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Participation, consumption rebound in Michigan's electric choice program after pandemic-related declines
February 01, 2023
Media contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
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Electricity consumption among customers enrolled in Michigan’s electric choice program dipped slightly in 2022 after rebounding the year before from a decline fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Public Service Commission’s annual Status of Electric Competition report found.
The report, released today, found electric demand in 2022 at 2,138 megawatts (MW), down from 2,175 MW in 2021 but still higher than the 2020 demand level of 1,958 MW in the first year of the pandemic. The number of customers participating in the electric choice program also declined, to 5,760 in 2022 from 5,939 in 2021. Almost all choice participants are commercial or industrial customers, from large manufacturers to retailers, restaurants, health care facilities and school systems.
Michigan’s utility service market was opened to competition through the Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act of 2000. This law permits a limited number of customers to buy electricity from either their local electric utility or an alternative electric supplier (AES). The amount of electric load that could be designated through the choice program was limited to 10% of an electric utility’s average weather-adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year, under Public Act 286 of 2008.
The number of licensed AESs in Michigan declined by one to 21 in 2022 after the Commission approved the voluntary license relinquishment of Liberty Power Delaware LLC. As of December 2022, about 6,213 customers remain in the queue of those interested in participating in the program if space becomes available under the 10% cap.
Electric choice programs for Consumers Energy Co., DTE Electric Co., Upper Peninsula Power Co., Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., Cloverland Electric Cooperative and Indiana Michigan Power Co. remained at or near their 10% cap for 2022.
Michigan is one of 20 jurisdictions that has a form of restructured retail electric markets in 2022.
The MPSC’s Customer Choice webpage has customer, supplier and program information about electric choice participation for each utility.
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