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Detroit-based DTE Energy has filed an amended renewable energy plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that proposes to lower the monthly surcharge paid by residential customers to $0.43 from the current $3.00.

DTE Energy says its plan calls for an overall reduction of all customer electric rates - both business and residential - of nearly $90 million per year. In addition, the company says its amended plan continues to achieve full renewable portfolio standard compliance each year through 2029, although the projected number of megawatts needed to achieve compliance has been reduced to 950 from 1,000. The company has reached 92% of its 950 MW goal with either operating projects or those under contract.

"We've experienced lower costs to build our own wind energy parks, as well as for contracts to purchase power," says Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president of marketing and renewables. "Contributing to that have been technology improvements that have led to better wind and solar energy production, as well as federal production tax credits that have offset our costs."

DTE Energy began collecting surcharges from its business and residential customers in 2009 to cover the costs associated with meeting the state's renewable energy goals, which required Michigan electric utilities to provide 10% of their power from renewable resources by 2015. Energy legislation approved in 2008 allows utilities to collect a monthly surcharge from their customers to cover the investment needed to meet the state's renewable energy goals.

The plan has to be reviewed and approved by the MPSC.


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