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AG Nessel's Intervention in DTE Case Saves Customers More Than $3 Million
September 30, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's latest consumer advocacy before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) will save DTE customers close to $3.2 million.
In its order, released at its meeting last Friday, the MPSC approved a net under-recovery of $145,023 in DTE Electric's 2019 Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) Reconciliation case. The Commission concurred with Nessel's analysis and argument in disallowing recovery from customers of $2,718,764 related to an unsupported request for limestone costs and $439,000 related to unsupported trona costs.
In total, this adds up to $3,157,764 in savings for DTE ratepayers.
"Utility consumers throughout the state pay large amounts of money to ensure that their energy is delivered safely, reliably, and in a manner that meets all state and federal environmental regulations," Nessel said. "I am committed to making sure consumers are not paying unnecessary, exorbitant costs due to unreasonable decisions that customers have no control over. I commend the Administrative Law Judge and MPSC in this case for holding DTE responsible for meeting a standard of reasonableness that protects ratepayers and acknowledges the imbalance of power that exists between DTE and its customers."
PSCR cases provide an annual opportunity for the MPSC to examine the fuel costs electric utilities seek to pass along to customers. The Department of Attorney General intervenes in all such cases as an advocate for utility ratepayers.
These savings represent Nessel's latest consumer advocacy. Last month, she launched an online feedback initiative and public listening tour to begin gathering information focused on the state's power companies following frequent and prolonged outages in recent months.
The Department has received nearly 4,500 responses online to date. Additional stops of the listening tour are still in the planning process and will be announced once they're solidified.
Also last month, the MPSC announced a technical conference focused on storm response, preparedness and reliability to be held Wednesday, Oct. 22. Last Friday, Nessel submitted recommendations for that conference, which primarily focused on prioritizing the protection of customers during extreme weather events and improving benchmarks for grid upgrades meant to address frequent outages - such as tracking tree trimming.
The input also provided MPSC with the National Association of Statute Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) 2019 resolution regarding emergency disaster preparedness.
Since taking office, Nessel has saved Michigan consumers more than $1 billion by intervening in utility cases.
DTE provides electricity to approximately 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and natural gas to 1.3 million customers across the state.