On June 3, 2000, Michigan Governor John Engler signed into law the Customer Choice and Electric Reliability Act (Act 141). Since then, legislators, consumers and energy suppliers have worked together to put into place program details and protective guidelines that will help customers benefit from these new energy choices.
Public Act 286 of 2008 (Act 286) was enacted on October 6, 2008 and amended PA 141. Section 10a(1)(a) of Act 286 requires limiting the amount of electricity that can be obtained from AESs to “no more than 10% of an electric utility’s average weather adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year.” As a result, the Commission issued an order on October 21, 2008 in Case No. U-15801 to establish rules for allocating the sales as specified in Section 10a (1)(b)-(d). In its order dated September 29, 2009 in Case No. U-15801, the Commission outlined the specific procedures pertaining to the 10 percent cap, and also established the details of the each utilities’ electric choice Cap Tracking System.
Customer choice has been implemented in many other states at varying levels. You may have heard it called customer retail access or the restructuring or deregulation of the utility industry. In Michigan, the program is called Electric Customer Choice.
The Electric Customer Choice program offers the ability to choose the electric supply portion of your energy use. The delivery portion of your energy service remains separate.
A supplier is the company that generates electricity for you or buys electricity for your use from another generator. A supplier other than your local utility is called an “Alternative Electric Supplier” or AES. Under this program you can choose to buy your electric supply from an AES, if one is available to you. You are not obligated to choose a different electric supplier. UPPCO will remain your electric supplier unless you choose otherwise.
The delivery of energy will remain as a service from UPPCO and will continue to be regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Delivery services include responding to emergencies, maintaining power lines and customer service support.