FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2019
With the final Statewide Energy Assessment (SEA), the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has acted promptly in response to fuel reliability concerns from this past winter. The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan has followed this process closely, as residential ratepayers need adequate protection from service outages and price spikes.
"We applaud the MPSC for many of the final SEA’s bold recommendations that can help protect Michigan energy consumers," said Amy Bandyk, executive director of CUB of MI. "In particular, CUB of Michigan appreciates that the commission added to the final report the recommendation of a specific framework for valuing energy waste reduction, demand response and other non-wires alternatives in utility plans for distribution grid improvements. This is in line with CUB’s comments filed on the initial SEA, arguing that efficiency resources deserve special attention because they tend to carry lower costs for consumers than capital-intensive investments."
"We also applaud the commission’s recommendation to create a workgroup to “investigate” improvements for the state’s Service Quality and Reliability Rules. One point of caution, however: as CUB (as well as Attorney General Dana Nessel) has already argued, the problems with the current rules are already known. The burden is placed on the customer to ask the utility for credits to be added to their bills following extended outages, leading to very few customers receiving the credits they are due. In addition, the value of these credits is unrealistically low given the harm outages pose for the customer. More mass outages like those experienced this July will unfortunately likely happen again, so CUB urges the MPSC to ensure the workgroup’s investigations are speedy and speak to the need for increased credits for outages so more customers do not lose opportunities for relief," said Bandyk.
For more information about the CUB of Michigan, visit www.cubofmichigan.org.
The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan’s mission is to represent the interests of residential energy customers across the state. Our goal is to educate and engage Michigan consumers in support of cost-effective investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy and against unfair rate increase requests.