DTE Energy requests drop in surcharge for customers

TDTE is proposing a rate cut for customers due to declining costs related to renewable energy.

Some electric customers could soon see some savings on their monthly bill.

DTE Energy

has filed an amended renewable energy plan with the

Michigan Public Service Commission

(MPSC) that proposes to lower the monthly renewable energy surcharge paid by residential customers from $3 to 43 cents.

The proposed rate cut is due to declining costs related to renewable energy.

"We've experienced lower costs to build our own wind energy parks, as well as for contracts to purchase power," Dimitry said. "Contributing to that have been technology improvements that have led to better wind and solar energy production, as well as federal production tax credits that have offset our costs."

The overall savings for business and residential customers is expected to amount to nearly 90-million-dollars per year.

DTE Energy began collecting surcharges from its business and residential customers in 2009 to cover the costs associated with meeting the state's renewable energy goals, which 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.

Besides residential customers, business customers also will see reductions in their monthly surcharge, which will lower by 85 percent across all customer classes:

Small- and medium-sized business customers would see their surcharge drop from a range of $4 to $16.58 per meter, to a range of 60 cents to $2.51 per meter.

Surcharges for large business and industrial customers, which are based on electricity usage and number of electric meters, would drop to a range of $2.71 to $26.68 per meter, from the current range of $16.58 to $187.50.

The plan has to be reviewed and approved by the MPSC.