Declining costs of renewable energy prompts DTE Energy to lower customer bills

Reacting to the declining price of wind energy, which is now cheaper than all other forms of energy, DTE altered its surcharge in a filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission last summer.

LANSING – Michigan customers of DTE Energy will finally get a reprieve on their utility bills as the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved the utility's plan to slash its renewable energy surcharge by 85%, bring the fee down from $3 to 43 cents per month.


Reacting to the declining price of wind energy, which is now cheaper than all other forms of energy, DTE altered its surcharge in a filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission last summer. The MPSC gave DTE its stamp of approval on the reduction in the surcharge this week. As previously reported by mLive, DTE's action will reduce customer bills by $90 million.

"Michigan's renewable energy standard is a success story for workers, businesses and consumers, as evidenced once again by DTE's decision to reduce its renewable surcharge," said Andy LaBarre, vice president of government affairs & administration at the A2Y Regional Chamber. "Renewable energy costs continue to go down and can be significantly cheaper than other energy sources. Expanding our use of clean energy will encourage innovation and create new jobs and opportunities right here in Michigan. Hopefully our policymakers will take action to increase our use of renewable energy so we can continue to reap the benefits of more Michigan jobs and lower utility bills."

Some of Michigan's most recent wind contracts came in at just $43 per megawatt/hour, significantly lower than the cost of coal and nuclear, which range from $108-133 per megawatt/hour. Michigan currently gets more than half of its electricity from coal which, in addition to being expensive, must be imported. Coal-fired power plants are a major source of pollution of Michigan's air, land and Great Lakes.

"Our use of renewable energy is saving customers money while improving the health of Michiganders around the state," said Rory Neuner of MI Air MI Health. "Transitioning to more clean, renewable energy will reduce complications from asthma and lung and heart disease. By increasing our use of renewable energy, policymakers can protect the health of kids, seniors and families."

Earlier this year, Consumers Energy reported to the MPSC that it would eliminate its renewable energy surcharge completely.

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