Lansing, MI – The Michigan Public Service Commission approved rate refunds for Michigan Gas Utilities Corp. natural gas customers and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. natural gas and electric customers in the third and final step to capture savings from a lower federal corporate tax rate.

The refunds, known as Calculation C in a process initiated by the MPSC in December 2017, return long-term savings to customers across Michigan after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 adjusted corporate rates downward from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Michigan Gas Utilities Corp. (Case No. U-20310)

For residential customers who use 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas monthly:

Amount to be returned by company for 2018, 2019: Nearly $2.74 million
Savings on June through December bills: $3.61 a month
Amount to be returned by company beginning January 2020: $1.13 million annually
Savings from January 2020 until the next race case is decided: 48 cents a month

Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (Case No. U-20314)

For residential customers who use 10 decatherms of natural gas month:

Amount to be returned by company for 2018, 2019: $4,111
Savings on June through December bills: 16.6 cents a month
Amount to be returned by company beginning January 2020: $1,958 annually
Savings from January 2020 until the next rate case is decided: 3.2 cents a month

Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (Case No. U-20314)

For residential customers who use 5,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month:

Amount to be returned by company for 2018, 2019: $353,579
Savings on June through December bills: Wisconsin Electric Power Co. rate zone, 65.5 cents a month; Wisconsin Public Service rate zone, 71.5 cents a month
Amount to be returned by company beginning January 2020: $169,419
Savings from January 2020 until the next rate case is decided: WEPCo. rate zone, 15.5 cents a month; WPS rate zone, 19.5 cents a month

The settlement agreements were reached between the companies, Commission Staff, and the Department of the Attorney General.

The MPSC approved two previous refunds for customers of both companies, returning to ratepayers tax savings, calculated by Commission staff, going back to January 2018.

DTE TO ISSUE DECOUPLING CREDIT, CONSUMERS TO ASSESS SURCHARGE

The Commission approved revenue decoupling settlements for customers of DTE Gas Co. and Consumers Energy Co. Revenue decoupling removes a utility’s disincentive to offer energy waste reduction programs. Residential customers of DTE Gas will see flat fee credits of between $1.05 and $11.54 on their September, October, and November bills (Case No. U-20319). DTE Gas over collected nearly $4.57 million from November 2017 to September 2018. Consumers will assess a flat fee residential surcharge of between $2.30 and $17.92 on August bills (Case No. U-20356). The company collected approximately $4.95 million less than needed between January and August 2018.

REQUIREMENTS CHANGED FOR OPERATING GAS WELLS UNDER VACUUM

Operators of gas wells in the Antrim Shale Field will be able to monitor and record vacuum pressures of natural gas wells monthly rather than weekly under new rules approved by the MPSC (Case No. U-16230). Riverside Energy Michigan LLC requested the revisions to rules the Commission approved in 2015. Among other changes, companies must notify the Commission of the planned installation of equipment to apply a vacuum, rather than the installation for any purpose; report an economic analysis of fuel consumption versus the estimated incremental production in the first 12 months of operations, rather than annually; and submit one report for multiple facilities, rather than individual reports for each field or project.

SEMCO ENERGY WILL PROVIDE NATURAL GAS TO U.P. PAPER

The Commission approved a request from SEMCO Energy Gas Co. to enter into a natural gas transportation agreement to supply U.P. Paper LLP of Manistique (Case No. 20340). The agreement, which is for five years, will not increase costs for other SEMCO customers.

TWO NORTHERN MICH. TELECOM COMPANIES GET PERMANENT LICENSES

Two telecommunications companies were granted permanent licenses to provide basic local exchange service. License requests by Cherry Capital Connection LLC, doing business as Cherry Capital Communications (Case No. U-20474), and Upper Peninsula Telephone Co. (Case No. U-20490) were approved by the Commission. Both companies must follow the regulatory requirements specified in the Michigan Telecommunications Act.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter. To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.


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