The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today released its annual report on electric competition in Michigan.

“The year 2004 marked the third full year that electric choice has been available in Michigan, and the number of customers choosing an alternative electric supplier continued to grow,” noted MPSC Chair J. Peter Lark. “The PSC made a number of changes in the Detroit Edison rate case to deal with concerns raised about electric choice in 2004. My fellow commissioners and I believe that these changes will benefit both choice customers and customers of Detroit Edison.”

Highlights of the report include the following:

• Some 18,740 customers in 2004 participated in electric choice, an increase of nearly 45%. The number of megawatts served by Alternative Electric Suppliers (AESs) increased 22% to a total of 3,317 MW

• The number of licensed AESs increased by two in 2004, bringing the total to 28. Three new AESs received licenses, and one company ceased Michigan operations. The number of licensed AESs actively serving customers declined from eight to seven in the Consumers Energy service territory and from 18 to 17 in the Detroit Edison service territory..

• Grants from the Low Income and Energy Efficiency Fund were awarded to 16 organizations, totaling US$28 million. In November, the commission, as part of the Detroit Edison rate case, made the fund permanent at a level of $40 million per year.

• The commission, in response to Public Act 141, issued orders that enhance the use of renewable energy in Michigan. Both Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison have been directed to establish new renewable energy options for their customers.

• No new, in-state, non-utility generating capacity was added in 2004.

• Several issues identified in the report need further review. The MPSC, for example, does not have explicit authority under state law to set reserve margins.

“The Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act has resulted in offering customers valuable options,” added Commissioner Robert B. Nelson. “This law has also led to substantial progress in the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

“During 2004, the commission made significant decisions that enable electric utilities to maintain the resources and capital they need to provide reliable service. At the same time, Act 141 requires the Commission to ensure that vibrant, healthy competition will continue to exist in Michigan.”

The entire report is located on the MPSC Web site: michigan.gov/mpsc.