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DTE responds to AG Schuette's request with the Michigan Public Service Commission regarding DTE rate case

DETROIT, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) has issued the following response to Attorney General Bill Schuette's filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) regarding DTE's rate case.

DTE Energy understands Attorney General Schuette's concern over maintaining affordable utility rates, as the company has been and remains focused on managing costs, and the impact investments have on customers. DTE customers want more reliable service while keeping the cost of energy affordable and competitive – the company is making progress on both fronts.

DTE Energy is an industry leader in controlling operating costs. DTE's residential customers pay some of the lowest electric bills in the country - among the lowest 25% - and the company is focused on managing costs and the impact to customers' bills.

The electrical system provides a service that is essential for the comfort, health and safety of DTE customers and for the vitality of Michigan's businesses and economy. DTE has the responsibility to ensure that the electrical system is safe, reliable and meets customer needs now and in the future, and this requires investment in infrastructure. This is even more critical in a time when aging infrastructure is a national concern.

  • The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D+. The national energy infrastructure also gets a D+ grade.
  • Utilities across the country are starting to increase investment in their infrastructure. In 2015, U.S. utilities invested $28 billion on improvements to their distribution systems, compared to $20 billion in 2013 - a 40 percent increase nationally in two years.

Like other critical infrastructure throughout Michigan and across the country, DTE Electric's distribution system needs to be upgraded and modernized to support the needs of the 21st century economy.

Over the last eight years, DTE has kept electric operating costs flat, while its peer utilities across the country have increased operating costs 33 percent on average. DTE's residential customer bills today are about $100 a year less than the national average. Rates for DTE industrial customers are below the national average today and will remain there even with the requested rate adjustment. Through the company's long-term efforts, DTE has been and remains a national and industry leader in controlling costs.

  • Residential electric bills, even with the requested rate adjustment, will be about the same as they were in 2012. With expected reductions in our power recovery costs, customers should see little if any impact in their bills. Industrial rates are currently, and will remain, below the national average.
  • DTE works to carefully manage the cost of fuel the company uses to generate power. In January, the company announced it was able to reduce power recovery costs, which offset a rate adjustment approved in December.
  • DTE expects to reduce power recovery costs again this year.

DTE has undertaken a variety of initiatives over the last few years, resulting in customers experiencing fewer outages, while improving reliability by 20 percent. DTE will continue the work needed to modernize and automate aging infrastructure to meet the demands of the 21st century.

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading.  As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.comtwitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

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SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: Stephanie Beres, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555