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AG Nessel Helps Save DTE Gas Customers More Than $110 Million
December 13, 2021
LANSING - At its meeting last Thursday, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) released its final order in DTE Gas' most recent rate case, No. U-20940, approving an $84,173,000 annual increase in DTE Gas' rates. The increase is nearly $111 million less than the original request.
In February, DTE Gas requested a $195 million increase, so the Commission's decision represents a $110,827,000 reduction. For the average residential customer, this will represent an overall increase of approximately 3.7%, or $3.18 per month when new rates go into effect January 1, 2022.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's intervention in the case on behalf of customers was pivotal to shaving off 57% of DTE Gas's request. In her testimony and briefing, Nessel found that DTE Gas had a $19 million revenue deficiency, arguing against many of DTE Gas's projections and expenses as unreasonable and not providing commensurate customer benefits.
In arriving at its final order, the MPSC relied upon many of Nessel's analyses and arguments.
The order also directs DTE Gas to file additional information and support for areas of increased costs in future rate cases, again relying upon numerous discussions put forth by the Attorney General.
"As we head into winter, the season when so many Michiganders use natural gas to heat their homes, I am pleased to see an MPSC order that agrees with many of my concerns regarding the affordability of utility bills," Nessel said. "Although it still represents a significant rise in customer rates, it keeps that increase to less than 4% while still providing DTE Gas with added revenue to continue to improve its infrastructure and customer experience."
The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan (CUB) also joined Nessel in this latest advocacy.
"In its order the MPSC recognized the need to limit soaring rate increases and agreed with many of CUB and the AG's criticisms of the request from DTE Gas," CUB Executive Director Amy Bandyk said. "We hope that in future cases, both electric and natural gas, the Commission continues to scrutinize utility's attempted rate hikes for the benefit of customers."
DTE Gas, a subsidiary of DTE Energy, is headquartered in Detroit and serves approximately 1.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan.
A copy of the Dec. 9 order can be found on the MPSC website.
Since taking office, Nessel has saved Michigan consumers more than $1.3 billion by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC.