Michigan AG Calls Proposed DTE Rate Hike 'Excessive And Unnecessary'

WWJ News
November 12, 2019 - 4:28 pm
energy costs
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LANSING (WWJ) - State Attorney General Dana Nessel is pushing back against a proposed DTE Energy rate hike.

Testifying before the Michigan Public Service Commission, Nessel called DTE's request for a 9% increase on residents across the state "excessive and unnecessary."

Nessel said she wants the request to be decreased from $350 million to $41 million, and for DTE to distribute its costs so industrial customers are paying only their fair share.  

Under the Attorney General’s proposed cost distribution, residential customers would see an approximate 1.4 percent reduction in their current rates. 

“As the state’s chief consumer advocate on utility matters, I have a responsibility to ensure any rate increase is in the best interest of our state’s residential ratepayers. This one isn’t,” Nessel added, in a statement “A nine percent hike request when DTE already exceeds its return on equity year over year is simply unjustifiable and unsupportable. That is precisely why I am arguing to not only limit the company’s rate increase for all customers but to specifically decrease the current rates paid by residential customers by reallocating costs.”

The utility filed its rate increase request with the Commission back in July. 

Asked for comment on Nessel's testimony, DTE Energy Pete Ternes sent WWJ to following statement: 

"We share Attorney General Nessel's goal to provide our customers with affordable, reliable and clean energy. We welcome her input as part of DTE's rate review, now before the Michigan Public Service Commission. We need to continue to make necessary improvements for overall reliability while preparing the electric grid for the future. The best indicator of residential customer affordability is monthly bills rather than rates. Following the outcome of this rate review we expect residential bills to remain below the national average."

DTE provides electricity to approximately 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and natural gas to 1.3 million customers statewide.