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STATE OF MICHIGAN BEFORE THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ***** In the matter, on the Commission’s own motion, regarding establishment of a Low-...

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STATE OF MICHIGAN BEFORE THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ***** In the matter, on the Commission’s own motion, regarding establishment of a Low-income Energy Resources Task Force.

) ) ) )

Case No. U-15918

At the March 18, 2009 meeting of the Michigan Public Service Commission in Lansing, Michigan. PRESENT: Hon. Orjiakor N. Isiogu, Chairman Hon. Monica Martinez, Commissioner Hon. Steven A. Transeth, Commissioner

ORDER

On October 6, 2008, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed into law Public Acts 286 and 295 of 2008. Among other things, these acts impose several responsibilities on the Commission and energy suppliers that are directly related to programs beneficial to low-income utility customers in this state. For example, Section 11(3) of Act 286, MCL 460.11(3), indicates that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of this act, the commission may establish eligible lowincome customer or eligible senior citizen customer rates.” The same section of Act 286 obligates all rate regulated utilities “[u]pon filing of a rate increase request, …[to]… include proposed eligible low-income customer and eligible senior citizen customer rates and a method to allocate the revenue shortfall attributed to the implementation of those rates upon all customer classes.” Likewise, in Section 71(3)(a) of Act 295, MCL 460.1071(3)(a), the Legislature directed that all

energy optimization plans “[p]ropose a set of energy optimization programs that include offerings for each customer class, including low income residential.” These legislative directives come at a time when the nation’s and Michigan’s economies are in the throes of an economic and financial malaise the likes of which have not been experienced for many decades. The Commission also recognizes that there are a variety of factors contributing to significant upward pressure on electric and natural gas utility rates that make energy affordability a key issue for many Michigan households and businesses. Utilities are facing the prospect of more customers being unable to pay their energy bills. Customers who are unemployed, have lower incomes, or have fixed incomes are disproportionately affected by rising energy costs as they must devote an increasingly larger share of their income to paying for natural gas and electricity. As indicated by the United States Department of Energy’s Technical Assistance Center, low-income households spend nearly 17% of their total annual income on energy, whereas more affluent households spend only 4% of their annual income, on average, on their energy needs. Based on these and other considerations, the Commission concludes that the time has come for the Commission to establish a Low-income Energy Resources Task Force (Task Force) for the purpose of examining the issues surrounding energy affordability for Michigan’s utility customers. It shall be the goal of the Task Force to ensure that Michigan is doing all that it can to efficiently use federal, state, and private funds available for low-income and senior citizen customer assistance programs. Those who volunteer to assist with the Task Force’s efforts will develop recommendations for low-income utility rates aimed at Michigan households and examine policies for the optimization of low-income customers’ energy usage. The Commission envisions that the Task Force will study and develop both short-term and long-term policies and program recommendations regarding all of the following items:

Page 2 U-15918

● Making energy bills more manageable by offering flexible payment options or determining customer specific affordable payment amounts. ● Reducing customer costs by lowering or eliminating charges associated with making a payment, reconnecting service, and assessing interest on late payments. ● Removing barriers to obtaining or retaining service by modifying deposit policies, allowing former customers to pay prior bills in installments, and offering arrearage forgiveness plans. ● Determining the amount and effect of an affordable low-income utility rate. ● Evaluating Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding, as required by MCL 460.10s, which requires the Commission to monitor the extent to which federal funds are available for low-income and energy efficiency assistance programs. ● Examining eligibility restrictions for low-income assistance programs that may prevent aid to those most in need. ● Identifying ways to coordinate the activities of government assistance programs, non-government assistance programs, and service providers to more effectively allow payment of low-income customers’ utility bills. The Commission’s Executive Secretary and Media Specialist are directed to publicize that the

Commission is seeking assistance from Michigan governmental bodies, energy providers, consumer groups, and other interested persons to participate in the work of the Task Force. The initial meeting of the Task Force will be at 10:30 a.m. March 20, 2009 at the Commission’s Lansing offices, 6545 Mercantile Way, Lansing, Michigan. All interested persons are invited to attend this meeting. Prospective participants may contact the Commission’s Executive Secretary at (517) 241-6160 for additional information. All written correspondence shall reference Case No. U-15918 and will become public information available on the Commission’s website. Comments may be addressed to Mary Jo Kunkle, Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 6545 Mercantile Way, Suite 7, Lansing, MI 48909. E-mails may be addressed to [email protected] Page 3 U-15918

Finally, the Commission intends to appoint a member of the Commission Staff to be selected at a later time to serve as chairperson of the Low-income Energy Resources Task Force.

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that: A. The Low-income Energy Resources Task Force is created as described in this order. B. A member of the Commission Staff to be selected at a later time shall be appointed to serve as chairperson of the Low-income Energy Resources Task Force. C. The Commission’s Executive Secretary and Media Specialist are directed to publicize that the

Commission is seeking participation from Michigan governmental bodies, energy providers, consumer groups, and other interested persons on the Task Force. The initial meeting of the Task Force will be held at 10:30 a.m. on March 20, 2009 at the Commission’s Lansing offices, 6545 Mercantile Way, Lansing, Michigan. All interested persons are invited to attend this meeting. Prospective participants may contact the Commission’s Executive Secretary at (517) 241-6160 for additional information. The Commission reserves jurisdiction and may issue further orders as necessary. MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

________________________________________ Orjiakor N. Isiogu, Chairman

By its action of March 18, 2009.

________________________________________ Monica Martinez, Commissioner

________________________________ Mary Jo Kunkle, Executive Secretary

________________________________________ Steven A. Transeth, Commissioner

Page 4 U-15918

PROOF OF SERVICE STATE OF MICHIGAN ) Case No. U-15918

County of Ingham

)

Lisa Felice being duly sworn, deposes and says that on March 18, 2009 A.D. she served a copy of the attached Commission Order (Commission’s Own Motion) via e-mail transmission, to the persons as shown on the attached service list (Listserv Distribution List).

_______________________________________ Lisa Felice Subscribed and sworn to before me this 18th day of March 2009

_____________________________________ Sharron A. Allen Notary Public, Ingham County, MI My Commission Expires August 16, 2011

Distribution List Name:

COALITION

Members: Aileen Gow - Lansing Board of Water & Light Alicia Ward Beth Shenowith – LBWL Bethany Timmons-UW of Jackson Bob Nelson-Fraser, Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap Bob Perialas-Lansing Bd of Water & Light Bob Plunkett Carmen Thomas - United Way SE MICarmen. Carrie Guzman - ACORN Cheval Breggins-Board of Water & Light Chris Dunkel, Urban Options Colasanti, Michael Dan Forsyth - SEMCO Denise Diz-DTE Derek Dalling-MI Propane Assoc. Diane Holley - DHS Diedre Burford - DHS Diedre Murch - ACORN Duane Griffus Dwayne Haywood - DHS EJ Buss Erin Ann Conway - SVDP Evelyn Olson, TSA Ferris, Marcia Gary Gilbert- Mid MI CAA Gary Yankee-Jacob Corvidae-WARM Jennifer Binkley-Power--Northern Options Jerry Sedick-OLHSA Jill Sutton - MidMI Comm. Action Jim Crisp-MCAAA Joel Gougeon-HDC Jon Miller - THAW Julio Morales - Consumers Energy Karen BitnerDTE Karen Tolan-ACSET Kathy Smith, Salvation Army Kathy Walgren Kim Danzeisen, Monroe County CAA Kim Nystrom--Inter Tribal Council LaShawn Thomas--United Way LaShawn. Lee Elcabrel Linda Keefe, Comm. Econ. Dev. Assoc. MI Lorray Brown Margaret Grose-UW of Jackson Maria Almaguer - Sal. Army Marie Wayman, DTE Mark Pompey-Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Marty Kushler Mary Ablan - Area Agencies on Aging Mary Ann Vandemark, Human Dev. Comm.

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

Mary Estrada Mary Stasek - Consumers Energy Mel Haga-MCSSA Mike Rodriguez - Kalamazoo County Nancy Lindman - 2-1-1 Director Nancy Macfarland-CAASCM Nancy Marshall - DHS Pamela Ferris - MCAAA Patrick Adamcik Renee Fluker - Wayne DHS Robert Fegan - DTE Robert Lawsher - MichCon Robert Pluckett -Urban Options Ron McKean - Ferris State Sandi Ochalek - DTE Sara Fellows-Salvation Army Sarah Roberts - Blue Tiger Schmitzer, Floyd Sharon Parks - League for Human Services Shawna Sweeney - ACORN Sheilah Clay - NSO Stacie Gibson --Dept. of Human Services Terri Stangl--Center for Civil Justice Thom Knoll - Health & Comm. Services Tim Hardesty - Human Dev. Comm Val Stone Virginia Fetterman-Salvation Army Wayne Lynn, Consumers Energy Whitney Schraw-Salvation Army ZeeRamell Pace - THAW

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

Distribution List Name:

COALITION - Official

Members: Bob Chapman - WARM (V) Carol Meyers - Wayne CAA (V) Carolyn MacKool - DTE (V) Cathy Wilson - Consumers Energy Cheryl Hachee - SEMCO (V) Cheryl Tramble - DTE (V) Debbie Harmon - Consumers En.(V) Donald Czaplicki - Sal. Army (V) Elaine Tycocki - SEMCO (V) Jim Ault - MEGA Joan Lamoreaux - DHS Mike Buda - MECA (V) Mike Peters - MECA Pamela Hall - Of. Services to Aging Suzy Denison - MEGA Vent Micou - DTE (V) Winston Feeheley - DTE

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

Distribution List Name:

Multi-Agency Workgroup

Members: Colasanti, Michael Darragh, Scott Hall, Pamela Haywood, Dwayne A. Parker, William (MSHDA) Schmitzer, Floyd Sobel, Jess (MSHDA)

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

Daggett Electric Department 210 School Rd PO Box 2 Daggett, MI 49821-0002

Croswell Municipal Light & Power Dept. 100 North Howard Street Croswell, MI 48422

City of Petoskey 101 East Lake St. Petoskey MI 49770

City of Sebewaing 108 West Main St. Sebewaing MI 48759

Village of Paw Paw 110 Harry L. Bush Blvd. PO Box 179 Paw Paw, MI 49079

City of Harbor Springs 160 Zoll Street Harbor Springs, MI 49740

City of Charlevoix 210 State Street Charlevoix MI 49720

City of Dowagiac 241 South Front Street Dowagiac, MI 49047

City of Hart Hydro 3 Water Street Hart MI 49420

Newberry Water and Light Board 307 E. McMillan Ave PO Box 228 Newberry MI 49868-0228

City of Wakefield 311 Sunday Lake St. Wakefield MI 49968

Holland Board of Public Works 625 Hastings Ave. Holland MI 49423

City of Bay City 900 S. Water Street Bay City, MI 48708

City of Norway 915 Main Street PO Box 99 Norway MI 49870

Detroit Public Lighting Department 9449 Grinnell Ave Detroit, MI 48213

City of Stephenson W628 Samuel Street PO Box 467 Stephenson MI 49887-04676

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] City) [email protected] Water [email protected] [email protected] Cooperative, INC [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] (Wolverine Po [email protected]

The Ontonagon County Rea. Assoc. No Name Available No Name Available Village of Baraga Mark Burzych Direct Energy Business, LLC Village of Clinton CMS Energy Resource Mgt Co Tri-County Electric Co-Op Tri-County Electric Co-Op Tri-County Electric Co-Op Tri-County Electric Co-Op Aurora Gas Company Citizens Gas Fuel Company Consumers Energy Company Consumers Energy Company Edison Sault Electric Company Edison Sault Electric Company Exelon Energy Company Indiana Michigan Power Company SEMCO Energy Gas Company Superior Energy Company Upper Peninsula Power Company Wisconsin Electric Power Company Alger Delta Cooperative Bayfield Electric Cooperative Cherryland Electric Cooperative Cloverland Electric Cooperative Cloverland Electric Cooperative Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Midwest Energy Cooperative Thumb Electric Cooperative Energy USA- TPC Corp PowerOne Corp FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. Liberty Power Deleware (Holdings) Niles Utilities Department Stephson Utilities Department Marshall Electric Dept. (Union Chelsea Department of Electric & Michigan Gas and Electric Presque Isle Electric & Gas Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Commerce Energy Cornerstone Energy DTE Energy Exelon Energy MidAmerican Energy My Choice Energy Quest Energy, L.L.C. Spartan Renewable Energy, Inc. Xcel Energy

[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Corporation [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

City of Escanaba City of Crystal Falls Lisa Felice Spark Energy Gas, LP Universal Gas & Electric City of Gladstone City of South Haven Interstate Gas Supply Inc Constellation NewEnergy Inc. MxEnergy Inc. Village of L'Anse Bay City Electric Light & Power Grand Haven Board of Light & Power Lansing Board of Water and Light Marquette Board of Light & Power Traversse City Light & Power CMS ERM Michigan LLC CMS ERM Michigan LLC Metro Energy LLC Premier Energy Marketing LLC Proliance Energy LLC Strategic Energy LLC City of Saint Louis American PowerNet Management, L.P. Nordic Marketing, L.L.C. U.P. Power Marketing, LLC City of Marshall Nordic Marketing of Michigan.com Accent Energy Midwest Mary Jo Kunkle - MPSC City of Portland Alpena Power Lowell Light and Power City of Eaton Rapids Royal Bank of Scotland Integrys Energy Service, Inc WPSES BlueStar Energy Services Direct Energy Services Lakeshore Energy Services Realgy Energy Services Volunteer Energy Services Wyandotte Municipal Services Wyandotte Municipal Services Sempra Energy Solutions City of Sturgis Coldwater Board of Public Utilities Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities Michigan Gas Utilities Neguanee Department of Public Works Zeeland Board of Public Works