The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has upheld a previous ruling finding it prudent for Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. to lock in a reasonable cost of gas through a series of gas-supply contract elections of alternative prices tied to the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) gas futures market. The PSC commented on its earlier ruling, however, to clarify that its remarks on the relatively small effect of the pricing decisions on the overall cost of gas for the local distribution company (slightly more than 1 percent) did not constitute a new policy.
Michigan Public Service Commission
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized Ameritech Michigan, a local exchange carrier (LEC), to restructure its rates to comply with a new state law forbidding LECs to charge less than the total-service, long-run incremental cost for each local exchange service offered. The LEC claimed that it began with basic services because prices for that segment of the market had been set artificially low for customers in rural areas of the state.
With competition looming, electric utilities increasingly resort to price discounts, both to retain customers and to alleviate some of the pressure to introduce retail competition. Performance-based ratemaking (PBR), which allows utilities greater flexibility in offering price discounts, is emerging as an integral component of many restructuring proposals.
However, flexible pricing can create inequity among ratepayers.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC), facing questions on how fast it will move on retail wheeling and direct access, has suspended scheduled hearings on a request by MasoTech Forming Technologies, Inc. to set up a "cost-based, fair, and competitive" electric transportation rate.
MasoTech, a customer of Detroit Edison Co., had asked the PSC how and when it intended to implement recommendations concerning direct access offered by the Michigan Jobs Commission and transmitted to the PSC earlier this year by Gov. John Engler.
Stranded investment is mostly intrastate.
Let the states work free of uncertainty.
Recent activity in both chambers of the U. S. Congress shows federal lawmakers seeking to help the electric industry move toward competition. More than likely, election-year politics will stand in the way. Even so, Congress can go one better: It can step aside and let the states lead the way.
The greatest concern lies in stranded costs (em utility assets and obligations valued on company books at above-market levels.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a request for certification of plans by CMS Generation Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of CMS Energy Co., to acquire an interest in an electric power supplier in Australia, as part of that country's privatization program.
According to CMS Generation, the project will remain a "totally separate entity" from the corporate parent and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Power Co.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has directed Consumers Power Co. to scale back any residential rate subsidies. The order appeared during a review of a proposed settlement in a series of applications to increase rates, revise depreciation methods, and offer discounts to industrial customers.
The PSC added, however, that the company should not try to eliminate the entire subsidy in a single step.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has upheld a 1995 decision permitting Sault Electric Co. to switch to a price-cap rate plan. The plan allows the utility to roll its existing power-supply adjustment clause into base rates to set initial rates; later rate reductions are permitted with only 30 days written notice to the PSC (see, Edison Sault Electric Co., 164 PUR4th 1 (Mich.P.S.C. 1995)).
As regulators continue to investigate industrywide restructuring as an answer to regional electric rate disparities and calls from large consumers for price reductions, the trend of dealing with the problem through rate discounting also remains strong. Regulators have taken steps to ensure that shareholders bear at least some of the risk for revenue shortfalls that might result under the new contracts.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a price-cap electric regulation plan for Edison Sault Electric Co. Edison will cap base rates at existing levels, roll its existing power-supply cost-recovery (PSCR) factor into base rates, and suspend the PSCR clause prospectively. The utility will then be authorized to change initial rates upon 30 days' written notice to the PSC, as long as the altered rates for each class do not exceed initial rates.