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Discount Tariff Hits Snag

Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 1995

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has dismissed an application by Consumers Power Co. for authority to implement its controversial "Rate K" competitive tariff for electric service. The utility had claimed that greater pricing flexibility was necessary to meet substantial competition from self-generation, new municipal utilities, and utilities outside the state, but the PSC found that due to numerous objections to the rate plan and subsequent modifications of the proposal by Consumers, the proceeding had become so complex that the docket should be closed. It suggested that if Consumers chooses to "pursue an amended Rate K under whatever name" it should file an application in another docket. The Michigan Public Power Agency, a coalition of 16 municipally-owned electric utilities, had earlier convinced a state court to stop the proceedings and force the PSC to make a ruling on preliminary motions to dismiss the application. The PSC rejected as "totally without merit," however, claims by the public power group that it had no authority to consider an amended version of the tariff and must instead either approve or reject the application as filed. Re Consumers Power Co. Case No. U-10625, Jan. 17, 1995 (Mich.P.S.C.).

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