DTE Energy’s natural gas customers are spending less to heat their homes compared to last month, with further reductions in the months to come. On January 1, the company reduced its Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) rate, due to how it buys natural gas and the decline in natural gas prices. The result? Customers will see a total of nearly $5 million in relief on their February heating bills.

Further savings will come over the next several months as DTE expects to continue lowering its GCR rate.

What is the Gas Cost Recovery rate? As a regulated company, DTE passes the cost for natural gas directly to its customers, with no markup or additional cost, meaning customers pay what DTE pays.

The company locks in natural gas prices up to three years in advance of delivering it to customers. DTE also buys more gas than customers use in the summer and stores it underground so it is available when customers need it in the winter. These buying strategies smooth out natural gas costs and protect customers from sudden price spikes.

“Keeping energy costs affordable for our customers, especially during the winter when customers really need to keep the heat and lights on, is one of our top priorities,” said Joi Harris, president and chief operating officer, DTE Gas.  “This bill reduction, which comes at the time of year when customer use of natural gas is at its highest, proves that our buying strategy works.”

Customers who are enrolled with an alternative gas supplier will continue to pay their contracted rate and will not see savings from this reduction. Natural gas customers can confirm who their gas supplier is by checking their natural gas bill, which shows details for their gas supplier (if it is not DTE), while also comparing the supplier’s rate to DTE’s rate. Customers may also compare the rates of all natural gas providers by visiting the State of Michigan’s Compare MI Gas website.

To help customers understand natural gas billing and pricing, DTE offers online explanations of how energy prices are set and how to read a bill.