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AG Nessel Intervention in Cost Recovery Case Saves DTE Gas Customers $650,000
January 22, 2024
LANSING – Last Thursday, January 18, 2024, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued its final order in DTE’s 2021-22 Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) Reconciliation Case, highlighted by ordering a $656,602 disallowance sought by Attorney General Dana Nessel.
The case, MPSC e-docket Case No. U-20817, was originally filed in mid-2022, wherein DTE cited significant under-recovery of gas costs from customers and sought to recoup those costs. Attorney General Nessel intervened in the case and her team and expert witnesses carefully examined the entire filing. Upon review, the Department of Attorney General discovered that DTE was requesting to charge residential customers more than $650,000 for the company’s decision to waive certain financial penalties for several large end-use transportation customers. DTE provided no authority for its ability to waive the penalties and correspondingly pass those costs on to residential customers.
In her testimony, Nessel argued that it would be improper to charge residential customers for these costs, and that if DTE desired to waive these penalties it should be company shareholders who bear the cost and not residential DTE ratepayers. In a proposal for decision the Administrative Law Judge in charge of the case agreed with the Attorney General, and in its final decision the MPSC upheld that finding and recommendation.
“I am very appreciative of the time and attention to detail that my team puts into these cases,” said Nessel. “At a time when the largest utilities in the state are filing one rate case after another, seeking what amounts to annual rate hikes, it is important to remain vigilant and ensure ratepayers are not being asked to pay for costs that are wholly unrelated to the service they receive. That is what DTE attempted here, to gift financial penalty waivers to select customers and force their residential ratepayers to foot the bill. I applaud my team for catching this unreasonable request and also the MPSC for correctly rejecting it.”
Since taking office, the Attorney General has helped saved Michigan consumers nearly $3 billion by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC.
DTE provides natural gas to 1.3 million customers across the state and electricity to approximately 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan.