DTE Energy’s natural gas customers are spending less to heat their homes in March as the company’s natural gas cost has dropped by 23%. The company’s Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) will fall by $1.02 per thousand cubic feet, which is expected to equal a $12 reduction on an average residential customer’s March bill and total an estimated $15 million in reductions for customers.
What does Gas Cost Recovery mean? As a regulated company, DTE ‘recovers’ the cost of buying natural gas supplies by billing customers what DTE pays for the gas, with no markup or additional cost. DTE locks in natural gas prices up to three years in advance, which protects customers from sudden price spikes by smoothing out the highs and lows of supply and demand. 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.
March is the third consecutive month DTE has reduced the GCR rate, lowering customer bills. Together, the three decreases total $1.67 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas, or the equivalent of $33.57 in total reductions on the average residential customer’s January through March bills.
“Customers should know we’re committed to keeping their bills as low as possible,” said Joi Harris, president and chief operating officer, DTE Gas. “Passing on the savings of reduced natural gas costs helps keep bills affordable, and we also strive in all our operations to deliver the energy our customers need as efficiently, reliably and safely as possible.”
This focus on cost efficiency has helped DTE avoid raising its base rate for bills, defying the inflation that’s been hitting every other aspect of its customers’ lives. DTE has not filed for a natural gas rate increase with the Michigan Public Service Commission since February of 2021.
As for the reduced GCR rate, customers should keep in mind that if they have enrolled in ‘Gas Choice’ to have another company supply their natural gas (an alternative gas supplier), they will continue to pay their contracted rate and will not see savings from this reduction. Customers can confirm who their gas supplier is by checking their natural gas bills, which indicate their gas supplier (if it is not DTE), while also comparing the supplier’s rate to DTE’s GCR rate. Customers may 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.