LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators have approved a $30.5 million electric rate hike for DTE Energy customers that’s less than 10% of the increase the utility had sought.
The change will take effect on Nov. 25 and result in an increase of about 71 cents monthly for a typical residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours, the Michigan Public Service Commission said Friday. DTE Electric has about 2.3 million customers in southeast Michigan.
The rate hike is a fraction of the $388 million increase the utility had requested in January in its effort to modernize and improve reliability of the state’s energy grid and electric storage and generation system, The Detroit News reported.
The commission said the largest factor in its decision to approve a reduced rate hike stemmed from disputed projections in DTE Energy’s sales forecast “based on changing patterns of residential electricity as Michigan moved beyond early restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Commission 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,” the commission wrote in a news release.
DTE Energy said Friday that the utility is reviewing the commission’s order and that its efforts remain focused on improving reliability and maintaining affordability for its customers.