Michigan Energy Deregulation Facts

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Steve Transeth: Deregulation not the answer

Steve Transeth

Steve Transeth

Crain’s Detroit Business¬†recently wrote about the debate over electric deregulation in Michigan.¬†Steve Transeth, senior policy director for the Michigan Jobs and Energy Coalition was quoted extensively throughout the article as an expert on electric regulation.

Transeth, a former independent appointee to the Michigan Public Service Commission, was quoted in the piece as saying:

“Increasing the cap could also worsen service reliability as investors shy away, said Steve Transeth, policy director for Michigan Jobs & Energy Coalition, which represents the utility companies and supports the current regulatory scheme.[...]

Transeth said his coalition supports a continuation of the 10 percent cap that was part of 2008′s Public Act 286. The coalition represents DTE, Consumers, several chambers of commerce, small business groups and some trade unions.

“For every 10 percent of people you allow to leave on choice, that increases costs about $300 million for people staying on the system,” said Transeth, a PSC commissioner from 2007 to 2010.

“We have handled the existing 10 percent choice and can work with the 10 percent cap” in the future, he said. “We are saying, ‘If you do anything, don’t go to full deregulation.’ “

Transeth said chaos would ensue and customers, in the long run, would suffer from a less dependable system and higher prices. [...]

Transeth said he expects state legislators to start holding hearings next year to look at ways to reduce electricity costs. “We need to look at new rate structures and rate designs” that lower costs for businesses, he said. “The way we generate and use energy will look very different tomorrow than today.”

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