MPSC approves tax law refunds for customers of Consumers Energy Co., Upper Peninsula Power Co.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Nov. 21, 2018

Contact: Nick Assendelft 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555
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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today approved approximately $32.7 million in rate relief for customers of Consumers Energy Co. and Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO).

Over the next six months, Consumers will refund $31,011,736 to customers while UPPCO will return $1,668,691.

The reductions are the result of adjustments the utilities made as a result of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which lowered corporate rates from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Under the MPSC’s three-step tax impact adjustment plan, the reductions announced today, called Credit B, are the second round of reductions in customer bills. Credit B captures the TCJA’s impact on bills from Jan. 1, when the law went into effect, to the effective date of when reductions from the first recalculation, called Credit A, first appeared on customers’ utility bills.

Impact of today’s MPSC rulings on customer bills

Utility

Annualized amount

Monthly decrease

Months

of refunds

Case No.

Consumers Energy Co. gas

$31,011,736

$1.72*

6 (December 2018-May 2019)

U-20287

Upper Peninsula Power Co. electric

$1,668,691

$3.50**

6 (December 2018-May 2019)

U-20184

* Residential average monthly use of 10,000 cubic feet.

** Residential average monthly use of 500 kilowatt hours.

The Commission previously approved Credit A monthly bill adjustments of $2.21 for Consumers gas customers and $3.40 for UPPCO customers.

Including today’s approvals, the MPSC has ordered $65,301,336 in Credit B refunds for utility customers in Michigan. That’s in addition to $379.5 million in Credit A refunds.

Still to be announced are Credit B impacts for Consumers Energy electric, DTE Electric Co., and Indiana Michigan Power Co. (I&M).

The third bill adjustment, called Calculation C, will be announced later. It takes into account long-term budgeted items not accounted for under Credits A or B.

For an Issue Brief about the tax law update and its impact on utilities, click here.

Other rulings today

DTE Energy to revise shut-off notices: DTE Energy Co. must add new information to its shut-off notices to help customers resolve issues with the company (Case No. U-18474). The notices must now include an address and phone number where a customer can make an inquiry, enter into a payment plan or settlement agreement, or file a complaint with the utility. The utility must file a copy of the new notice with the Commission within 30 days.

Demand response issues to be examined: MPSC staff was directed to examine outstanding demand response (DR) aggregation questions (Case No. U-20348). The staff is to work with third-party DR aggregators, alternative energy suppliers and their customers, regulated utilities, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (a regional transmission organization that covers most of Michigan), and other stakeholders to determine issues including who can bid aggregate DR into the RTO wholesale markets, how to track DR resources, and how should DR be reported in terms of utility capacity demonstrations. The staff is to present its findings to the Commission by May 30, 2019. 

Tri-County granted temporary telecommunications license: Tri-County Electric Cooperative, doing business under the name HomeWorks Connect, was granted a temporary license to provide basic local exchange service under the Michigan Telecommunications Act (Case No. U-20323). HomeWorks will operate in 73 exchanges served mainly by AT&T Michigan and Frontier North, Inc.

Alpena Power allowed to file limited IRP with Commission: Alpena Power Co. was granted a waiver of some filing requirements for integrated resource plans (IRPs) under Public Act 341 of 2016 (Case No. U-20300). The law allows the Commission to approve separate filing requirements for utilities of fewer than 1 million customers. Alpena noted that since it does not generate its own energy and has a power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy Co. through 2024 it should be exempt from filing requests for proposals, scheduling public outreach, risk assessment methodology, and approval of costs.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the eDockets filing system here.

To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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