Updated: Mar 10
DTE filed another Rate Case (U-20836) on January 21, 2022 with the MI Public Service Commission (PSC). DTE is proposing to raise electricity rates by $351 million per year, about an 8.8% increase for residential rate payers.
But DTE is also proposing to reduce the amount they pay solar owners for the extra electricity that solar owners export back to the Grid. The current amount is about half of the retail rate or about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. DTE wants to reduce this to about 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, about a 60% reduction. This is called the Distributed Energy Tariff.
In addition, DTE wants to impose two new monthly fees only on solar owners. These are called 'Demand Charges.' The amount will vary per solar owner but for most it will be about $65 per month.
So the key question to ask, is why is DTE proposing this? The answer is not complicated. DTE is a monopoly utility who wants to completely control how electricity is generated and wants to control who distributes it. Solar Energy is a competitive threat to DTE so DTE wants to destroy the solar market in Michigan by adding new fees to solar owners so it undercuts the financial rationale for owning solar.
DTE will put forth fancy wordy arguments about how solar owners are being subsidized by non solar owners, but this is a complete falsehood, in other words DTE is lying. The Public Service Commission has publicly testified to the MI Legislature that solar owners are not being subsidized and they are paying their fair share for the electrical Grid.
We know that owning a solar system will save you money and promotes a cleaner environment. DTE raises its rates every year, so naturally enough the market in Michigan for solar has grown with homeowners and business. DTE is losing customers and they don't like that. So to stop losing customers, DTE is out to gut the solar market in Michigan.
DTE tried to do this once before in 2018, when they proposed new fees on solar owners, but the Public Service Commission rejected DTE's proposal. So now we have to pressure and urge the three Public Service Commssioners to say no again. The three Commssioners are: Dan Scripps (the Chair), Tremaine Phillips and Katherine Peretick.
GLREA has intervened in this rate case with the Public Service Commission (PSC). We have ten months to November 2022 to lobby and urge the PSC to flatly reject DTE's Proposal.
We need more solar in Michigan to fight climate change and to help homeowners and business to save money!
So one way you can help is to send Dan Scripps, the Chair of the Public Service Commission an email urging him to reject DTE's Proposal. To do that go the Take Action tab on the upper right of the Homepage on this website, click on it and follow the directions to send an email. There is already a draft email you can use but you can add any additional comments you want. To make it easy here is a link to that Take Action page https://renewableenergyinmichigan.good.do/renewableenergyinmichigan/action-Contact-MPSC/
GLREA also encourages you to tell your friends and colleagues about what DTE is proposing and to get them to send an email to the PSC and to become a Member of GLREA so we have the money and resources to fight this "out of control big monopoly utility."
And for those people who live in Consumers Energy territory don't sit there feeling safe, because if DTE is successful, then Consumers Energy will ask for the same thing from the Public Service Commssion.
So we need to fight hard and be relentless in our effort to fight this Proposal over the next eight months.
Please become a Member of GLREA so we have the resources to take on DTE! Click on Become a Member this will take you to the Membership page, then scroll down and click on the yellow 'Become a GLREA Member...' and then follow the directions.
Thanks for all your help. If you have any questions please contact John Freeman at Jfreeman13@comcast.net.