Michigan commission approves $30.5M rate increase for DTE Electric: What it means for your bill

DTE Energy to invest $7 billion in Southeastern Michigan’s electric grid

A $30.5 million rate increase was approved for DTE Electric on Friday, a hike set to take effect on Nov. 25.

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) authorized the increase, which was significantly lower than the $388 million increase DTE Electric requested in January.

DTE Electric filed an application for the rate increase “to recover increased investments in its generation and distribution systems to improve safe and reliable electric service to its 2.3 million customers in southeast Michigan.”

With today’s approval of the lower amount, a typical residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will see an increase of 71 cents, or 0.78%, on their monthly bill.

The largest amount of the reduction in the approved rate came from disputed projections used in the utility’s sales forecast based on changing patterns of residential electricity as Michigan moved beyond early restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MPSC said they found that, despite DTE Electric’s previous projections of declining electric use among its residential customers, residential electric sales surged in 2020 and increased again in 2021, even as many Michiganders returned to working from their places of employment and resumed pre-COVID activities.

Earlier this year, MPSC ordered an audit of how DTE and Consumers handles power outages and downed wires. The commission said the audit comes amid concerns about a lack of progress in reducing power outages and ensuring the public doesn’t come into contact with downed power lines.

In August, a line of severe storms knocked out power to nearly 500,000 statewide, and it took several days for power to be restored to many residents. There were also two electrocution incidents -- in Monroe, a 14-year-old girl was killed after coming into contact with downed power lines, and in Warren, two boys were critically injured from close contact.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.