What is Electric Choice?
Electric Choice is a statewide initiative giving customers the option to choose the company that supplies their electricity. These companies are referred to as Alternative Electric Suppliers. Providing electricity to customers includes three separate activities: generation, transmission and distribution. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) sells power from generating plants and arranges for transmission of power over high-voltage lines for DTE Electric, Alternative Electric Suppliers and others. When you participate in Electric Choice, you are purchasing your electricity from an Alternative Electric Supplier. Regardless of who supplies your electricity, DTE Electric will continue to provide the distribution and metering services required to deliver power to your home or business.
Can I choose an Alternative Electric Supplier?
Yes. All retail DTE Electric customers, including residential customers, have the option to choose the company that supplies their electricity.
How can I sign up with an Alternative Electric Supplier?
You will need to contact an Alternative Electric Supplier (AES) of your choice directly and make arrangements to enroll in Electric Choice. Upon your approval, your new AES will submit an enrollment request to DTE Electric
I have already been approached by an Alternative Electric Supplier. How do I know whether they are eligible to offer this service in Michigan?
Any company that wants to sell retail electricity in Michigan must be licensed by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) before they can begin to provide service. Visit the MPSC web site to view a directory of licensed Alternative Electric Suppliers.
What is the Electric Choice “minimum term” for Business Customers?
The minimum term for business customers is two years.
What happens if I cancel after my Alternative Electric Supplier begins supplying my electricity?
There is a $5.00 switch fee to return to DTE Electric Full Service. When you return, you may be subject to additional charges in accordance with the Retail Access Service Rider Section 5.3 Term, Commencement of Service and Return to Full Service.
What is “slamming?”
Slamming is the unauthorized switching of your energy supply without your permission.
How will slamming be controlled?
The DTE Electric Choice Program’s customer enrollment process incorporates a confirmation process to help reduce the likelihood of slamming. The electric restructuring legislation enacted in June 2000 made slamming illegal. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has established penalties for companies that engage in this practice. For more information, visit the MPSC web site and search for MPSC Case Number U-12640.
Will DTE Electric release my account information to an Alternative Electric Supplier?
An Alternative Electric Supplier can request your usage history, but only if they submit a Customer Information Release Form (CIRF) to DTE Electric indicating the specific account number(s) and meter number(s). The CIRF must be signed by the person who is responsible for the DTE Electric account. DTE Electric will not accept electronic signatures to protect you against slamming.
How do I know if I am getting a good deal?
Each Alternative Electric Supplier (AES) may offer you different programs and prices, so it is best to make comparisons. The more you understand your electric usage, the better prepared you’ll be to make a wise energy decision. Consider the details of each program and ask questions such as:
- Is a written service agreement or contract required?
- What is the contract term?
- Are there any penalties for terminating the contract early?
- What price is being offered?
- What is included in the quoted price?
- Is the price fixed or variable?
- Who will read my meter and send my bill?
- Will I get one bill or two?
- Will I have to pay a fee to switch my electric supply from DTE Electric to an AES?
- Are there any penalties if I decide to switch from one AES to another?
- Will DTE Electric Choice Program’s 10% Cap impact my enrollment in Electric Choice?
- If my enrollment is deferred, how will that affect my contract terms and quoted price?
- What are DTE Electric’s Return to Full Service provisions?
What is the 10 percent cap?
DTE Electric has a 10 percent cap on customer participation in the DTE Electric Choice Program based on 10 percent of prior-year retail sales. When customer participation is above 10 percent, customer enrollments are deferred and placed in a queue until space becomes available under the cap. When space becomes available, customers are enrolled, subject to Customer Group, on a first-come, first served basis. For more information about the 10 percent cap, refer to the “customer choice and electricity reliability act,” part of Michigan Public Act 286, and the MPSC Order in Case Nos. U-15801 et al.
What is the current level of customer participation in the DTE Electric Choice Program?
DTE Electric publishes updates to the web-based Cap Tracking System (CTS) each business day. The CTS displays the cap and the current level of customer participation, expressed in megawatt hours (MWh) and as a percentage of weather-adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year. It also displays the number of enrollment orders and MWh in the queue.
How will customer billing be handled?
The Alternative Electric Supplier (AES) has the option to have DTE Electric bill on its behalf, which is referred to as complete billing or to bill its customers directly, which is referred to as separate billing. If the AES elects the complete billing option, the customer will receive one bill statement. The AES energy supply charges are separated from DTE Electric delivery charges to allow the customer to review each individual charge separately. If the AES chooses the separate billing option, the customer will receive two separate bills: one bill from the AES for energy supply charges and one bill from DTE Electric for delivery charges.
Will there be a charge to switch to an Alternative Electric Supplier?
A $5.00 fee will be charged each time a customer switches to a different energy supplier. The switch fee applies when a customer switches from DTE Electric to an Alternative Electric Supplier (AES), from one AES to another AES or from an AES back to DTE Electric.
If I choose an Alternative Electric Supplier, can I continue to use DTE Electric’s online billing and payment options?
You can continue to use online billing and payment options for your DTE Electric delivery charges as well as for charges billed by DTE Electric on behalf of your AES, if your AES elects the complete billing option.
If I choose an Alternative Electric Supplier, can I stay on BudgetWise Billing?
No, the BudgetWise Billing program is not available to customers who elect to participate in DTE Electric Choice Program. However, Alternative Electric Suppliers (AES) who elect the separate billing option may offer a budget plan, so be sure to ask your AES if this type of plan is available.
Who should I call if I have a power failure? Who will restore my electric service?
DTE Electric will continue to own and operate the distribution system and will continue to be responsible for trimming trees, restoring power, and maintaining overhead and underground wires. Customers should continue to report outages or other service problems in our Outage Center.
What does “Return to Full Service” mean?
When customers leave Electric Choice for any reason and come back to DTE Electric bundled or regulated rates, they return to Full Service.
Where can I find the rules for Return to Full Service?
Rules regarding Return to Full Service are found in DTE Electric’s Retail Access Service Rider, Section 5., Term, Commencement of Service and Return to Full Service.
Who can I contact if I have questions about Return to Full Service?
Please call DTE Electric Choice Customer Support at 888.235.3535 if you have questions about Return to Full Service.
What is the “Market Priced Power Charge?”
The Market Priced Power (MPP) Charge is a Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC)-approved customer charge designed to compensate DTE Electric for accommodating customers who need to return to DTE Electric Full Service without adequate notice or on a temporary basis of less than 12 months. The MPP charge represents DTE Electric’s incremental cost to serve these returning customers. Refer to the MPP Charges based on Return to Full Service Conditions and the Market Price Power Charge fact sheets for more information.
Who can I contact if I have questions about Market Priced Power Charges?
Please call DTE Electric Choice Customer Support at 888.235.3535 if you have questions about Market Priced Power Charges.
Who can I contact if I have more questions about the DTE Electric Choice Program?
If you have additional questions, please call DTE Electric Choice Customer Support at 888.235.3535.