In 2009, DTE Energy began collecting surcharges from its business and residential customers to cover the costs associated with meeting the state’s renewable energy goals. These goals required Michigan electric utilities to provide 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2015. Energy legislation approved in 2008 allows utilities to collect a monthly surcharge from their customers to cover the investment needed to meet the state’s renewable energy goals.

Recently, DTE Energy filed an amended renewable energy plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that proposes to lower the monthly surcharge paid by residential customers to 43 cents from the current $3. The plan has to be reviewed and approved by the MPSC.

The rate reduction follows significant efforts by DTE Energy to keep electric service affordable. The company, Michigan’s largest electricity supplier and the largest investor in renewable energy in the state, has led its peer electric utilities in controlling operating costs. Between 2007 and 2011, for example, DTE Energy has seen a 1 percent drop in operating costs, compared with an industry average of a 23 percent gain.

Reasons DTE Energy cites for the proposed reduction include: lower costs to build wind energy parks, lower costs for contracts to purchase power, technology improvements that have led to better wind and solar energy production, and federal production tax credits that have offset costs.

DTE Energy has reached 92 percent of its 950-MW goal with either operating projects or those under contract. DTE Energy expects to invest about $1.3 billion to achieve its 10 percent goal during the 20-year program.

A preferred vendor for DTE Energy, Oak Electric Service is one of southeast Michigan’s leading electrical and renewable energy contractors. If you are contemplating making energy improvements to your home or business, give us a call at (800) 964-7070. We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.