Guest post by Trevor F. Lauer, president and COO, DTE Electric
Earlier today, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a rate adjustment for DTE Energy electric customers to modernize the electric infrastructure in our Southeast Michigan service territory, increase clean power generation and reduce emissions at our power plants.
We know the cost of living continues to rise for hardworking families in Michigan. We live here and we feel it, too. That’s why we are committed to making your energy not only cleaner, safer and more reliable, but also more affordable – to deliver the peace of mind you deserve. In fact, we’ve been able to keep energy bills today the same as they were five years ago, and we’ve been able to keep Michigan energy bills below the national average.
Proactive work on infrastructure and the power grid prevents equipment failures and outages and is less expensive for customers than repairing equipment failures as they happen. In fact, our investments in smart meters, smart technologies and overall infrastructure modernization have improved service quality, resulting in 70 percent more reliable power for customers in 2016 compared to 2014.
We now have the ability to know the health of our electric system in real time, flag and correct equipment problems before an outage occurs and learn about outages instantaneously. New and upgraded substations also are allowing the company to serve more customers, making Southeast Michigan a smart choice for new and growing businesses.
A smarter grid and services like the DTE Insight app help customers reduce energy use and lower their bills. The rate adjustment also supports the continued transition from traditional coal-fueled power plants to more environmentally-friendly, modern sources such as renewables (wind and solar) and power plants fueled by cleaner natural gas.
As part of our multi-year effort to modernize infrastructure, we increased customer rates in August 2016. The MPSC order issued today reduces customer rates from current levels and, as a result, customers will see a rate reduction and a bill credit. We will work with the MPSC to calculate the credit and appropriately apply it later this year. The Commission’s order keeps bills at 2012 levels and below the national average.
At DTE, we hold ourselves accountable to our customers, and we participated in a rigorous and thorough review with the Michigan Public Service Commission before today’s decision was announced. DTE’s pricing plan helps the company recover some of the $3.5 billion already invested on behalf of our customers over the last five years.
But we recognize our work is not done. We’ll continue to work hard every day to find new ways to make rates more affordable through new energy sources and energy efficient technology that gives you more choice and more control over your energy. Our commitment to you is to provide you peace of mind, knowing these improvements will directly benefit your daily lives.2016 Reliability Infographic