Number of customers participating in Michigan electric choice increases by 70 percent in 2003

Feb. 5, 2004 — The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) released its annual “Status of Electric Competition in Michigan” report. The report is required by the Customer Choice and Electric Reliability Act of 2000 (Public Act 141), which calls for the fostering of competition, improving the opportunities for economic development and promoting financially healthy and competitive utilities in Michigan.

“This report documents that Michigan’s electric choice markets have continued to expand, with the number of customers increasing by 70 percent since last year,” noted MPSC Chair J. Peter Lark.

Lark added, “I am pleased that this report indicates that during 2003 the Commission awarded grants of over $20 million for shut-off protection to low-income customers and low-income energy efficiency. Winter is always a tough season for customers, and these grants should help many low-income customers get through the winter months.”

Highlights of the report include:

* Over 13,000 customers are now participating in Michigan’s Retail Open Access (ROA), growing by 70 percent to a total of 2,728 megawatts (MW).

* While the number of licensed Alternative Electric Suppliers (AESs) increased by only two, the number of AESs actively serving customer grew significantly. Suppliers active in Consumers Energy territory doubled from four to eight, and those active in the Detroit Edison service territory grew from 12 to 18.

* The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Commission’s decision in Consumers Energy’s and Detroit Edison’s case related to the methodology and recovery of net stranded costs, calculation of securitization credits and deferral of implementation costs.

* The Commission issued 31 orders in 2003 related to implementation of Act 141 and Retail Open Access.

* Low Income and Energy Efficiency Fund grants were awarded to 12 organizations, totaling nearly $20 million for low-income energy efficiency and low-income energy financial assistance. An additional $3 million went to the Michigan Community Action Agency Association for shut-off protection to low-income customers.

* All transmission assets formerly owned by CMS Energy and DTE are now part of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), which now covers 15 states and part of Canada. In 2003, MISO developed a plan to implement reliability tools on an accelerated schedule, and delayed the implementation of the energy market until Dec. 1, 2004.

* The MPSC has no recommendations for legislation at this time.

The entire report is available on the MPSC Web site:

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Labor & Economic Growth.

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