In a base rate proceeding where the Michigan Public Service Commission earlier approved an electric rate increase settlement agreement for Consumers Energy Company, the commission, by separate order, authorized the utility to launch the state’s first electric vehicle infrastructure pilot program. (The parties to the settlement agreed to a $24 million rate decrease in base rate revenues offset by the elimination of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Credit rate reduction of $123 million, resulting in a net $99 million increase. The rate calculation includes a rate of return on common equity of 10.00 %.) See Consumers Energy Co., Case No. U-20134, Jan.9, 2019 (Mi.P.S.C.) Order Approving Settlement.

Pursuant to the single issue ruling, Consumers will launch its PowerMIDrive pilot program, a three-year, $10 million effort to support the growing electric vehicle (EV) market in Michigan through new rates, rebates, and customer education. The program includes a Nighttime Savers Rate to encourage EV drivers to charge their vehicles between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Residential EV drivers who sign up for the nighttime rate will be offered a $500 rebate for each EV. Consumers will also offer $5,000 rebates for chargers installed in public areas such as workplaces and multi-unit dwellings and up to $70,000 in rebates for the installation of a DC Fast Charger.

The Commission ruled separately on a contested issue regarding the PowerMIDrive pilot approving Consumers’ request to recover program costs over five years through a deferred accounting mechanism. It found that the mechanism is an incentive for the utility to support EV charger placement throughout Michigan, avoid expensive future capital infrastructure investments when EV use is anticipated to grow, and educate consumers about the benefits of off-peak charging. Jan. 9, 2019 (Mich.P.S.C.).
As part of the settlement agreement, Consumers is committed to spending at least $200 million annually on its electric distribution reliability capital program and $53 million annually on clearing vegetation and trimming trees around distribution lines. The utility will provide Commission staff with regular updates on its spending and an annual report on investments in both areas. Consumers Energy Co., Case No. U-20134, Jan.9, 2019 (Mi.P.S.C.)

Previous Article Next Article

Recently Viewed