Major Initiatives Before The Commission
Input from the general public and subject matter experts helps the Michigan Public Service Commission to make decisions in key areas that will have long-term impacts on energy consumers in Michigan. The section below details major projects, active workgroups, and significant pending cases in the electric, natural gas, and telecommunications sectors.
Active Commission Workgroups
- MPSC Statewide Energy Assessment (SEA)
The Energy Assessment is a statewide review of the supply, engineering, and deliverability of natural gas, electricity, and propane systems, as well as contingency planning related to those systems. The Energy Assessment will culminate in a final report by September 13, 2019.
- Data Accessibility Stakeholder Forum
The Data Accessibility Stakeholder Forum was created to develop more refined, clear, and consistent language addressing customer data accessibility as utilities comply with billing rules – particularly, R 460.153 (2) (g) which requires utilities to “provide clear instructions regarding the method by which a customer and a third party, authorized by the customer, may obtain customer usage data in a timely manner and a readily accessible format from the utility.”
- Demand Response Aggregation
The Commission directed Staff to work with interested stakeholders to discuss issues related to demand response aggregation. Staff will hold a series of Stakeholder meetings to discuss aggregation issues and will present its findings to the Commission in a Staff Report to be filed to the docket in U-20348 no later than May 30, 2019.
- Low Income Workgroup
The Low Income Workgroup is collaboratively working to identify and address low income specific energy issues, energy waste reduction measures, and create new initiatives that can reduce the cost of the energy burden on Michigan’s low income energy consumers and communities. With the goal of connecting and combining the expertise, experience, and perspectives of the participating groups, the Workgroup is attempting to bridge gaps between program offerings, facilitate more complete delivery of energy efficiency programs, and seek opportunities to better serve low income single family residences and multifamily buildings.
- Third-Party Community Energy Projects Workgroup
The Commission Staff is leading a stakeholder engagement process to examine the potential opportunities and barriers to third-party community energy projects that could be integrated into utility planning and procurement processes.
- New Interconnection Rules - Stakeholder Process
On November 8, 2018, the Commission issued an order directing Commission Staff to initiate a stakeholder process with the purpose of gathering input to update the Commission’s Electric Interconnection and Net Metering Standards. The order directs Commission Staff to consider interconnection request procedures, timelines and queue management; required interconnection studies; cost responsibility; safety and technical specifications.
- PURPA - Legally Enforceable Obligation
On November 8, 2018, the Commission issued an order directing Commission Staff to initiate a stakeholder process with the purpose of gathering input to assist Commission Staff with developing rules for defining and establishing a legally enforceable obligation (LEO) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.
- Distributed Generation & Legacy Net Metering Rules
On November 8, 2018, the Commission issued an order directing Commission Staff to initiate a stakeholder process with the purpose of gathering input update the Commission’s Electric Interconnection and Net Metering Standards to reflect the new distributed generation program and changes in the availability of the net metering program as a result of 2016 Acts 341 and 342.
- Five-Year Distribution Plans
As electric utility distribution system infrastructure ages, distribution system reliability metrics indicate a need for improvement, and utility requests for rate increases are increasingly driven by distribution capital investments and operations and maintenance expenses, the MPSC has taken steps to proactively address these issues by requiring major electric utilities to submit Five-Year Distribution Plans. The MPSC invites MPSC Staff and stakeholder comments on these plans.
- Code of Conduct / Value-Added Programs
Under 2016 PA 341 Sec. 10ee the MPSC is required to establish a code of conduct that applies to electric, natural gas, and steam utilities, and which is intended to prevent cross-subsidization, preferential treatment, and information sharing, between a utility‘s regulated services and unregulated programs and services. The law also allows utility companies to offer their customers “value-added programs and services.” The MPSC needs to undertake a rulemaking process to implement these provisions.