Powering Our Future in Michigan
With a customer-focused approach to planning the future, we submitted our Powering Our Future plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission on September 15.
The plan outlines the next steps we are proposing to better serve customers. Key elements of the plan include infrastructure investments that result in a more reliable and resilient electric grid and a detailed evaluation of extending the future of Cook Nuclear Plant beyond its current license expirations.
In addition to the Cook study, the Powering Our Future plan benefits customers by:
- Replacing old equipment, increasing the frequency of planned tree-trimming and installing new grid technologies, all of which will result in fewer and shorter power outages.
- Relocating and rebuilding about 45 miles of power lines from hard-to-access areas to roadsides, giving crews quicker access to perform maintenance and repairs to lines and related equipment.
- Providing residential customers with more bill payment options that meet their needs and lifestyles.
- Using technology to provide an improved customer experience through better access to account information, shorter customer service call times and overall improved communication options.
- Pursuing federal grants to reduce costs, improve reliability and help communities succeed.
- Continuing programs that eliminate the residential service charge for income-qualified customers and reducing rates for senior citizens who use less than 900 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per month.
- Expanding the Distributed Generation program for residential customers eligible to receive credits for the solar and wind power they generate and provide to the electric grid.
Powering Our Future emphasizes continued improvements, so fewer customers lose power and power is restored faster. Our ongoing improvements to the electric grid over the past five years have led to a reduction in the time customers have been without power and our proposed infrastructure investments in this plan are expected to continue this trend.
In order to continue building on these successful efforts to maintain a strong electric grid and provide safe and reliable service to customers, we have requested a rate increase of about $34 million or 9.67%.
Under the proposal, the bill for a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh of electricity a month would go from $162.96 to $177.90 per month. The new rates will vary for residential, commercial, and industrial customers based on specific rate classifications.
This proposal could also result in lower rates over time if the company receives tax credits and federal or state grants to offset future project costs.
We carefully weigh the impact that every project has on the cost of service to customers. Our goal is to find a balance between affordability and investments that are necessary to improve reliability and public safety. In addition, we continually review our operations and look for ways to be more efficient and cost-effective.