The Michigan Public Service Commission Monday issued its 2010 annual report to Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature.
“The year 2010 proved to be a thought-provoking and inspiring one at the MPSC,” said MPSC Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu. “With the nationwide shift in focus toward clean, renewable, and efficient energy sources, the Commission dedicated resources to new and existing technologies that can be used to provide affordable, green energy.”
Highlights of the report include the following:
* Throughout 2010, the Commission maintained its commitment to address the needs of Michigan’s low-income and senior citizens, awarding $59 million for low-income energy assistance and $18 million for low-income energy efficiency from the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund. The awards provide immediate assistance for heating needs as well as longer term assistance in reducing future heating costs for low-income and senior citizens. The commission also awarded $6,686,370 from the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund for Michigan energy efficiency grants.
* The commission continued its consumer outreach efforts by hosting eight statewide consumer forums, making its Commission meetings available via podcast, handling 24,420 calls on its toll-free line, and assisting consumers and businesses with more than 7,317 electric and natural gas and 1,989 telecommunications complaints and inquiries. Also, the commission’s program to assist small businesses with regulated utility complaints processed 1,229 of these types of complaints.
* The commission issued 555 orders, consisting of 166 telecommunications, 303 electric, and 86 natural gas orders.
* Among the orders issued by the commission during 2010 were approvals of the construction of eight new natural gas pipelines.
* The commission also revised the retail natural gas rates of Consumers Energy Co. and Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., and the retail electric rates of Consumers Energy Co., Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Indiana Michigan Power Co., and Upper Peninsula Power Co.
* The commission revised a number of its administrative rulemakings, including: mergers and acquisitions standards, adoption of federal rules of accounts for major and non-major electric and gas utilities, governance of renewable energy plans and energy optimization plans, and gas safety standards.
* The commission’s work in the telecommunications area included a focus on intrastate access charge reform and the implementation of the Access Restructuring Mechanism fund.
* Additionally, the commission has had great success with the Connect Michigan program. In 2010 Connect Michigan, a partnership between the Commission and Connected Nation, released a statewide interactive map of broadband availability, released research documents related to Michigan residents’ and businesses’ use of broadband technology, and provided vital information on broadband availability for use in the National Broadband Map.
The entire report is available at www.michigan.gov/mpsc.