers.
Nessel said, “I applaud the commission for making the right call in this case and providing needed savings for DTE consumers who just received a significant rate increase not even two years ago."
Following a two-month investigation, MPSC staff found that Consumers Energy had not been responding to MISS DIG requests – which require a three-day response time – in nearly 20,000 instances. As a result, MPSC issued an order requiring Consumers Energy to explain why it shouldn’t be found in violation of the MISS DIG law.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement as the state’s consumer advocate on utility matters:
“Timely and accurate responses to MISS DIG requests are essential to safeguard the people of our state and our energy infrastructure. By neglecting to respond to these requests, utility companies put our residents’ lives in the balance – creating significant safety concerns for the consumers and their surrounding communities. I applaud the commission staff for bringing this issue to light. Utility companies should consider themselves on notice: If you fail to uphold your responsibilities to your consumers and all Michiganders, my office will hold you accountable.”
Nessel refocused the Department of Attorney General’s intervention in Consumers Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan case before MPSC shortly after taking office in January to ensure the company’s request effectively balanced the affordability, reliability and renewability of its energy products – none of which were fully met in Consumer’s original filing, the Attorney General’s brief argued.
On June 7, MPSC approved a settlement in the case. The settlement was signed by Attorney General Nessel and several environmental advocates and addressed many of the Attorney General’s concerns. The agreement ensures Consumers Energy will retire all its coal plants by 2040 and replace them with renewable energy sources that eliminate carbon emissions by 90 percent.
“This groundbreaking case moves Michigan to the forefront of reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable and reliable energy,” Nessel said. “It also goes a long way to preserve and protect our state’s environment and provide a cleaner future for generations to come.”