Detroit Edison’s Renewable Energy Plan Up for Scrutiny

Last year Michigan’s Public Service Commission mandated that Detroit Edison, the largest utility in the state, implement a renewable energy program to offer customers an option to buy renewable energy. The utility complied and now their new proposed plan is up for a comment period before the Commission makes further rulings.

Under the utility’s proposal, residential customers would elect to purchase either 50 percent or 100 percent of their electric energy requirements from renewable resources for a price premium of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Non-residential customers would have two options: a 2 cent per kWh price premium applied to either 50 percent or 100 percent of the customer’s monthly electric energy or to contract for the monthly purchase of any number of 1,000 kWh fixed increments (blocks) of renewable energy. Under the second option, the price premium would be 2 cents per kWh for the first 3,000 blocks and 1.8 cents per kWh for all additional blocks consumed annually. Detroit Edison’s proposed program is designed to accommodate about 1 percent of the company’s residential sales prior to the end of 2006 and 2 to 3 percent of residential sales by the end of 2008. It would initially use renewable energy credits sourced from the Great Lakes region. A renewable energy credit (REC) is a tradable certificate of proof that one kWh of electricity has been generated by a renewable-fueled source and then sold to an end-user in the state. Under its proposal, Detroit Edison would initially use revenues from the renewable resource program to purchase RECs to meet customer demand for renewable energy and to cover the administrative costs of the program. In seeking public comment, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is particularly interested in the appropriateness of a program design that would give greater weight to supplier proposals on the basis of their location within Detroit Edison’s service territory and the state of Michigan. Comments may be e-mailed to Written comments should be mailed to the Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909. All comments should reference Case No. U-14569 and must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 14. Comments received on this matter will become public information. Information courtesy of
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