More Mich. customers on electricity waiting list

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm •  Published: February 4, 2013
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Regulators who wrote the study stayed neutral on the 2008 law that restricts competition.

But Republicans who control the state House said last week that they planned to review the law, including the cap, because of concerns about electricity rates. Gov. Rick Snyder's administration also is expected to take a look at the law while conducting a yearlong study to help set future energy policies for Michigan.

"The governor believes we should wait until all the facts are in before making any changes and will make his recommendations on where we should go on electric choice and a variety of other energy issues later this year," spokesman Ken Silfven said in an email.

Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop said the law is working as intended and argued that utilities have the certainty needed to make long-term decisions on aging coal-fired plants and other issues.

Though critics say electric bills are up about 30 percent since the measure's passage and are the highest in the Midwest, he countered that Consumers Energy's bills are near the national average. Lifting the competition cap would lead to substantial rate hikes for customers sticking with their traditional utility, Bishop said.

"A handful would benefit," he said. "The vast majority would be penalized with much higher rates."

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Online:

— Status of Electric Competition in Michigan: http://1.usa.gov/YynEBF

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Email David Eggert at deggert(at)ap.org and follow him at http://twitter.com/DavidEggert00

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