DTE Electric seeks to reduce renewable energy surcharge

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DTE Electric has filed an amended renewable energy plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission to reduce to zero the monthly surcharge paid by residential customers.

If the renewables plan is approved by the MPSC, the 43-cent monthly surcharge would come off bills in January and reduce electric rates by $15 million per year. DTE Energy began collecting the surcharge in 2009 to cover the costs associated with meeting the state's renewable energy goals established in 2008. The surcharge was reduced to 43 cents from $3 last year.

"The plan reflects DTE Energy's long-term commitment to provide clean and affordable energy to our customers," said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy's vice president, Business Planning & Development. "The company's renewable energy projects also have a significant economic impact on the communities in which they're located. These projects already have created about 1,400 jobs across Michigan, primarily in the construction sector."     

In addition to reducing the surcharge, the amended plan says that DTE Electric will meet the state-legislated renewable portfolio standard, which requires electric utilities to supply 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.

DTE Energy's renewable energy portfolio comprises more than 1,000 MW of projects owned and operated by DTE Electric, and energy purchased from developers with projects in Michigan, enough to power 400,000 homes.

The company also plans to explore development of a voluntary pilot program for customers who want even more than 10 percent of their power to be generated from renewable energy sources.

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