Michigan Public Service Commission approves new rate plan for DTE Energy

Published on December 13, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a rate increase for Detroit-based DTE Energy last week.

The rate increase is about $3.18 per month for the average residential customer’s bill. However, because DTE Gas contracted and stored natural gas earlier this year before the global run up in natural gas prices, the average customer will save nearly $20 per month this winter when compared to current natural gas prices.

DTE will also receive roughly $84 million to support its ongoing efforts to modernize its natural gas infrastructure. As part of its modernization plan, 200 miles of pipe will be replaced in 2022 alone, impacting customers in 16 communities across the state. The effort will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road upon its completion in 2035.

“We know that continuing to modernize our natural gas infrastructure is critical to the delivery of safe and reliable natural gas. In addition, the high-density pipes we’re installing across our service territory are much more effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Joi Harris, president of DTE Gas, said. “While these investments will raise the average residential bill by a little over $3 per month, DTE’s buying strategies will save customers more than six times that amount this winter, compared to the pricing of companies that didn’t lock in lower prices early.”

DTE also offers several programs for families struggling with their bills. One is the Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan, available to customers below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. The program provides a fixed payment plan based on income and energy use.

The Winter Protection Plan also protects service to senior citizens and other vulnerable customers earning at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. In addition, their Personalized Service Protection plan customizes affordable payment plans based on an individual’s situation and provides additional time to pay bills. Finally, the Residential Income Assistance Credit, Low-Income Assistance Credit, and the Home Heating Credit programs provide those who qualify with a monthly credit on their natural gas bill.

DTE Energy provides electricity to 2.3 million customers in Southeast Michigan and natural gas to 1.3 million customers in Michigan.