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Michigan AG Nessel Counters DTE's Gas Rate Increase Request

LANSING – In addition to fighting price-gouging related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and helping people understand how to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has continued working to ensure that natural gas used for heating residents’ homes and various other commercial and industrial activities remains affordable for Michigan ratepayers.

Nessel last week filed testimony in DTE Energy’s rate case before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), arguing the company’s requested $204 million increase, which would represent an increase for residential customers of more than 8 percent, is excessive and unreasonable.

“My office is tasked with making sure all utility rate increase requests are just and reasonable, based on a host of factors,” Nessel said. “While I certainly appreciate the need to continue to improve natural gas infrastructure in the state to ensure our supply is safe and reliable, that must be balanced against the ever-present affordability concerns that confront many Michigan households and businesses. My testimony in this case appropriately balances those concerns and offers a reasonable resolution for all ratepayers.”

DTE’s request to raise customer rates, which was filed in November 2019, seeks a $204 million increase. The testimony provided March 24 by the Attorney General in this case argues that DTE should receive no more than a $65.5 million annual increase and should distribute those costs so that all customers are paying their fair share. Her testimony seeks to provide DTE with necessary funding for infrastructure upgrades, while making sure that any rate increase remains moderate for all customers.

Since last year, the Attorney General has saved Michigan consumers more than $350 million by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC. The testimony reaffirms her commitment to affordable energy for consumers.

DTE provides natural gas to 1.3 million customers across the state and electricity to approximately 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan.

The Attorney General’s testimony is available here.

MPSC case no.: U-20642